June 4 (PM) – Wellfield Botanical Gardens and Elkhart

This afternoon we visited Wellfield Botanical Gardens and were not disappointed!

In 1884 the Elkhart Water Company was established to deliver water to the city.  The wellfield consisted of four dug wells, a sand trap and a 2 million gallon underground storage tank. 

In 1925, the City of Elkhart purchased the facility to meet the increasing demands of a growning population.  Addition water wells were subsequently drilled in the wellfield.  No treatment processes, other than disinfection and floridation, are used.  The city water facility sits adjacent to the botanical gardens.

Wellfield Botanic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind botanical garden sitting on the site of the largest working wellfield in the Cty of Elkhart.  Thirteen active wells pump water from beneath the ground which is carried to two large storage tanks, each holding approximately 2 million gallons.

The gardens surrounding expansive ponds abound with flowers,


including three corporate-sponsored "elks" … which turned out to be cow's bodies on which elk antlers were added,

if you look at the "elk's" right eye, you'll notice what Debbie spotted … a lady bug

wind vanes and chimes,

the chimes are 6 feet in length

wooden arbor gateways,


a children's garden area, and


Gray Squirrel

Dragon Fly


Red-wing Blackbird

Bumble Bee

Large Turtle

Baby Tiutle

Throughout the gardens are many polished granite benches and metal chairs and tables … which visitors are encouraged to use for lunch or to just absorb the beauty of the environment.  However, the most colorful are the groupings of Adirondak chairs.

Leaving the botanical gardens we took a drive through historic Elkhart.  With a population of more than 51,000, it has been referenced as the "RV Capital of the World" and the "Band Instrument Capital of the World" for decades. Other notable industries in Elkhart include; pharmaceuticals, electronic components manufactured housing and mobile homes. The center of the city reminds us of Newton, Framingham, and Weston Massachusetts where we grew up and where the retail stores our parents shoopped at and the movie theaters we attended were located … before the proliferation of suburban malls.

However, what caught our eyes were the "Heart of the City",

building murals,

intricatelly decorated traffic signal boxes,

street corner clocks, and, perhaps not surprising,

brightly painted "elks"!

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