An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
May 3, 2003 - Issue 86
Equadon and the Park
of a Hundred Springs
From The Ashland Daily Press - July 6, 1933 - By Guy M. Burnham
credits: submitted by Timm Severud (Ondamitag)
the History of the Prentice Park
I first saw Ashland in the year 1890, two or three names appeared to be
struggling for preeminence; Webb Springs, Mineral Springs and Prentice
Springs. A common expression was, Mineral Springs at Prentice Park. Frederick
Prentice who had established the brownstone quarries on Hermit Island
and Houghton Point, had bought the park, and it was he I think, who build
the place up as a park, in fact I think he was the real creator of Prentice
Park. He had a hard time of it shaking the name Webb Springs; and so have
I. As I have mentioned, Ashland Mineral Springs at Prentice Park was a
usual expression. There was a fish hatchery at the right of the sidewalk
leading down to the lagoon, and a small fenced in place in the lagoon
at the left for the swans, who where the predecessors of the pair of German
Mute Swans, that we know have.
The streetcar line was partly laid out to the park. There was a pavilion near the present building, where I came out one evening with a ski club. It was a place of entertainment.
pure water that falls on the watershed, take the toll of the things, which
they come in contact on this forty-mile trip to this park. The mountainous
line of hills of the watershed, are rich in minerals, especially in iron
and in copper, but they are full of minerals of many kinds. And so when
we take a cup of water from one of these wells, we take a little iron,
nearly three tenths of a percent, which is sufficient as to iron. In drinking
our cup of water, we also drink 3 and a half parts of sulphate of soda,
18 parts magnesia, nearly one percent alumina, 1 and a half parts silica,
13 parts lime, 1 part sulphate of soda, and a quarter of a percent of
what do these things mean? Mineral water, as fine as you can get anywhere.
The figure from which I get this, are from an analysis of the Bethesda
Well at Waukesha. They were run I the same column, to show the greater
purity and better quality of the water taken from the springs at Prentice
Park, which were then called 'Ashland Mineral Springs' and the park 'Mineral
what the analyses shows, but Waukesha's chief source of revenue is still
from its baths and its water. I have even seen Waukesha's water on sale
in Ashland, and it is sent all over the country. The comparative analyses
of water from Waukesha and these flowing wells is published in the Ashland
Press Annual for the year 1892. Without any question, the purity of the
water from Prentice Park and its hundred wells, bully warrants it being
placed on the market just as the waters of Waukesha are. It is all a matter
of exploitation and advertising.
have heard of the yarn of some old medicine man who lived in this place
of a Hundred Springs, which he called Ohahkee, which is suppose to mean
'Hope.' I am not strong at all on Indian legends, unless they are backed
by some facts or semblances of truth, so I am not featuring this old story.
Some future storyteller who wants to use this legend and enlarge on it
has my permission. No facts are needed, simply an implicit faith in a
legend. However, if we had been smart we could have found out the Chippewa
name for 'The Place of a Hundred Medicinal Springs' or wells, and used
that in advertising, maybe we could have developed as big a business as
hereby delegate the president of the park board as a suitable person to
change the words, 'The Place of a Hundred Medicinal Springs' into the
Chippewa words and post it beside this pavilion.
Now here is a suggestion. Listen closely, Mr. Dhooge. One of the approved projects for this park is to deepen the lagoon. Begin now. Begin deepening it. Employ the unemployed. Throw up a few board shacks, and advertise the mud baths, and mineral spring water. There is a lot of mud at the bottom of this lagoon. The mud is a dead image of that at the Moor Baths at Waukesha, and our mineral water is better. This will give a lot of people who go away for their bud baths, a chance to stay at home, and bathe here. I wouldn't be surprised if the Park Board could make enough money in return from its mud baths to reopen the banks.
Various Owners of the Park
Wyman the Architect
this nursery, Mr. Maslowski is growing 3,000 evergreens, including spruce
with its several varieties such as the blue spruce, Norway spruce, white
spruce, ingelmania spruce, and the silver white variety; likewise the
Scotch fir, white pine and other trees. He is also raising native Linden
or Basswood, which is not an evergreen, but is a native tree, of which
specimens are growing within a few feet from where I stand. He is also
raising in this wonderful nursery, which is just east or south of the
adjacent railroad tracks, hundreds of native elms, and also various kinds
of native shrubbery. He goes into the woods and gets many of these native
trees and shrubs, having for instance gathered 200 small elms last fall
near the head of Chequamegon Bay. For some of his shrubs, he has gone
as far south as Mellen. Many of the seeds have been obtained from the
state. He plants them in his home garden, lets them grow two years until
they are too large for the rabbits to destroy, and then transplants them
in the Prentice Park nursery. From this wonderful nursery, many trees
have been transplanted I the city parks, and along the highways in Ashland
and Bayfield Counties.
This is simply an allusion to a very import adjunct of Prentice Park. Hereafter, it will not be necessary to send to other states or other parts of Wisconsin for trees and shrubs for our parks. We are raising them right here in this park.
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