Sunday, January 21, 2001

Restoration of springhouse nears

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — Restoration of the historic Sedam Springhouse could still be completed by the end of the year once an environmental assessment of the area is completed.

        The springhouse dates to the late 1700s, and is considered the oldest historical structure in Hamilton County. There have been talk and attempts in the township to preserve the structure for close to 20 years.

        The township was awarded a grant last summer by the Ohio Department of Transportation that will pay $114,000 of the $142,000 project cost.

"Kind of stuck'
               But the state wants to make sure that work will not be hazardous either to the environment or the historical integrity of the area, said Bob Bass, township roads superintendent.

        “I'm still real hopeful that we'll have construction begun this year,” said Mr. Bass, “in fact, possibly even completed. But until we get past that environmental assessment, we're kind of stuck.”

        The assessment involves checking the area around the springhouse, which is on Delhi Pike just south of Mayhew Avenue, for its his torical significance. That includes digging for artifacts.

        “In addition to that, we also have to have an environmentalist checking the area to make sure we're not going to be damaging any plant or animal life that's on the endangered species list,” said Mr. Bass.

        A hazardous waste assessment also needs to be done to ensure that there are no hazardous materials buried on the site that could jeopardize anyone doing work there.

        Those assessments could be completed by March.

"Long overdue'
               Doris Zeiser, development director of the Delhi Historical Society, said the group has lobbied the township to do something with the springhouse for years.

        “We will be so happy when something is done, because it's getting in a very poor condition,” said Ms. Zeiser. “It's long overdue.”

        The work would involve dismantling the springhouse stone by stone, shoring up the hillside behind it, re- assembling the structure, adding lighting inside it, and putting in a small parking lot to accommodate visitors. The springhouse belonged to Col. Cornelius Sedam, and was used to keep perishables.


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