Boy At 115th Street Harlem Well, NY 1897 (Photograph)

December 25, 2017

We love this wonderful photograph by James Reuel Smith of an little boy sitting in front of a Harlem Well at 27 West 115th Street, between Fifth and Lenox Avenues on October 26, 1897.

The little boy looks at the camera sitting at the entrance of the Well. Wells like this one ran throughout Harlem from the beginning time, to the Wecksquaesgeek  Wells “Indian Springs and Wells”, to the turn of the century.

Around 1919-1920, with more and more in home drinking water systems installed, the “access for all” having quality drinking water became a concern and under the domain of the City Health Department.

Reuel Smith spent much of his years from 1897 to 1901 bicycling around Harlem documenting the passing of these “public spaces.”


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In 1922, Reuel Smith published a photograph book Springs and Wells in Greek and Roman Literature, Their Legends and Locations about these Wells.

Via source.

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