The Park of a Hundred Flowing Wells - The Site of Equadon
The Springs of Prentice Park have attracted men to this pure and healing water, for ages. The park occupies the site of an old Indian Settlement call Equadon, a Chippewa word meaning ‘settlement near the head of the bay.’ The park and springs have had several names; Webb Springs, Mineral Springs and Prentice Springs. The park was named after Frederick Prentice who had established the brownstone quarries on Hermit Island and Houghton Point (Apostle Islands); he bought the park in 1887 and built it up. In 1921 Prentice Park was officially given to the City of Ashland. A connection to Prentice Park was a nursery operated by a Charles Maslowski. He established a nursery on these grounds for the purpose of raising trees and shrubbery for the parks of Ashland.
The weathered boardwalks and trails of the Fish Creek slough area are a popular attraction in the 100-acre Prentice Park. After your hike take a drink from one of the three artesian wells located the park. One of the wells is a large diameter free standing pipe located in the middle of a small damned pond, the one that stands before you is smaller and perfect for filling your water jugs. Bring your binoculars and hike out to the boardwalk bridge that spans part of the slough area. From this location you are perched for fantastic viewing…you might even catch a glimpse of one of the resident mute swans!
“The springs are part of a great waterworks system, that has it source in the Great Watershed or Great Divide, where we placed a marker last summer, 39 miles south of Ashland, by Highway 13, three miles north of Gordon Lake. This watershed 20 miles wide, receives and stores the waters that flow north into Lake Superior, or southwesterly into the Mississippi River. The surface water comes down to Lake Superior through the Bad River, or southwesterly through the Chippewa River, into the Father of Waters. The greater part of the water sinks into the earth; forming an inexhaustible supply that comes underground some of it emerges into Lake Superior. In some places, the underground supply comes to the surface as it does here in this park. It is as if great pipes from 25 to 40 miles long connected the subterranean water supply of the watershed with Lake Superior. Some of these pipes end here, in this park of a hundred flowing wells. The supply of water will last, as long as rain continues to fall on the Penokee Hills and the watershed of northern Wisconsin.”
- Guy M. Burnham, The Ashland Daily Press - July 6, 1933
The Copper Falls Aquifer provides the water source for these artesian wells. Porous stone is sandwiched between a top and bottom layer of an impermeable substance like clay or rock. This keeps the water pressure high, so that when you get to a point below the entryway of the flow, there is enough pressure (artesian pressure) to bring the water up. The water in the aquifer is also under enough pressure that, when the aquifer is tapped by a well such as this, the water rises up the well bore to a level that is above the top of the aquifer called the potentiometric surface.
The temperature of the water from artesian wells is generally constant because of its depth. Depending on the well depth the water temperature can be a few degrees above the annual mean temperature. The water temperature decreases about 1 °F for each 65 feet of depth to the well. The mean annual temperature for the Ashland, WI region is 41 °F. Some uses of these temperature differences have been to “heat” homes (heat pump) and or cool them.
TO LOG THIS CACHE:
1) Determine the output of the well in gallons per minute (gpm) and/or measure the temperature of the water (°F).
E-mail be the answer(s) HERE.