Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States
District of Columbia Georgetown

Georgetown, District of Columbia

Georgetown was founded about 1756 in the state of Maryland and became part of the District of Columbia when it was formed in 1790.  It remained a separate municipality until absorbed into a new consolidated government of the District of Columbia in 1871.

The Georgetown Water Company was incorporated in 1814 with  Henry Foxall,  Daniel Bussard,  Clement Smith, John Grossler, John Eliason, William Marbury, Thomas Corcoran, Washington Bowie, Thomas Robertson, Ninian Magruder, Joel Brown snf William Crawford appointed as commissioners to sell stock for the "purpose of introducing a copious supply of pure water into Georgetown, District of Columbia."  This was during the War of 1812 and shortly before the British attacked and burned Washington on August 24, 1814.  No evidence has been found that this company built a waterworks system.

The Corporation of Georgetown formed a Water Board on May 9, 1859 for the purpose of constructing a distribution system for water from the Washington Aqueduct.  This system was operating in late 1859, with a Worthington water pressure engine serving a reservoir that provided water to the high service area of Georgetown.  Georgetown and the City of Washington were merged into the District of Columbia in 1871.

The Georgetown area of Washington is currently supplied with water by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

1814 An act to Incorporate a Company for the purpose of supplying Georgetown with Water, April 13, 1814.

1833 Alexandria Gazette, June 8, 1833, Page 2.
On the subject of water, we would mention that the heights above town, furnish very many springs of the most excellent water, which could be brought to the supply of the town, to the great comfort of the citizens.
There was lately laid before the Corporation,a proposition from a Mr. George Cameron for supplying the town with water from the springs on the heights in the rear of Mr. Mackall's. Whether the Corporation will take up the subject, time alone will determine.  It is certainly an object worthy of attention of the Corporate authorities of the town.--Georgetown Col.

1855 Chap. CXLV.--An act to authorizing the Corporate Authorities of Georgetown to impose Additional Taxes, and for other Purposes.  March 2, 1855.  33d Congress, 2nd Session.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said corporation of Georgetown shall have full power and authority to introduce intro said town a supply of water for the use of the inhabitants thereof; and to cause the streets, lanes, and alleys, or any of them, or any portion of any of them, to be lighted by gas or otherwise; and to provide for the expense of any such works or improvements, either by a special tax or out of its corporate funds generally, or both, at its discretion.

1860 "The Great Washington Aqueduct Bridge," by M.C. Meigs, January 27, 1860, from Scientific American 2(6):86-87 (February 4, 1860)

1860 Georgetown Water Works: Report of the Water Board of Georgetown, D.C., to the Councils, with the Report of the Engineer, February 10, 1860

1860 "New Aqueduct Bridge at Washington, D.C.," from The American Gas Light Journal 1(9):187 (March 1, 1860)  Unattributed reprint of January 27, 1860 Scientific American article by M.C. Meigs.

1862 Chap. LXXXII. An act to authorize the Corporation of Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, to lay and collect a Water Tax, and for other purposes.  May 21, 1862..

1864 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to authorize the Corporation of Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, to lay and collect a Water Tax, and for other purposes," approved May 21, 1862.  June 17, 1864.

2016 Morris A. Pierce