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

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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Harlem Cultural Archives is a donor and foundation-supported Historical Society, Its mission is to create, maintain and grow a remotely accessible, online, interactive repository of audio-visual materials documenting Harlem’s remarkable and varied multicultural legacies, including its storied past as well as its continuing contributions to the City and State of New York, the nation, and the world. Support Harlem Cultural Archives and click here to get more Harlem History, Thank you.

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