Three wells were known to have existed on the Leonis Adobe property. They were hand-dug and lined with bricks. In 1880, the water table for a well in the area was only about 12 feet deep; today it would be closer to 200 feet. When a well dried up, it was simply abandoned for a new location. Old, inoperative wells were commonly used as dumping sites. When our current well was excavated years earlier, many discarded objects were found and are currently on display in the Plummer House.
Old photographs of the property were used to determine the original location of the well and windmill. Fortunately, during the initial excavation, the foundation of the corner posts was immediately found.
A windmill is simple and efficient. Wind turns the rotor blades, which in turn, pumps water from the well to the water tank through a pipe. Water can also be deposited from the well into a trough by connecting the pipe to a hand pump. The installation of a recirculation pump for an original well on the property allows us to simulate a working well for visitors.