Two Forgotten Fountains and a Pond

The Roeder Home’s Lost Water Features May Have Left Us A Few Clues

old, black and white photo of the Roeder Home with pond in the front yard
The Arts and Crafts Roeder Home at the tail end of its construction. Note the unfinished front steps. The pond and its companion rock feature at the rear are already in place. Photo courtesy of Whatcom Museum Archives
pile of boulders stacked up in the shade beneath the leaves of a bush
This suspicious, shaded boulder pile appears to be the rocky backdrop of the Roeder Home’s long-lost pond. Eventually, the mound’s reign was usurped by Rhododendrons, relegating it to playing hide-and-seek with the present. A stubby pipe sticking out of the top (not visible in the photo) raised enough questions to investigate its origins.
The Roeder Home today, on a sunny day, with dry grass out front
At ground zero, the dry grass betrays the secret. Invisible most of the year, what I believe to be the ghostly, organically-shaped scar of the old pond comes to glorious life during the dry summer months. The rockpile sits beneath the Rhododendrons immediately behind the bench in the middle of the picture.
a mounded pile of stones cemented together near bushes
Like a meteor frozen in its crater at the point of impact, this defunct water feature in the south-lawn sits in full sun in the winter and partially shaded in the summer. We may never know when it was built or when it was last alive with the motion of falling water.

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David Scott Spangler

History can be connective. Since I am moved by what remains, I am documenting and sharing remnants of Pacific Northwest history before they vanish forever.