Wells and Springs of Cliffside
Before we moved to Belton, S.C. in the early thirties, we lived on Reservoir Street at the corner of “Mud Cut.” Across Reservoir, Bill Crawley lived with his wife, their son Guy and daughter Mildred. In front of the Crawley’s on Mud Cut was the Teacher’s Home. South of us on Reservoir lived Charlie Keeter (the watch repair man). There was a spigot between (and behind) these two houses. We carried water to the house in buckets. Now, Bill Crawley was particular and would not drink water from the pipes. He made his son Guy walk all the way over to Main Street to a well located in the yard of the house where later Mr. Elmore, the school teacher, lived. I went over there with Guy many times. Although my family would drink piped water, I would always bring back a bucket of well water for us.
There was a closer well just down the street in the yard of Dewey McDaniel, but Bill didn’t like that water either. It seems odd that I don’t recall the location of any other wells except the one on Highland where we were after returning to Cliffside a few years later. That Highland well seemed to be a mile deep when you started turning the windlass to bring the bucket up, but of course it wasn’t. The wells always had a leather strap you could pull on to make it rub on the drum where the chain was wound. This was the way you controlled the speed of descent. You never wanted to stir up the water at the bottom when the bucket splashed down. I suppose I don’t remember the other wells because I didn’t have to draw water from them very often, if ever.
We did have another source of water: springs. The only three I recall were in the valley between Church Street and Reservoir Street. A beautiful one with excellent water was north of Mud Cut. Another was about half way between Mud Cut and the creek at the south end of Church Street. The other one I recall was south of the bridge that crossed from Church Street to near the Methodist church. At that time there was a footpath from Church Street right near the bridge that went down the hill almost to the level of the creek. The path led to a footbridge across the creek just before the creek entered the river. Later the bridge that crossed near the church was converted to a footbridge only. The Shelby Highway bridge had been opened and traffic could cross it and go straight up Highway Street. (Before, you had to cross the old bridge near the church, make a right turn and travel south to Highway Street.)
And then there was the sulfur well on Goforth Flat. It was an artesian well, always flowing. I wonder if it still does after all this time. Does anyone know?