A spring house, or springhouse, is a small building, usually of a single room, constructed over a spring. While the original purpose of a springhouse was to keep the spring water clean by excluding fallen leaves, animals, etc., the enclosing structure was also used for refrigeration before the advent of ice delivery and, later, electric refrigeration. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. Food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit, or dairy products, could be kept there, safe from animal depredations as well.
In settings where no natural spring is available, another source of natural running water, such as a small creek or diverted portion of a larger creek, might be used. In addition, some people put jars of milk in a bucket suspended by a rope in an "open-mouth" well during hot weather.
Stone spring house at Indian Springs State Park.
- "The Spring Cellar". Retrieved 2007-05-13.
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