Juniata’s Bandstand and Town Pump

Juniata’s Town Pump and Bandstand

Few people living today remember Juniata’s iconic bandstand, windmill and hand pump which stood in the center of Juniata Avenue’s intersection with 10th Street.

The history of the public water supply in Juniata goes back to the town’s very beginning when in the spring of 1871 the B & M Railroad bored the first well.  It was located east of Juniata Avenue on railroad property.   The well was to provide water for the railroad’s steam engines but was also used by the settlers.  Then in November 1874 a well 87 feet deep and six feet in diameter was dug for the use of the steam-powered flour mill.  In September 1878 a public windmill was erected east of Juniata Avenue on 10th Street.

The 1884 Birds Eye View drawing of Juniata shows the large railroad windmill and large windmills at the Commercial House Hotel and the livery barn both just south of the tracks on Juniata Avenue.   Twelve other windmills are shown, one by the livery stable at Juniata Avenue. and 8th Street, the remainder at private houses.  Only two windmills are shown north of the tracks.  The majority of houses did not have a water supply.  They either hauled water from the town windmill located on the south side of 10th Street between Juniata and Adams Avenues or got their water from a neighbor’s well.  Hauling water would have been a huge inconvenience.  No wonder they only took a bath on Saturday nights and everyone in the household used the same water.  During the winter months, they seldom if ever bathed.

Looking north on Juniata Avenue in 1909.
In this postcard photo, the camera is looking north on Juniata Avenue.  The stamp was canceled in January 1909.

The village bandstand was built in September 1904.  It stood in the center of the intersection of Juniata Avenue and 10th Street and could be seen from four directions.  In October 1905 the village put down a new well on the north side of the bandstand and moved the windmill there.  A large cistern was constructed for the public water supply and for water in case of a fire.

In this photo taken about1915, the camera is pointed northeast.  The building to the right stood where the current post office is located and was the Juniata Herald newspaper office and printing plant.
In this photo taken about1915, the camera is pointed northeast. The building to the right stood where the current post office is located and was the Juniata Herald newspaper office and printing plant.

 

The photographer stood in the intersection of Juniata Avenue and 9th Street to take this photo.
The photographer stood in the intersection of Juniata Avenue and 9th Street to take this photo.  The first building on the left was an auto repair shop.  During the late ’40s, it was used by A. B. Wymore as a hatchery.

 

About 1943 an electric pump was installed on the well which filled the cistern in the middle of the street and the landmark windmill was removed.

 

This photo was taken about 1950.
This photo was taken about 1950.  The windmill has been replaced by the well-house which contained an electric motor on the well. The bandstand has been reduced to ground level.  Notice the cement street light poles. They were made in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration. The small building to the right stood along the alley. Ben Carl, who ran a restaurant, owned it during the 1930s. If a destitute family came to town, he let them live there and gave them food. Later the building was the Longstaff barbershop. The large building facing Juniata Avenue was the school gymnasium which burned down in December 1961 when I was a sophomore.

 

Juniata installed a water and sewer system in 1957, making the well and cistern obsolete.  A 1960 tornado damaged several buildings in town, including the railroad depot, and it was at that time that the last portion of the bandstand was removed.

This photo was taken in 1977.
Sometime in the mid-’70s, Wiseman Construction built a replica of the lowered bandstand.  This photo was taken in 1977.  The building to the left is the State Bank of Juniata building.  It was being used as the town hall at this time.  The box on the side of the building was a pay telephone.  

 

The gazebo in the downtown park is a replica of the lowered bandstand constructed in the 1970s by Wiseman Construction.  It was placed in the center of the intersection where the original had stood until it was deemed a traffic hazard and removed.