The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Of Pumps, Rams, and Giant Icicles

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | November 30, 2011

Uncle Nat called me last night and we had a delightful conversation. I chanced to ask him about a large pump that I noticed in the Sheep Barn while I've been working down there over the last two weeks. It turns out that it was the back-up pump for the hydraulic ram and was located down at the Mill. This pump was used if the rams malfunctioned or broke. The pump is a one-cylinder gas pump that Nat believes was manufactured in Vermont… quite an impressive looking piece of machinery.

I also learned that the 'rams' were located in a building on the river just below the Mill. The 'rams' had no controls to increase or decrease the flow of water to the water tower or 'water tank' as Nat referenced it; they just kept pumping all the time unless they needed repair. Consequently, whatever the season, the 'rams' were pushing water up here through a 4" pipe.

The neatest image that Nat portrayed was what happened in the winter time. Because the water just kept coming, the water tower became one giant icicle. Nat remembers seeing this spectacle and thinks that my Aunt Mary might have had a picture of it in her possession. The resultant overflow ice extended, says Nat, to almost touching the Ice House. Just think of an icicle that high and wide… what a sight!

← View all Blog Posts