City restoring historic Berry Spring

Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Berry Spring was an important part of life in the early days of Berryville. Now the city is working to restore the area around the spring and add a trail from the spring to the Berryville Community Center.
Haley Schichtl / Carroll County News

By Haley Schichtl

A piece of Berryville history is being brought back to life.

Mayor Tim McKinney said the city began work about a month ago to restore Berry Spring, the old spring on Spring Street, and add a trail from the spring to the Berryville Community Center.

“It’s been covered up for years and we’re trying to restore it,” McKinney said. “That’s where the city of Berryville was founded. In 1909 they put the wall in and over the years it’s deteriorated.”

According to the Carroll County Historic Quarterly’s June 1998 edition, Blackburn Henderson Berry moved from Tennessee to start a store by the spring in 1836, and in 1850 the town was named Berryville. The spring served as a watering place for cattle and horses, and community members brought water from it to their homes.

In 1897, J.W. Freeman installed a pump in the spring to furnish water to businesses on the town square, and the city council purchased a hydraulic ram, pipe and equipment to turn the spring into an official water system. In 1905, the council hired W.T. Warden to install a concrete tank below the spring and a gas engine for pumping water.

Since the spring was already a gathering area, in 1909 the city council decided to make the area into a park, and added sidewalks and picnic tables. The council hired stonemason Hardy Beal to do the stone and concrete work.

McKinney said the council members whose names are engraved on the spring were later voted out because citizens thought they spent too much money on the project.

Unfortunately, the spring became a dumping ground for debris by local businesses years later, and the walls have not been seen since 1920.

Now, stonemason Bruce Wright and other city employees are working to restore the old gathering place, and McKinney said he hopes the project will be completed by the end of fall.

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