Geyser is a man-made fountain in Old Fort, North Carolina
in McDowell County
. The fountain is named for Colonel Alexander Boyd Andrews, a North Carolina native who was the Vice President of the Southern Railway Company and one of the men responsible for the construction of the railroad between Old Fort and Asheville
, North Carolina, in the late 19th century.
The fountain was constructed in 1885 with a dual purpose: it was a feature of the Round Knob Hotel, and a tribute to the approximately 120 men who died building the railroad through this particularly treacherous stretch of land, that culminates with the crossing of the Eastern Continental Divide through the Swannanoa Tunnel.
The fountain was said to be eye-catching for railroad passengers ascending the 13 miles of track and seven tunnels that peaks at the top of Swannanoa Gap because it could be seen several times along the route.Andrews Geyser shoots water continuously to a height of about 80 feet. Its water supply is drawn from a pond located at the current site of the Inn on Mill Creek, a local Bed & Breakfast.
The Inn's property contains the original dam constructed by the railroad in the late 19th century, and the pond formed by the dam with the water of the Long Branch of Mill Creek. A 6-inch-diameter (150 mm) cast iron pipe runs from the dam, through a hidden gate valve, then underground approximately two miles downhill to the fountain. The water comes out a half-inch nozzle pointed skyward, and the 500 feet of elevation difference creates the pressure that drives the fountain.