Rustic Garden Ideas from the Past: The Town Pump in Langley, Washington

The pole structure of the town pump combines beauty with utility and encourages community.

When we first saw this photograph taken in 1920, we were charmed by the rustic pole shelter housing the Langley community pump. It even has a hanging planter! 

The pump, located on Anthes Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets, is no longer there; a sad fact confirmed by our friends at the Langley Library. Happily, the South Whidbey Historical Society saved the photographic record of this once important community gathering place.

The shelter built from tree trunks and branches is beautiful and useful and would look great in any garden today, especially in our garden. You knew where we were going with this, didn't you? Can't you imagine sitting in it with a few friends on a Puget Sound summer evening? 

We found some books in the library's catalog to help us build our own Langley rustic pole structure. The book we liked the most is Rustic Garden Projects

Why not try your hand at something like this? If you do, please share your experience with us in the comments below. We'd love to read them.

Now, back to the Historical Photo Collection to find more gardening ideas. To view more photos from our past, visit our online historic photo archive.