Documentary History of American Water-works

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New England States Connecticut New London

New London, Connecticut

New London was first settled in 1646 by John Winthrop, Jr.    

The Aqueduct at New Haven was organized in May 1800 by George Hallam, Benjamin Butler, Robert Allyn, David Frink and Isaac Treby, who petitioned for an act of incorporation which was granted that same month.  In July the company purchased water from Daniel Deshon's farm in Quaker Hill.   At least one source states that Benjamin Clark Gilman was involved in the construction of the aqueduct, but no direct evidence of that has been found.

The Aqueduct Company appears to have fallen into disuse in the late 1820s or early 1830s, but some water was supplied to the city from the Wilson Manufacturing Company's work, as described in the 1881 Engineering News reference below.

The City of New London constructed a new water system in 1872 which it currently owns, but contracts out water services to Veolia Water NA.

1800 Petition of George Hallam & others showing that they have formed themselves into a company for the purpose of supplying said town with water & praying for an act of incorporation, May 22, 1800

1800 An Act incorporating the Proprietors of the Aqueduct at New-London, May 1800.

1800 Typed Copy of Agreement Between New London Aqueduct Company and Daniel Deshon, July 2, 1800
Typed copy of agreement (1800 July 2) between David Frink, Robert Allyn, and Benjamin Butler, all of New London, Conn., directors of the company, and Daniel Deshon, agreeing to using the water from Deshon's farm in Quaker Hill, Conn.

1802 Certficate by treasurer of company on cost of the New London aqueduct., May 10, 1802.  The cost of the aqueduct has already risen to $8,515.13 and is not one-third complete.

1802 Petition of Joseph Howland & others, proprietors of the New London aqueduct co. showing that by their act of incorporation they were limited in their capital stock & that the expense of building the aqueduct has been greater than expected & that the spring from which water has been taken will not be sufficient & praying that they may increase their capital & the number of shares & that a committee may be appointed to assess damages to persons through whose grounds it may be necessary to excavate., May 21, 1802

1802 Minutes of the meeting of the Proprietors of the Aqueduct at New London, May 22, 1802

1802 An act in addition to & alteration of an act incorporating the proprietors of the aqueduct at New-London, increasing the capital stock of said company & providing for damages to individuals through whose grounds it may be necessary to may be necessary to lay pipes, May 1802.  Increases capital stock from $4,000 to $20,000.

1822 Connecticut Gazette, March 27, 1822, Page 1
10 Dollars Reward
Some evil disposed person or persons, having, on the night of Friday, the 8th inst, taken up and removed from its place, one of the line of Aqueduct logs, running across Coit's cove.  The Aqueduct Company hereby offer a reward of ten dollars to any person or persons who shall give such information as may lead to the conviction of the offender or offenders.  PETER RICHARDS, Treas.
N.B.--Boys and others have frequently amused themselves with knocking out the plugs in the aqueduct, in various places, they are hereby warned, that such acts are unlawful, and will be punished, if repeated.  N. London, 11th March, 1822

1825 Connecticut Gazette, June 8, 1825, Page 6
Committee on the petition of the New London Aqueduct Company, praying for a grant of a Lottery, reported against the same.

1833 Connecticut Gazette, October 16, 1833, Page 1
A meeting of the Proprietors of the Aqueduct at New London, will be holden at the Counting House of E. M. Frink & Co. in New London, on Monday, the 4th day of November next, at 2 o'clock P.M. for the purpose of laying a tax to pay the outstanding debts of said Proprietors, and to take into consideration, the expediency of resuscitating the works of said Proprietors.  A general attendance is requested. ISAAC THOMPSON, Chairman, New London, Oct 2, 1833

1864 Incorporating the New London Water Company.  July 9, 1864.

1871 An Act to provide the City of New London with a supply of pure and wholesome Water, July 5, 1871.

1881 New London, from Engineering News, 8:312-313 (August 6, 1881)

1882 History of New London County, Connecticut: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, edited by Duane Hamilton Hurd
Page 214: Water-Works.—In its supply of water for the city for all purposes New London surpasses most New England towns. An act of the General Assembly, passed at the May session in 1871, "To provide the city of New London with pure and wholesome water," was promptly carried into effect by a city appropriation of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in bonds and the appointment of an efficient Board of
Commissioners, composed of William H. Barns, J. T.  Shepard, Charles M. Daboll, J. C. Learned, and R. H. Chapell. Lake Konomoc, a beautiful sheet of water about six miles distant from the city, with about ninety acres of the adjoining lands, was purchased, a massive and substantial dam of earth, concrete, and mason-work constructed, raising the water ten feet above its natural level, and enlarging the lake to two hundred acres, insuring a most abundant supply of water at all times for the city. The works were designed by J. T. Fanning, consulting engineer, and built under the direction of W. H. Richards, civil engineer, who has ever since been in charge. As a bountiful supply for the city for the next half-century it may be said to be inexhaustible. Lake Konomoc's estimated capacity is 600,000,000 gallons ; its annual supply is 530,286,000 gallons, or 50 gallons per day each for 29,000 persons. It has a head of from eighty to one hundred and seventy feet, rendering the city steam fire-engines entirely useless.

1882 New London, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1888 "New London," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "New London," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "New London," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3

1893 "The High Service Water Works System of New London, Conn.," by Walter H. Richards, Engineer, Journal of the New England Water Works Association 7(3):148-151 (March, 1893) Water motor built by W.H. Long, Goodhue & Co.

1897 "New London," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1895 History of New London, Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast in 1612 to 1860, by Frances Manwaring Caulkins, Cecelia Griswold
Page 663: The New London Aqueduct Company obtained a charter in May, 1800. Capital, $4,000; increased in 1802 to $20,000. The earliest proprietors were George Hallam, Benjamin Butler, Robert Allyn, David Frink and Isaac Treby. This company entered with zeal into the project of supplying the whole city with water, and threaded all the principal streets with subterranean logs and pipes. The spring which afforded the supply of water is situated a little north of the town limits, on the west side of the road to Norwich. The undertaking was not sufficiently patronized to render it remunerative and after the trial of about a quarter of a century, it was abandoned.


© 2015 Morris A. Pierce