15 October 2009

Reader Comment on Carbon Canyon Water

I've already posted one of the short recollections (and there are more to come) of Dr. Paul Nolan Hyde, a resident of Sleepy Hollow from 1948 to 1959, about his years in the community.

In my post yesterday on the La Vida mineral water bottle, however, he offered another neat micro-reminiscence that I thought would be of interest to readers of the Chronicle, so here it is:

It is interesting that La Vida Spring water became famous. The wells in Sleepy Hollow that supplied the central part of the Canyon pumped sulfur water that had to be aerated with a wooden tower down by the eucalyptus tree where I had my tree house. Most people had Arrowhead water brought in by the 5-gallon bottle. It was possible to drink the well water but it had to be ice cold with a lot of lemon juice and sugar. Even then it was just barely palatable. We kids drank out of the creek. It was cold and sweet and it had the additional quality of offering us boys a kind of Russian roulette, gastronomically speaking.

Once again, it is amazing to think about how much life changes in former rural areas over the course of decades, including how the water supply was handled before the modern delivery system of hilltop tanks and pipes.

The other aspect that struck me was the comment about drinking out of the creek. Of course, it wasn't all that long ago (a few decades) when hikers and backpackers could drink directly out of natural water sources in our local mountains, though now it requires boiling or purification tablets. Looking at the creek now and knowing what must get dumped into it from Western Hills Golf Course and other places . . .

One last item to mention in relation to what Dr. Hyde remembers: there are still references on the Net to the Sleepy Hollow Mineral Springs in exactly the location he described along the creek on the north side of Carbon Canyon Road and just west of where the community center and old community church was located.

As for the eucalyptus tree and treehouse, I'm almost certain they're still there today (see the above photos of said tree and treehouse taken on 5 October,) so that water tank used to aerate the sulphurous water would have been located in that vicinity.

Great stuff and thanks to Dr. Hyde for his comment!

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