Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Lancaster, Massachusetts

Lancaster was incorporated in 1653.

The Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Lancaster were incorporated in 1797 by Eli Stearns, Joseph White, Jonas Lane, Samuel Jones, and Abijah Phelps for the purpose of conducting water from the springs at and about Quassaponikin Hill (so called) to habitants in a part of the town called the Neck. The system was built and operating by December, 1797, when a house was advertised for sale in Lancaster that included "a good supply of water in the yard for any number of cattle, from the Aqueduct leading from Bolton Hills to Lancaster," and "the supply of water is abundant, added to a quarter right in the Aqueduct from Bolton Hills into Lancaster."

The New Boston Aqueduct Company was organized March 11, 1826 to convey water in leaden pipes from the springs on George Hill to the dwellings of the inhabitants of New Boston Village, in the town of Lancaster.  This company was dissolved in July 1901, having disposed of its property.

The Union Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1871 by Nathaniel Thayer, Francis B. Fay, and Lucius L.Farwell, with the proviso that that the "said corporation shall not interfere with any of the rights or privileges of the New Boston Aqueduct Company nor lay any water-pipes south of the road leading from George's hill, near the school-house, to Bolton."  No evidence has been found that this company built a system.

The Lancaster Water Company was incorporated in 1884 by William H. McNeil, George A. Barker, Eugene V, R. Thayer, Williard Kussell, John T. Langford, Spencer R. Merrick and D. F. Smith.  This company built a system distributing water purchased from the adjacent Town of Clinton.

The Town of Lancaster bought the water system from the Lancaster Water Company on April 26, 1893 and currently provides water service to the community.

 

References
1797 An act to incorporate certain persons in the town of Lancaster for the purpose of conducting water from the springs at and about Quassaonikin Hill (so called) to inhabitants in a part of the town called the neck, February 14, 1797.

1797 Columbian Centinel, December 13, 1797, Page 1.
There is a good supply of water in the yard for any number of cattle, from the Aqueduct leading from Bolton Hills to Lancaster.  The supply of water is abundant, added to a quarter right in the Aqueduct from Bolton Hills into Lancaster.

1826 Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Town of Lancaster, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Furnished for the Worcester Magazine and Historical Journal by Joseph Willard
Page 8:There are various springs in town; from three of them on George hill, the village situated a mile south west from the church, is bountifully supplied with later, by means of an aqueduct consisting of leaden pipes that extend in different directions and branches, more than two miles.
A company was organized last winter by virtue of Stat. 1798, Chap. 59.  The whole expense of the work, was not far from $2000.

1871 An act to incorporate the Union Aqueduct Company in Lancaster, May 17, 1872.

1884 An act to incorporate the Lancaster Water Company, March 26, 1884.

1889 The Military Annals of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1740-1865: Including Lists of Soldiers Serving in the Colonial and Revolutionary Wars, for the Lancastrian Towns: Berlin, Bolton, Harvard, Leominster, and Sterling, by Henry Stedman Nourse
Page 279:  It was many years later that the use of lead or iron pipe for conducting water into dwellings became common here ; but two acqueduct companies, one incorporated as early as 1797, utilized the famous springs of Quasaponikin and George Hills, bringing water to the inhabitants of the Neck and the village of New Boston in bored logs, specimens of which in perfect preservation occasionally even yet come to the surface.

1895  Annual Report of the Officers and Committees of the Town of Lancaster  by Lancaster (Mass. : Town).  Includes annual reports of the water commissioners.



2015 Morris A. Pierce