Norwood Stories #2 WATER

After Ollie & Calie Norwood built (1922) their home on the banks of the Colorado River,
Ollie had a 500′ well drilled and struck a “hot spring” from which he filled Austin’s first “hot spring” pool. It is reported to have had a slightly sulfur smell and some said it had healing properties. After the flood of 1935, that spring water was the only good water available in south Austin and Ollie and Calie welcomed all to come share it.The City Council passed a resolution commending Norwoods for their generosity. see the bottom of page 165

When Riverside Drive was widened in the 80’s, the well head, now located underneath Riverside was reportedly, added on to and stubbed off beyond the side of the road. A PARD staffer noted that a crew went there some time ago with a magnetometer and found no evidence of the type of pipe that would make their instrument respond. But, there are engineering drawings of the wellhead location.

About ten years ago a group called Spa Waters of Texas presented a proposal to the city council to restore the springs. But they had no funding and the council declined to support the idea. Some folks love the idea of rebuilding the pool and adding it, like another jewel, to the necklace of our fine public pools. While bringing the pool back to life is not part of a recommended redevelopment of Norwood Park, only time will tell whether such an option is widely desirable, viable and affordable.

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