Auroraville is n the southeast section of Waushara County. As with most of my discoveries, I happened across the Auroraville Fountain quite by chance while on Hwy 49 just north of Hwy 21, and, of course, had no idea what this was all about.
The thing that caused me to take notice was this large area of melted water amidst a lot of ice. I wondered why. I knew I was crossing a bridge, but I felt I had to stop and get out. It was January 14, 2006.
As I would later learn, this is what is known as Aurora Mill Pond, which I will talk about in a moment. It is hard to see here, but it was frozen pretty solidly all the way out.
Right at Hwy 49, I found that the Mill Pond was actually created by a small dam and the water was flowing at a brisk pace to the east-southeast. This explained, to me, the large unfrozen area I had first noticed. This was an area where the water was moving and therefore not freezing.
This was the look downstream, water moving, again no freezing.
But I would then learn there is an artesian well here, someplace. There was a marker that said, “The Aurorville Fountain has been providing water to this community since just after the Civil War. The land surrounding Auroraville is abundant in natural springs called artesian wells. In 1867, John Keneister of Auroraville bored this natural spring well in the center of town … Originally, the fountain was built as a wooden trough, but by 1927, it had deteriorated and was replaced with a copper vat from a local burned-out cheese factory. In 1936, the Works Project Administration (WPA) built the ornate stone enclosure around the copper tank.”
The graphic shows an artesian well at the most basic level. It is a passage which allows water that has traveled through porous rock from a higher elevation, to rise to the surface at a lower elevation. The water is forced up the well seemingly defying gravity due to pressure which builds up between layers of rock.
I am not exactly sure precisely where it is, but I am assuming it is somewhere in the midst of that area of melted water we saw in Mill Pond close to the dam.
So here is the lay of the land. Willow Creek arrives at Auroraville from the west. The dam creates Mill Pond. Somewhere in there is the Auroraville Fountain, spitting artesian water up to the surface. And then Willow Creek continues flowing to the northeast to Lake Poygan, whose western end is in Waushara County.
I will discuss this again when I get to Winnebago County, but there is a lot of river-water activity in this region. Little old Willow Creek drains into Lake Poygan in its southwest corner. The Larger Wolf River flows into the lake from the northwest. And then off to the southeast, the Fox River flows into Lake Buttes des Mortes, and then all of this water into the massive Lake Winnebago. The vertical yellow line marks the county border, Waushara to the west, Winnebago to the east. Neat stuff. An area of study might be why is the Wolf River flowing southward while the Fox River is flowing northward?
Driving along Hwy 49, spotted this old school house, Brushville District No. 4, built in 1875.
I drove south on State Hwy 49 out of Poi Sippi to Auroraville and caught some nice landscape shots of the Central Plain in this area.
This particular area of the county, the southeast sector, is relatively flat, low-lying, gently rolling lake plain scoured by the most recent period (10,000 years ago) of the last great glacier, that period known as the Wisconsin Glacier. Drainage is to the south and east to the Fox River and Lake Poygan. About 35 percent of the land consists of wetland soils, saturated by surface or ground waters.