History of the Cistern

The cistern is set in downtown Jonestown behind the Jones and Carter Realty office, the owners of the cistern. The family has long had ties to the City and their office is more than 100 years old. It once served as the original ranch house to which the cistern supplied water.   A nearby Jonestown resident that has lived nearby since 1961 verified that the chimney swifts have been using the cistern as a roost ever since she has been there.

For decades, countless swifts have depended upon, and benefited from the cistern, and the owners deserve tremendous credit for preserving this important urban feature.   Today, it not only benefits the birds, it is enjoyed by bird watchers and nature tourists from across the country, which helps support local businesses and improve the quality of life for the City’s citizens – the Chimney Swifts eat a lot of pesky insects!