CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND HOUSE
PHOTO: WITCHING EQUIPMENT
When we got ready to have the trench dug for the new waste line, we wanted to know where the water line was so that it wouldn’t be hit. Bob was there at the time. We called the city utility office and asked if they knew where our water line was. They said that they would send someone over. This man arrived in a city pick-up, and when he disembarked from it he had a wood stake, a hammer and something else in his hand. The “something else” was a T shaped piece of small brass pipe about a foot wide by eighteen inches long. He introduced himself as Joe. Then he held the top of the T with the long end pointing ahead, level with the ground, and walked across our yard. At one point the rod fell straight down. He said, “Your water line is right here.” And he drove in the stake.
Bob said, “Wait a minute! I don’t believe that!” He grabbed the device and then, gripping it firmly, he walked where Joe had walked. When he passed over the water line the rod went down again, even twisting the skin on his hand because he was holding it so tightly. Bob said, “Well, I’ll be damned”!
I was familiar with witching because that was the method that everyone in Sherman County used to find water if they wanted to dig a well, and I was favorably impressed with the city for using such an efficient way of finding water lines. But, even though it had worked for Bob, he still couldn’t believe it. After Joe left, he got a shovel and dug a hole where the stake was. The water line was right below the stake.