by Gail P. Montany
For many Harvey's Lake residents who depend on the Mosquitoville Road spring for what's reputed to be the best drinking water around, the new wooden water tub that appeared suddenly a couple of weeks ago was a welcome, if mysterious, surprise.
The man responsible for the new tub, Thaddeus Thresher of East St. Johnsbury, is the nephew of the last tub's crafter, the late Barnet miller Ben Thresher.
Thaddeus Thresher said he decided to build a new tub after driving by and seeing how deteriorated the one his uncle installed in 1946 had become.
"I had a dread fear of someone putting in one of those plastic tubs," said Thresher, recalling having watched as a very young child his uncle setting up the former tub with a "Willis G and an old beat-up trailer."
And so last year, in keeping with family tradition, he cut some pine and milled the lumber, allowing the wood to dry for a year before constructing the 4-foot-high, 36-inch-diameter tub. The tub was finally installed earlier this month, after digging out several feet of silt to get to the bottom.
"What a job that was," said Thresher. "But it should be good for 30 or 40 years."
He plans to have a plaque made soon, reading, "By me for you, in memory of Ben Thresher." Charles Morrison, the owner of the Harvey's Mountain property from where the spring waters originate, said the new tub, at four feet, is taller than the earliest tubs placed in that spot, which were built to accommodate travelers' horses.
The granite-laden land, which has been in his family for three generations and contains many springs, is a unique piece of property, Morrison added.