Amann Reservoir, known familiarly around Galion as “Amann’s Reservoir,” is the vision of a former mayor who served three terms in the 1940s.
In the early 1940s, Galion’s newly elected Mayor William Amann embarked on a mission to secure a reliable water supply for the city. The quest led to the acquisition of the old Hurley Farm in July 1942. Under the supervision of City Engineer Boyd Wierman of Mansfield, construction of a dam and spillway commenced. The project was budgeted to stay below $350,000 and designed to hold a staggering 110,000,000 gallons of water.
The Hurley Farm: More Than Just Land
The one hundred-acre Hurley Farm, located on what is now SR61, was not just any piece of land. It had been a popular site for picnics and social events among Galion residents for years. The farm was also home to a stone quarry and the Hurley farmhouse, a mid-19th-century structure that later served as a pump house. Joseph Hurley, the original owner, passed away in 1941, leaving behind a legacy that would soon be transformed into a vital community resource.
Transformations and Improvements
By the 1960s, the reservoir underwent significant upgrades, including the removal of several islands. The original plan even suggested that the City of Galion buy several lots around the reservoir, which residents could then purchase for summer cottages or houses. In 1944, the reservoir was stocked with 2,500 black bass, 1,000 rock bass, and a “tub full of tadpoles,” making it a haven for local anglers.
The Man Behind the Reservoir
William Amann was not just a mayor with a vision; he was a man of the community. Born in 1883, he lived at 860 Harding Way West with his wife Nettie and operated a grocery store. Amann served three terms as a Crawford County Commissioner, three terms as a Polk Township Trustee, and three terms as Mayor of Galion from 1942 to 1947. He passed away in June 1958, but his contributions to the city, especially the Amman Reservoir, remain a lasting legacy.
The Reservoir Today
The reservoir has come a long way since its inception. The Hurley farmhouse, which once stood at the west end of the reservoir, was demolished under the Harbaugh administration. However, pieces of it were cobbled together and still stand today. The reservoir continues to serve as a vital water supply and a recreational area, honoring the vision of William Amann and the history of the Hurley Farm.