A spring house, hidden in the woods

Spring house, as seen from the concrete bridge

I’ve stopped a couple times on the old alignment of the National Road, just to the east of New Market, Maryland. The road was moved to go around an exit for Interstate 70, but the old road bed remains open to vehicular travel.

There’s a 1920s-30s concrete bridge, but other than that, there isn’t much to see. At least that’s what I thought.

When I stopped on this bit of road on Friday, I noticed the stone structure shown above, just a bit to the north of the bridge. I was surprised, as I would think I would have seen something like this before.

Stone spring house
I approached the building. It appears to have been constructed during the first half of the 19th century. This view is taken from the southeast, looking northwest. A small window is visible on the east wall.

Stone spring house
A doorway on the west wall allows access. No door is present.

Stone spring house (detail)
The masonry is in very good condition, however the wood does show some decay.

Interior of spring house
Inside, there is a channel, which appears to have been created to allow water from a spring or nearby stream to flow and cool the foodstuffs stored inside.

Protecting the spring?
Outside, parallel with the front of the structure, a few feet to the south, is this construction. It appears to be covering a spring, though no water was present when the photograph was taken. Perhaps the water flowed out of this spring and into the structure.

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