Tashmoo Spring Building listed on National Register

Tashmoo Springs, Tisbury Waterworks — Denys Wortman

Tisbury’s Tashmoo Springs Pumping Station, also known as the Spring Building, is now included on the National Register of Historic Places, according to a letter received by the town on January 2 from the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC).

The town received assistance volunteered by staff at the Public Archeology Laboratory in Pawtucket in preparing a 50-page application for the building’s listing on the register. The application underwent about a two-year review process, first considered by a professional review board from the MHC and then the National Park Service, which administers the National Register of Historic Places.

Tisbury’s board of selectmen recently received a certificate signed by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin, MHC chairman, stating the Spring Building was accepted for inclusion on the National Register on Dec. 3, 2008.

According to the National Park Service’s website, the National Register is the official federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

Built in 1887, the historic Spring Building at the head of Lake Tashmoo on the grounds of Tisbury Water Works acted as a steam-powered pumping station until the 1970s when it was turned into a bottling plant for the short-lived Tashmoo Spring Water company.

Restoration efforts on the Spring Building began in 2007, when the Massachusetts Historical Commission awarded an emergency grant of $30,000 for repairs and stabilization, particularly to the chimney, in response to a request made by Tisbury’s Spring Building Preservation Committee (SBPC).

The project has since received several other grants, including about $273,000 from Community Preservation Act funds from the Town of Tisbury. The funds went towards stabilizing the structure of the building, repairing crumbling walls and replacing portions of the roof.

“Thanks to the people who work at Tisbury Water Works, the building’s broken windows have plywood over them, the doors are sealed, and it’s buttoned up for the winter,” said selectman and SBPC member Denys Wortman.

The Spring Building restoration project also received $50,000 in funds from another emergency grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund on January 2, according to assistant town administrator and SBPC member Aase Jones. The project has received many donations from generous community members and contributions from local businesses for fundraisers.

One of the benefits for historic properties listed in the National Register is qualification for Federal grants for historic preservation, when funds are available.