Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cisterne Cisterna Cista Kiste

            cisterne, from Latin cisterna, from cista, box, from Greek kistê, basket

the photo is the ruins of a Cistern, a receptacle or covered reservoir  built to catch and store rainwater. Ginny you were close with water running in something, Barbara got it right, she sent me an email with the answer.
The two photos above are on the side of the property and must have been to provide water for the slaves and workers on the plantation and maybe for watering a garden when needed.

Now this is NOT your average cystern, the low building in the above picture is the cystern for the mansion.
Major Gamble didn't trust well water, so he had a massive 40,000 gallon cistern built to accommodate the fresh water needs of the plantation. It included a filtration wall and was stocked with fish to eat the mosquitos and bugs. When slaves would raise the bucket, they had to be sure there were no fish along for the ride.

The cistern still stands and this is the inside view of the cistern, notice it is almost empty, we are still in a drought, during the rainy season it will still hold the 40,000 gallons, MINUS the fish. click on photo to see the dirty water.

at the back of the cistern theree is a breezeway, or "dogtrot." The kitchen is located on the ground floor, just behind the grape arbor and the door is easy access to this bucket. Water for the house would have to be brought inside bucket by bucket. I do hope they did not drink it, but it sounds to me like they did.

Information gathered from Gamble Plantation

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:17


Ginny said...

Great pictures! Back in history, it was always so troublesome to get water, is it any wonder they drank so much wine and goats milk in bible times? It was not a land of "water and honey". In the old south, It seems the men had it much easier than the women! Just getting water would tire me out for the day! They had no plumbing, right? So I'm supposing they did drink the well water. I'll be sad to see your mansion posts come to an end.

George said...

Thanks for a very interesting and informative post about the cisterns at the plantation. Usually we take fresh water for granted, so it is good to reminded of the effort that people in the past had to put into getting a steady supply of water.

DawnTreader said...

It's very easy when we're used to it to take running hot and cold (and clean) water for granted...

This winter in Sweden there have been some news stories about water pipes freezing etc and whole areas of towns suddenly without water... Gives a reminder how very quickly we get into serious trouble without it!

Stacey Dawn at "Addicted to The Click" said...

Wow - I thought it had something to do with cooking or heating the home or something of that nature... Have a fabulous day!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting, Sandra.... I thought that it might be something to hold water---but then thought that it was too big... Shows what I don't know!!! Very interesting... We do take having fresh water for granted these days, don't we?

Great post.

SquirrelQueen said...

Very interesting information on the cisterns, we do take our fresh running water for granted. I would imagine they did drink that water and with the fish swimming in there it was probably not the healthiest thing to drink.