Stump Spring – North Ogden, Utah - Atlas Obscura

Stump Spring

North Ogden, Utah

Water flowed out of the town's unusual tree stump fountain in the 1930s, and the well still runs today. 


In the 1930s, a hamburger restaurateur named Joe Ballif capitalized on a nearby well used for irrigation to create an unusual drinking fountain in Ogden, Utah.

He used several horses to drag the massive stump of a cottonwood tree that was struck by lightning. This tree had been around when the original Mormon pioneers settled in the 1850s. Many others trees were salvaged and used for furniture or buildings, but a turning this stump into a spring was a novel idea.

Ballif had a craftsman fashion the stump into a drinking fountain right outside of his restaurant, using it for advertising with a sign that read, “Good water, isn’t it? Try our hamburgers.”

Inevitably, the hamburger stand eventually closed, and the tree began to rot away. Despite the wood falling away, the fountain continued to stand and was appreciated by both local high school and collegiate cross country athletes as a refreshing mid-run drink. The local interest helped restore the site. 

The fountain was removed in 1999 for construction of a grocery store, but Boy Scouts and the City Council worked together to provide a memorial plaque for the spring, as well as a fiberglass replica of the stump and a new fountain that flowed out of it. The city has built up a park around the new stump spring. 

On the back of the stump, a pipe flows with fresh well water. Local residents come and fill multiple-gallon jugs of the clean water.

Know Before You Go

Located in Bicentennial Park by the Lee's Marketplace Parking lot. While the water has been tested as clean in the past, conditions can change and drink at your own risk.

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