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Pfeiffer Spring Park

Location:

Cedar Falls
Grand Boulevard and Gibson Street

The spring that gave the park its name was once the municipal water supply. In 1888, the city council encased the spring in masonry and channeled its waters through a conduit to a cistern near the present Cedar Falls Utility plant. The water was held in a reservoir and distributed throughout the city by means of a network of iron pipes.

The typhoid epidemic of 1911-12 was blamed on the springs, though without proof. Nevertheless, the springs were abandoned as a source of water in favor of three new municipal wells. H. Jacob and Mary Pfeiffer gave the springs and surrounding 10 acres of land to the city in 1921 for use as a park. The springs themselves were neglected until the 1930s, when the Iowa Conservation Commission established a concrete and stone fish pond here as a Works Progress Administration project.

Water from the springs was pumped into the pond, which was decorated with a large fountain, and for several years, Pfeiffer Springs Park was a popular picnic area. Trout were stocked in the pond for decorative purposes. Not surprisingly, they tended to disappear quickly.

The stability of the ground beneath the pond was a surprise, however. The land began to settle, cracking the pond and forcing the closing of the park's picnic area. Today, the springs no longer flow, and the pond and fountain are hidden by dense undergrowth.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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