We finally found it…

It’s the freshwater ‘Jailhouse Spring’ that we hear residents talk about. We knew the general area but not the exact spot on the map until we learned about a new neighborhood development proposed for that area. The proposal for the development is almost 50 acres of land and 39 houses on a hill above the Squamscott River. The road into the new neighborhood would take you past the bubbling spring where we heard there are usually a line of cars waiting to fill jugs.


We found the way to the spring on an unmarked road that crossed over a 3-way intersection in a quiet neighborhood. On this cold morning there were several cars in line patiently waiting their turn to provide drinking water for their families.


The spring is named for the jailhouse, now gone, that was built here in the mid-1800’s. It provided water to the inmates and local residents alike. At one time there was a nice spring house but now it’s a small pump that goes off and on, pumping cold water into a depression in the ground. I spoke with one man from another town who came once a week to fill jugs. He said the land is owned by the home on the hill and they test the water to make sure it’s safe to drink, adding that he has children and this clean water is what he provides for them.


The surrounding neighborhood has organized a group to oppose the proposed new development, citing waste contaminants from long-gone farming activities including lead, coal ash, and more on the land, would be hazardous to remove. Trucks with the waste must exit through the small roads in the neighborhood creating risks for residents and contaminating the freshwater spring.  Arguments against also site the added traffic on the small neighborhood roads and clearance for emergency vehicles. All of it is in the planning stages so we will watch for future reports on the proposed development in our newly adopted Exeter NH community…. and we are happy to have found the bubbling spring!

11 thoughts on “We finally found it…

    • The neighborhood is small and we wondered how the added homes and cars would affect the traffic. There must be a reason it must exit into the neighborhood rather than a larger street nearer the river.


  1. It looks to be a good cold mixer for a Bourbon & Branch to me. With this simple concoction I often feel I have truly found “the fountain of youth!” Sadly, wonderful as it is, it passes all too soon….


  2. So sad to hear that another wild spot will succumb to development…too many humans on this planet…similar growth is happening here in central VA, and I am so delighted that my area is not in the designated growth area, or at least for the time being…and the roads leading home continue to be blissful vistas.
    Get ready to do battle to save that unique water source…Diane


  3. I grew up not far from this spring, right down the street on Park Court. We used to go to the spring once in awhile on our bicycles, to get a drink straight from the pipe. Across the road from this spring, there was a swampy area, and back in the 60’s, you could see about 1/2 of an old wooden spoke wagon wheel protruding out of the swamp. Such memories…

    Liked by 1 person

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