As recalled by Fred Collins from an oral description by Gene Zaboroski
In the earliest photos of the Juergen Store at Cypress Top — from about 1907 — a windmill is visible behind and to the east of the store. This mill sat on top of a hand-dug well that was lined with bricks, according to Gene Zaboroski. About 1910, Juergen drilled a new well and erected a pump house and water tower, which we know because the footing for that tower has the 1910 date scrawled into the concrete. The footings for the tower, drilled well and pump sit just west of the old pump house today. A Morse-Fairbank jack engine likely drove the pump and associated line shaft in the pump house.
At some point the family decided to put in a septic system and used the old brick-lined, hand-dug well in the 1907 photograph for the septic tank. According to Gene, they took the obsolete merchandise out of the store and other “junk” and threw it down the well. Then they capped the bottom with concrete and used the upper 10 feet or so as the septic tank.
When the County transformed the property to a park, they opened the top of that tank and one of the workers took the picture above. It shows a brick-lined, concrete-bottom, septic tank just as Gene described. The county workers filled it with dirt but left it all intact.
It seems then that below this filled tank is a time capsule of obsolete store merchandise. Sealed from light and air, perhaps submerged in water, this merchandise may remain in a high state of preservation. Since the inventory given to the County with the store had many items from late 19th century and early 20th century, I am most curious what constituted obsolete merchandise in that time period. Perhaps some future researcher will be able to excavate the well and determine the rest of this story.
To learn more about Texas or Cypress history, visit Commissioner Steve Radack’s Cypress Top Historic Park at 26026 Old Hempstead Hwy., open daily from dawn to 7 p.m. The Cypress Historical Society website, cypresshistoricalsociety.com, has more information on the museum buildings and on available genealogy and history information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 281-758-0083.
Historical facts courtesy of Cypress Top Historic Park Collection & Cypress Historical Society: Preserving Cypress History for Posterity.
HISTORICALLY CY-FAIR, The Story of the Original Cypress Top Well