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.
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.
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.
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.
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.