Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Massachusetts Greenfield

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Greenfield was incorporated in 1753.  

The Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Greenfield were incorporated on June 17, 1796 by Daniel Wells, Eliel Gilbert, Jonathan Leavitt, Abner Smead, and William Colman, "for the purpose of conveying water by subterraneous pipes into the Town Street in Greenfield."  This company brought water from several springs and served a large number of buildings. 

The Greenfield Aqueduct Company was organized in 1827, it is not known is this company constructed a new system or took over the 1796 company.  This company did buy a large spring in 1845 that expanded is water supply.  An 1854 law expanded the powers of the company beyond the 1798 general aqueduct law.

A law passed in 1870 allowed "Fire District One in Greenfield" to construct water work, which were celebrated by a Firemen's Muster October 20, 1870.  The pipe was laid by Solon L. Wiley of Greenfield, who would later build and own many water works.  Several additional laws allowed the fire district to secure additional water supplies.

A 1921 law allowed the Town of Greenfield to buy the franchise and property of Fire District Number One in Greenfield, and the town continues to supply water to the community.


1796 An act to incorporate Daniel Wells & others Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Greenfield.  June 17, 1796.

1854 An act granting certain powers to the Greenfield Aqueduct Company.  April 24, 1854.

1870 An act for supplying the town of Greenfield with water.  May 6, 1870.

1882 Greenfield, from Engineering News 9:38-39 (February 4, 1882)

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

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

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

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

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

1904 History of Greenfield: Shire Town of Franklin County, Massachusetts, Volume 1 by Francis McGee Thompson
Page 293: May 9, 1796.Voted "That the Town of Greenfield have no objections to the prayer of the petition of Daniel Wells & Others praying to be incorporated for the purpose of bringing Water into Greenfield Street being granted, provided that the said proprietors agree with the owners of the Mountain for the Water."
Page 328: [1845] This year the Greenfield Aqueduct Company purchased a large spring on the Colonel Russell Hastings farm (Maynard place) and will conduct its waters through three inch pine logs to the village. The spring is of sufficient elevation to take the water into the second stories of houses on Main street, and " will furnish a never failing supply."
Page 386-387: July, 1856. A public meeting of the citizens was held to take action in regard to a larger and better water supply. A survey of the Glen brook was ordered.
Page 405: May 28 [1869] The act of incorporation of the Greenfield Water works was accepted by the town. The town voted to guarantee $40,000 of the fire district water scrip.
Page 624: October 16, 1870. A small house belonging to F. B. Russell's heirs on fire, and received the first use of the Glen water from the street hydrants.  Great firemen's muster to celebrate the completion of the waterworks.

1904 "Greenfield Water Works" from History of Greenfield: Shire Town of Franklin County, Massachusetts, Volume 2 by Francis McGee Thompson

1915 "The Greenfield Water Works" by George F. Merrill, Superintendent of Water Works, from Journal of the New England Water Works Association, 29(2):149-159 (June 1915)

1921 An act authorizing the town of Greenfield to acquire the franchise and property of Fire District Number One in Greenfield.  May 24, 1921.

2015 Morris A. Pierce