Mineral Well, 1893-1951

For almost sixty years, life in Arlington literally revolved around the "Old Mineral Well" at the intersection of Main and Center Streets. The original well was drilled in 1893 by Sam Shafer. Financed by public subscription, a wood powered steam engine was used to drill the well. The artesian water was pumped to businesses and residences alike. The ladies of Arlington placed a concrete basin around the well so all could water their horses. In 1910, the Commercial Club, predecessor to the Chamber of Commerce, funded the construction of two ornate fountains. Mineral water flowed through lion heads perched on a four-sided pyramid while a second fountain watered animals. In the 1920s, the well-site received another facelift. Part of the platform was later enclosed with brick and plate glass windows as a display room for Arlington Crystals. The structure over the mineral well was razed in 1951 to accommodate growing vehicle traffic. As part of the City's 1976 centennial celebration, a monument commemorating the mineral well was built on the grounds of the Arlington Public Library at Abram and Center Streets. Its columns contain a brief history of the well -- and appropriately -- a drinking fountain! Next time you motor south on Center Street in downtown Arlington, think of this bygone landmark.

Mineral Well circa 1900, 1910, & 1920. J.W. Dunlop Collection, The University of Texas at Arlington