Saltillo celebrates Pump Park

SALTILLO – A little bit of Saltillo’s history was brought to life Sunday.
The city dedicated Pump Park in honor of a century-old water pump in downtown Saltillo at Mobile and Second streets on Sunday afternoon. More than 100 people joined the mayor and members of the Saltillo Historical Committee to dedicate the park.
“It’s a nice place for parents to bring their children and teach them about the old days,” said Mayor Bill Williams, “and it’s a place for old-timers to gather and remember the good old days.”
Saltillo resident, historian and writer Judd Hambrick welcomed the crowd and gave a brief history of the pump.
“We don’t know how old the pump is,” he said. “We know it’s been here since about the latter half of the 19th century, so that puts it at about 110 to 120 years old.”
He also shared stories of Saltillo residents who remembered using the pump during its heyday.
“The pump was a vital utility service to downtown merchants and people coming to town to trade,” added Williams during his dedication.
As years passed and technology improved, the residents’ need for the pump lessened, and it fell into disrepair.
The pump has since been restored and repainted, and is now the centerpiece of Pump Park.
The pump works, too, as proven by the Simmons sisters, who pumped the first bucket of water Sunday.
The sisters – Nadine Jones, Betty Westmoreland and Joann Newman – are members of the Simmons family, one of the more well-known families in Saltillo.
Lindy Hopkins, chairperson of the Saltillo Historical Committee, said she was pleased with the turnout at the park dedication.
“There are so many young people here, and people that are new to Saltillo,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
Contact Sheena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or sheena.barnett@djournal.com.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal