SPRINGHOUSE

Located in the Salina City Park

The Springhouse was built in 1844 by Lewis Ross, brother of Cherokee Chief John Ross. A reliable source of drinking water was important in selecting a house site. A good spring met that need and also provided a means for keeping perishable foods. Water from the spring flowed through a rock lined channel in the floor of a spring house where containers of perishable food especially dairy products were placed in the channel and “refrigerated” by the cool water flowing around it. Crocks, barrrels and jars of other less perishable food was sometimes kept in the spring house as well, especially during warm weather. The structure also protected the food stored there from animals. The Springhouse was later used by the Cherokee Orphan Asylum for the same purpose. It is constructed of native stone and the roof covered with wooden shingles. It represents one of the oldest forms of folk architecture in Oklahoma. The Springhouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 18, 1983. It is listed as one of the oldest buildings in Oklahoma and is one of the few structures left intact from the mid-nineteenth century settlement era.

There are currently six historic places within 30 minutes of Salina listed on the National Register for information and directions visit the link below.

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