For fishing or swimming, Springville Pond was it
By Brenda Regeth
of the Journal
From the Stevens Point Journal May 19, 1992
From a mill site to a swimming hole to a weedy habitat the Springville Pond made has much history as it has seen since the first settlers came to Portage County.
The Pond itself is spring-fed from water trickling from the bluffs in Arnott and connects with the Little Plover River. The pond was named after the small Springville community that later became part of the village of Plover.
In the 1850's, the Springville community grew around the mouth of the Little Plover River, according to Malcolm Rosholt in “Our County Our Story.” The name probably was derived from the springs which fed the river.
On the bank of the river west of today’s Post Road, John R. Mitchell built a flour and gristmill, apparently the first in the area, Rosholt wrote. The mill property changed hands over the years until it burned down in the 1880's. Ed Rossier rebuilt the mill in 1899 and operated it with the name of Springville Milling. The mill eventually became obsolete, and according to life-long Plover resident Earle Rossier, the Springville dam broke and washed his grandfather’s mill away.
Earle Rossier has some of his own childhood memories about summer days on the pond. Springville had always been a popular swimming hole. "We'd all swim on the north side, but we’d have to cross through a pig pen to get there,” he said. The trek may have been a messy one, "but we all lived to tell about it.”
As popular as it was, the Springville Pond claimed at least a handful of lives as Emil Shannon remembers it. Shannon, a lifelong member of the village of Plover, recalled how one motorist failed to negotiate a curve and drove his car into the pond. And, at least one unidentified body was pulled from the pond when be was a youngster.
Today, Springville Pond isn’t much of a swimming hole. Thick weeds have taken over the pond floor, and village of Plover officials for years have struggled to keep their growth controlled. Dredging hasn’t worked, and now the village plans to use a herbicide to kill at least one of several varieties of pond weeds.
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