Spring house!

Possibly the last spring house in NJ!

This week is so full of winter, ugh. I mean, snow is prettier than the usual barren brown winter colors, and I’d take winter over summer any day, but seriously, I am ready for spring, aren’t you?

So HERE IS A SPRING HOUSE!!!

It’s part of Berkeley Heights’ Littel-Lord Farmstead.

That’s all well and good (I hear you say), but WHAT IS A SPRING HOUSE?

A spring house is a sort of old-fashioned refrigerator. Back in the olde days, you’d go find a natural spring, and build a little shed on it, and voila! you could keep your perishables longer ‘cos they were cooled with freezing spring water. Like an ice box without ice. (And it self-replenishes!)

And this building might be the last known spring house in New Jersey, which is pretty nifty!

This structure was originally built to keep perishable foods cool. A natural spring flows from the Spring Shed, under the walkway between the shed and the house, then around the two sides of the inside of this structure. The cool waters of the spring flow year-round and make this stone building into a primitive refrigerator. Meats, dairy, etc. would have been immersed in the flowing water or stored on shelves and hooks to afford a longer shelf life than the hot summer days would allow. Few, if any, spring houses remain in New Jersey so this structure is of great historical significance.

 

References:

Berkeley Heights Historical Society (Documented September 1, 2012). Spring House (sign). 28-31 Horseshoe Rd., Berkeley Heights, NJ.

“Spring house.” (Last edit Dec 2012). Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_house.

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