Spring lies deep in the valley of Queenston. Spring water, that is.
Water burbles along the path that runs along the Queenston docks in the Niagara River. At one point a pipe juts out from the stone, pouring cold, clear water onto mossy rocks and bunches of wild watercress. “It’s presumed to be a spring because it’s constantly running,” say local Jim Armstrong, president of the Queenston Ratepayers Association.
“Whether it’s groundwater runoff or a true spring I don’t really know,” he continues. Armstrong remembers a time when “people would drive down with large plastic carboys and swear it was the best water anywhere. It was heavily used by many.”
He says the Niagara Parks Commission used to test the water for contaminants and post the results, which occasionally indicated harmful bacteria. “There must be some groundwater to have tested unsafe for coliform,” he says, “it could be tainted by overflow from septic tanks?”
Rob Copeland, another Queenston resident, remembers the spring from as far back as the 1950s. “It was very active for a lot of years. People came from Niagara Falls to get water,” he says. “Water’s still pouring out of there — nice, pure, spring water.”
In the past it was possible to drive your car right up to the pipe and fill up your containers. Since the jet boats’ development of the area, fences and blockages have been put in place to prevent vehicle passage, but access is still available by foot or bicycle — or practical wagon.
A pedestrian filling two large plastic jugs says he visits the spring often, and finds the water delicious and uncontaminated. He discovered the source through a website called findaspring.com. The website says it’s “definitely a mineral spring” due to its high TDS level (650-720). (Total dissolved solids are inorganic salts, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates.) The website also confirms nearby water emanating from the stone wall as coming from the same source, saying, “It has exactly the same properties so you know it’s coming from the exact same aquasource.”
If you or anyone you know has more information about this find, please let us know.
Regarding last week’s finds, Stella Rodgers, 93, said her mother was born in the big white farm house down the driveway from the pillars at Line 1 and Concession 2. Her grandfather was the farm manager, and her grandparents lived in the house, which she believes was built in the early 1890s. Debbie Redekop from Queenston also had some information to share: she and her husband live in the house that belonged originally to Alexander Lawson, the man who owned the farm where Rodgers’ mother was born.