spring that gave the park its name was once the municipal
water supply. In 1888, the city council encased the spring
in masonry and channeled its waters through a conduit to
a cistern near the present Cedar Falls Utility plant. The
water was held in a reservoir and distributed throughout
the city by means of a network of iron pipes.
The typhoid epidemic
of 1911-12 was blamed on the springs, though without proof.
Nevertheless, the springs were abandoned as a source of
water in favor of three new municipal wells.
H. Jacob and Mary Pfeiffer gave the springs and surrounding
10 acres of land to the city in 1921 for use as a park.
The springs themselves were neglected until the 1930s, when
the Iowa Conservation Commission established a concrete
and stone fish pond here as a Works Progress Administration
Water from the
springs was pumped into the pond, which was decorated with
a large fountain, and for several years, Pfeiffer Springs
Park was a popular picnic area. Trout were stocked in the
pond for decorative purposes. Not surprisingly, they tended
to disappear quickly.
of the ground beneath the pond was a surprise, however.
The land began to settle, cracking the pond and forcing
the closing of the park's picnic area. Today, the springs
no longer flow, and the pond and fountain are hidden by