Strange ~ “US Federal Property”

Strange ~ “US Federal Property”
Image by Urban Woodswalker
I was walking in the forest preserves along the Chicago river, and came across this very odd structure…with "No tresspassing- US Federal Property" posted on the door. It reminds me of a couple of stacked soup cans with the paper labels removed!

I have never seen such a strange thing…I suppose its a stairway…but its still possible to get down to the river edge without using this structure. Since there seemingly is nothing of importance around here except woods and river banks….I cannot figure it out.

Never know what I will find when I am woods walking.

17 thoughts on “Strange ~ “US Federal Property”

  1. Hello Woodswalker…..

    That is a monitor well for groundwater testing. If you were to open the door, there would be a vertical pipe down to the water table. The water table level can be measured and a sample drawn. The often use the water table information to determine flooding or drought tables.

    At least that’s what they look like down here in ourpart of the country.

  2. An underground secret complex maybe? Perhaps it’s just meant to look like groundwater testing or composting latrine. 🙂

  3. I am so grateful for all this information. I thought I’d stumbled on some secret thing….but LOL they are common enough…I think I want to find more and photograph them.

    I thought it was a weird latrine, but they never put facilities like this along bike paths, the parks, or preserves. I would LOVE to see a National Park one like this.

    So how deep does the pipe go down into the ground do you think?

  4. Oh, that is Hilarious Abstractions Art & Saucery! Yes, thats what I would love to believe! I want to get IN there and see where the portal leads me to.

    Maybe its like the telephone booth in Dr Who! Its a portal into deep space, or a black hole.

    Beam me up Scotty!

  5. Maybe its a deep tunnel to the exact other side of the planet…and you zip through like on a roller coaster once you step inside! Sort of like those vaccumn mail distribution chutes that push the mail lightening quick through these clear plexi tubes. If they can do it for mail, why not humans? 🙂

  6. "Common "Muledriver?

    Not around here. I walk the rivers all the time and never saw one before. Where do you see them? I wonder if they might be more common in more polluted rivers? I would love to see more photos of these strange constructions.

  7. I’ve seen a few similar — and occasionally more elaborate — ones around here — though not many — and always located very near major creeks or rivers. Believe it’s called a "Gaging Station." There is probably an underground pipe leading from the structure to the nearby river. If you go — from it — directly down to the river — you will probably be able to see some kind of in-the-water marking device. The National Weather Service (and other federal agencies) use the data to chart water flow — monitor possible flooding, and things like that. (Because of budget cuts and things — quite a few of the Gaging Stations have been put on "inactive" status …. that one looks like it might be in that category.)

  8. Thanks so much for this info Gary. Makes perfect sense. I am sure you are correct about this being a gaging station and water quality monitoring site.

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