Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don't Shoot the Resources! Part 2

So, three days ahead of schedule, I handed in the draft of the Lithia Springs Property Management Plan to the City yesterday. This boiled down to a more elaborate discussion on the basic theme of "keep them clean, keep they dry, and don't shoot at them" approach to resource conservation that I'd suggested earlier.

It was rather an eye opener to trek around that property and assess the wide variance in condition between those resources in the middle of the Gun Club's activities with those located at the periphery of them. One resource, the pumphouse, is a stucco-coated concrete building that the City had seen fit to "de-roof" in 1975. While the Gun Club would have you believe that the major damage to the masonry is due to weathering (despite the TARGET they had hanging in the doorway) it was informative to compare the three sides of the building facing the gun club users with the one side facing the creek and so inaccessible. Guess which side is in really good condition and which ones have been pock marked, exposing re-bar and interior masonry to the weather? Go on....guess.

On the plus side, there are several near pristine concrete "monoliths" located at the edge of the property, far outside the ranges (though directly upon the bow hunting course) that while damaged have at least not been knocked over like the similar features in the middle of the site. These each relate, I am sure, to the c1940s Carbon Dioxide processing plant on the site, presumably as some sort of extractor or reducer to separate the gas from the water. They are HUGE, about 30" square and 12' tall, with various ports and flanges.

The Gun Club, for whatever reason, hasn't been as good of a steward of this important historic site as I had hoped. The guidelines include various recommendations to isolate the resources from their on-going activity such as weather protection, berms and fencing. My favorite element to prepare was the education component, suggesting that the Club take pains to notify all of its members and visitors that they share a site with Ashland's history and should protect them from damage. But what I really enjoyed was designing the sign, to be located near some of the major features.

1 comment:

  1. You are right the concrete towers are separator's that sperate the gas from the water, the gas was then pumped into the plant, cooled and pressed into dry ice. The foundation on top of the hill is where the old gas ice plant stood. It was taken down in I think 1958 or 1959. Most of the wells were drilled for the Gas Ice Corp. who made dry ice from the co2 gas. The foundation to the old bottling plant is gone as is the old Pompadour Chief spring building. They were close to where the gun club building is now. The pump house there now was only for a booster pump to push the water into town. Water was pumped from the wells to the sump below the booster pump and then pumped into town.In the late sixties or early seventies the sump was by-passed and the water pumped into town directly from one of the wells. You will find remains of wells on both sides of the creek. One on the other side blows it's top about once every twenty years or so and needs to be recaped. The buildings had been shot at long before the gun club had anything to do with the area. As I understand at one time the parking area was across the creek, that's what the old bridge is for, so people could walk across the creek to get to the lithia water and a small park. Next to he old Pompadour Chief spring.