The farm had things with an element of mystery and danger that made it all the more special.
In the back porch was an old cistern with a non-functioning manual water pump over the opening. For many years, it held the water supply for the house. I recall a story from my father about how their dog fell through the old cover and nearly drowned. I’m sure that at one time the manual pump was how water was drawn up for household use, but at some point my grandfather built a new bathroom under which he installed an electric pump and storage tank. I will never forget the sound of the pump whirring from underneath the floor pulling water into the small storage tank before being pumped out to faucets. The sound was an eerie distant hum that always inspired thoughts of being on the Death Star for some reason. All my Star Wars action figures helped that one.
Before city water was connected to the property in the late 90’s, a tanker truck would periodically replenish the water. I can recall a time, however, and I’m certain my father would as well, when rainwater from the gutters was collected to keep the house’s water supply optimal. As far as the cistern goes, I remember imagining it was a deep underground chasm waiting to devour any poor wanderer who strayed too close to the edge. It might be twenty feet deep and ten across, but as far as I cared, it was a bottomless shaft emptying into the center of the earth.
Once the city water line came through, no more water was drawn from the cistern and the pump under the bathroom has remained silent. As far as I know, there may still be water in the bottom of that cistern.