Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Connecticut Simsbury

Simsbury, Connecticut

Simsbury was incorporated in 1670. 

A 1935 account of the first water system says: "The earliest community water besides the usual wells, which almost every homelot had, was provided by a project commenced early in the nineteenth century. Contracts were let for supplying logs which were bored by horse power and laid end-to-end, conveying water from a spring on Branch (or Grimes) Brook a mile and a half to the houses on Hopmeadow Street. The pine logs soon burst and decayed and the enterprise failed."  No other information has been found about this system.

The Simsbury Water Company was incorporated in 1868 and built a gravity system that began service around 1873.  The company was dissolved in 1956.

The Village Water Company of Simsbury was incorporated in 1903 due to the inability of the inability of the earlier company to provide satisfactory service.  This new company built another gravity system.

The Village Water Company of Simsbury was bought by the Aquarion Water Comopany of Connected in May, 2000.

Water is provided by Aquarion.


References
1868 Incorporating the Simsbury Water Company.  June 30, 1868.

1869 Increasing the capital stock of the Simsbury Water Company.  July 8, 1869.

1873 Validating the Organization of the Simsbury Water Company, and Authorizing an Increase of its Capital Stock.  June 17, 1873.

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

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

1891 "Simsbury," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

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

1903 Incorporating the Village Water Company of Simsbury.  May 15, 1903.

1903 Amending the charter of the Village Water Company of Simsbury.  June 22, 1903.

1935 Simsbury: Being a Brief Historical Sketch of Ancient and Modern Simsbury, 1642-1935, by John E. Ellsworth.
Page 135:  The Simsbury Water Company was one of his pet enterprises, and to Horace Belden the people of Simsbury owe the fact that they had a good community water supply as early as 1872.
Pages 167-168: The Simsbury Water Co. and the Village Water Co. of Simsbury
The earliest community water besides the usual wells, which almost every homelot had, was provided by a project commenced early in the nineteenth century. Contracts were let for supplying logs which were bored by horse power and laid end-to-end, conveying water from a spring on Branch (or Grimes) Brook a mile and a half to the houses on Hopmeadow Street. The pine logs soon burst and decayed and the enterprise failed.
In 1868 an act was passed incorporating "The Simsbury Water Company". By 1872 water was being supplied to stockholders on a basis of one three-quarter inch connection for every five hundred dollars' worth of stock. The water was taken at first from a reservoir on Branch Brook and later from the running brook above. It was led through iron pipes along the same route as the old log pipes of several decades previous. The leading spirit in the enterprise was Horace Belden and at his death his management had conserved the tidy sum of some twenty thousand dollars, the income from which is used to maintain the system. The present control of the company is in the estate of the late George P. McLean. Many people in Hop Meadow still use the water but supplementary connections are gradually being made with the Village Water Company. The present General Manager is Mr. E. A. Betts.
Owing to the inadequacy of the old water supply both as to pressure and amount, it became necessary to organize a company with an adequate financial structure to carry out the new construction of dams and pipe lines required by the growth of modern Simsbury. The Village Water Company of Simsbury was organized, therefore, by act of the State Legislature in April 1903. The leading spirit in the enterprise was Lemuel Stoughton Ellsworth. The original incorporators were George P. McLean, Lemuel S. Ellsworth, William H. Whitehead and Joseph R. Ensign. These men, with the addition of A. T. Pattison, comprised the first directorate and L. S. Ellsworth was the first president. The management of the company in the ensuing years has been in the hands of public-spirited citizens who have given freely of their time and services without remuneration. A small dividend is paid the stockholders in return for the use of their capital.
The first dam and reservoir was constructed by T. H. McKenzie in 1903 at West Simsbury on Stratton Brook and was called the Stoddard Reservoir. It has a capacity of 1,600,000 gallons. The auxiliary Case reservoir was built about 1913. In 1922 the company bought out the West Simsbury Water Company and built a large dam and reservoir of 40,000,000 gallons capacity near the source of Hop Brook. The engineers on this work were Buck and Sheldon of Hartford. A modern aeration, filtration and chlorination plant is equipped for treating the water in accordance with state requirements. The quality of the water is notably pure and sweet. The customers of the Village Water Co. are on the meter system.
The company grosses approximately $18,000 annually from which expenses, interest and dividends are taken resulting in a small loss each year. Total assets amount to $255,000 of which the capital stock is $117,000. In 1934 the company's mains were extended south from Hazel Meadow to Weatogue.
The present directors and officers are: H. E. Ellsworth, Pres. ; J. E. Ellsworth, Clerk; J. R. Ensign, Vice Pres.; G. S. Hart; O. P. Case; C. R. Seymour, Treas.

1956 "Notice to Creditors of the Simsbury Water Company," Hartford Courant, May 4, 1956, Page 32.
Company dissolved by a vote of the Directors taken March 26, 1956.





2018 Morris A. Pierce