Saturday, July 22, 2023

Schiller Woods Forest Preserve Magic Water Pump on Irving Park Road, Particulars.

The pump is located in Schiller Woods Forest Preserve in Schiller Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Google Maps: 41°57'08.8"N 87°50'38.6"W 

It was installed in 1945 to serve picnickers, just another of the hundreds of water pumps erected in the forest preserves of Cook County. 

It is a hand-operated pump that draws water from an aquifer. Many local residents believe the water has magical properties, improving health and vigor. Some believe the pump's water extends the life of anyone who drinks from it regularly, leading to the nickname "Chicago's fountain of youth." The pump is the most used of over 300 pumps maintained by the Forest Preserve Department of Cook County, necessitating yearly repairs. The pump handle was briefly removed in 1974 due to impurities but restored in 1975 after the water cleared.

There is no scientific evidence to support the claims that the water from the pump has any magical properties. However, many people swear by the water, and the pump remains a popular destination for people seeking a healthier lifestyle.

People say it has a specific taste and is unlike other waters. And it's not. It's the best water in the world! You've heard it's magic, right? I don't know if it is or if it has the rejuvenating qualities they say. But I don't try other pumps. 

It has been said that the Pope blessed it. "Holy water — that's what they call it." In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the Northwest Side of Chicago. The Pope's motorcade drove along Nagle and Milwaukee avenues and the Kennedy Expressway and barely slowed down.

Those who swear by the Chicago's fountain of youth pump have said a lot of things: You hear it tastes better than tap water; it keeps colder for longer; it contains holistic qualities; it's good for heart and teeth; it's unfiltered and therefore not chlorinated or fluoridated; the water from this pump will keep you young an unnaturally long time.

There is no scientific evidence to support the claims that the water from this pump has magical properties.

The pump is located at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Cumberland Avenue. It is open from dawn to dusk. There is no fee to use the pump. If you're interested in visiting the pump, it's recommended that you go during the week. Remember to bring your own bottles to fill with water.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.


  1. Be prepared to wait in line! It Does taste very good,cold and refreshing. This is one of those legendary locales of the Chicagoland area that the oldsters And locals are very familiar with.Some folks will cook with nothing else!Some folks travel miles with their collection of empty jugs to bring home. This causes occasional grumbling,but it's first come, first served. Thanks for the write up about our Magic water Neil! A locale I believe I have neglected to photograph!

  2. There was once a similar "magic water pump" in a field just northeast of Route 83 (Kingery Hwy) and 171 (Archer Ave) in what is now unincorporated Willow Springs. Like the one mentioned above, this pump allegedly produced "healing" water, and in the 1960s people drove out with trunkfuls of empty water bottles to procure the coveted water. Although this water was also known for its pure flavor, I recall it having a metallic taste. I believe this hand pump was located on an abandoned farm that was later absorbed into Henry DeTonte woods. The area is very close to what had been known as the "Healing Springs" by Native Americans, so perhaps there was some truth to the "medicinal" claims. The pump was capped in the late 1960s/early 1970s by the county or state, allegedly due to potential contamination from the disposal of radioactive waste in nearby Red Gate Woods.

  3. Very interesting fact. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  4. there are pumps the other side of Irving PK. that draw from the same water table, no lines....

  5. This story brought up a vision of people standing in line at this pump with water jugs- I will definitely share this and see if anyone else remembers. We don’t live in the area anymore


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