Sometime during the first half of the 1700s, a spring of fresh water between Baxter and Mulberry streets began to attract popular attention. The water was so popular for the making of tea that it was known as the Tea Water Pump. It became a regular landmark and is shown on maps and referenced in real estate deeds of the time. Other tea water pumps were located on Chatham Street and at Knapp’s spring near Tenth Avenue and Fourteenth Street.
The first mention of the Tea Water Spring appeared in the diary of Professor Kalm, a learned and observant man who visited the City in 1748. He wrote,
There is no good water to be met within the town itself; but at a little distance there is a large spring of good water, which the inhabitants take for their tea and for the use of the kitchen.
Shortly before the Revolution, the Tea Water Spring and its vicinity were made into a fashionable resort. A high pump with a prodigiously long handle was erected over the spring, and the grounds around it were laid out in ornamental fashion. The popular retreat became known as Tea Water Pump Garden.