Documentary History of American Water-works

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New England States Massachusetts Medford

Medford, Massachusetts

Medford was first settled in 1630.

The first piped water supply in Medford was built in 1802 to serve two residents from the town pump, as described in a 1909 article.  No other information has been found on this system.

The town of Medford investigated two water supply schemes in the 1860s.  One option was to buy water from neighboring Charlestown, whose supply was from Mystic Pond.  The other was to take water from Spot Pond, potentially in conjunction with Malden and Melrose.  The Massachusetts General Court passed legislation approving both projects, but the town chose Spot Pond, and took over the franchise of the Spot Pond Water Company.  A celebration was held on September 21, 1870 to celebrate the opening of the aqueduct from the pond.

The town of Malden joined the Metropolitan Water District in 1900.

Water is distributed by the Town of Medford and supplied by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

1867 An act to authorize the town of Medford to procure a supply of water.  March 11, 1867.

1867 An act to incorporate the Spot Pond Water Company.  May 4, 1867.

1870 An act in addition to an act to incorporate the Spot Pond Water Company.  April 2, 1870.

1870 Lowell Daily Citizen, September 10, 1870, page 2.
Celebration in Malden.  Malden will celebrate on the 21st with a procession, banquet and fireworks, the opening of the new aqueduct.  The water, which is for the towns of Malden, Melrose and Medford, comes from Spot Pond, which has an average surface of 225 acres, which can be drawn down to a depth of seven feet.  It is 143 feet above marsh level, and is capable of furnishing 1,500,000 gallons of water per day.  About thirteen miles of distributing pipes have been laid, although but few supply pipes have been attached.  A stream can be thrown over any of the buildings in the town upon which a hydrant stream can be brought to bear, while a horizontal stream was thrown a hundred feet.  The works have cost $150,000, beside the land damages, for which amount water bonds have been issued to run twenty years at 6 per cent interest.

1882 Medford, from Engineering News 9:58  (February 18, 1882)

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

1886 Seventh Annual Report of the State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity of Massachusetts
Page 252:  Medford Water Works.

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

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

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

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

1909 "The Pump in the Market Place; and other water supplies of Medford, old and modern," by Eliza M. Gill, The Medford Historical Register, 12(2):25-41. (April, 1909)
Page 28:  The town pump furnished the only good water on Main street as far as the river. Two houses in this vicinity were supplied in a very ingenious and convenient way. August 2, 1802, the following vote was passed by the selectmen: "To allow Messr Ebenr Hall & Sam'l Beul to lay a Suction from the Town Pump Well to each of their houses, on condition that if the water fails or proves insufficient for the Towns use, then their pumps shall be rendered useless & regulated by the selectmen And also the street shall not m anyway be injured by laying said Suction."
Ebenezer Hall's house was on the site of the Boston & Maine Railroad station, and Samuel Buell's lot is the site of our City Hall.
Was this the precursor of the present system of piping premises and houses, and is there then nothing new under the sun?

1910 "Medford's Water Supply," by Fred L. Cushing, Water Registrar, The Medford Historical Register. 13(3):51-62. (July 1910)

1939 "The Story of Our Water Supply, Part I," by Edward P. Dennison, The Medford Historical Register, 42(3 and 4):41-54. (September, December, 1939)

1940 "The Story of Our Water Supply, Part II," by Edward P. Dennison, The Medford Historical Register, 43(2, 3 and 4):28-42. (June - December, 1940)

2017 Morris A. Pierce