Documentary History of American Water-works

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New England States Massachusetts North Adams

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams was first settled in 1745, incorporated as a separate town in 1878, and as a city in 1896.

The Adams North Village Aqueduct Association was formed in 1831 and built a system using wood pipes to serve the proprietors of the association.  A meeting of the association on October 15, 1831 noted that the directors were "authorized to repair the water course now the property of this association, to conduct it to the door of each individual proprietor, to admit other proprietors on such terms as they shall see fit and to assess and collect taxes to defray the expense of the same."  The proprietors listed at this meeting were Nathan Putnam, Thomas A. Brayton, Edward Richmond, Jeremiah Colgrove, David Darling, Ismael Spink, George Darling, Edmund Southwick, L. W. Sterns, E. S. Chase, William Bradford, and Joseph Howland. 

The North Adams Water Company was incorporated in 1848 by Jeremiah Colegrove, Francis F. Colegrove and George Millard "for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of Adams with good water."  No evidence has been found that they company built a system.

Another North Adams Water Company was incorporated in 1864 by Sylvander Johnson, John B. Tyler and Amasa W. Richardson "for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of the village of North Adams, in the town of Adams, with good water."  This company was given financial assistance by the North Adams Fire District, and began construction of a system in 1865 after a year's delay due to high labor and iron pipe prices resulting from the Civil War.  The system was acquired by the fire district on April 1, 1869, although the deed was never recorded and an 1883 state law was necessary to affirm the sale.

The ownership of the system passed from the fire district to the new City of North Adams in 1896.

Water is provided by the City of North Adams.


References
1848 An act to incorporate the North Adams Water Company.  May 6, 1848.

1864 An act to incorporate the North Adams Water Company.  March 22, 1864.

1864 An act in aid of the North Adams Water Company.  May 5, 1864.  Allows the North Adams Fire District to lend money to the water company.

1864 Springfield Republican, June 17, 1864, Page 4.
The North Adams water company have chosen A. W. Richardson, J. B. Tyler, E. Thayer, and S. Thayer directors, and S. Thayer clerk and treasurer.  They propose to bring water from the "north stream" through two miles of pipe.

1864 Springfield Republican, August 6, 1864, Page 8.
The building of the North Adams water works has been postponed another year on account of the high price of labor and iron pipe.

1865 An act for supplying the town of Adams with pure water.  May 2, 1865.  Authorized the North Adams Fire District to build and operate a water system.

1865 Springfield Republican, June 13, 1865, Page 4.
The North Adams water project has got into the hobbles.  The town of Adams is a sort of Siamese twins institution, consisting of the two large villages of North and South Adams connected by a five mile road, and the interests of the two are more likely to be diverse than those of Chang and End.  The water act provides that the town may insure a debt to defray the cost of the work, but the North Adams fire district is to pay it, the plan being similar to that which worked well in Pittsfield.  The act was to be accepted by a two thirds vote at a town meeting.  This year, by the usual alteration the meeting was held in the South village, and the southerners defeated the project, under the lead of their principal tax-payers.  At the last accounts the friends of the scheme were in Pittsfield seeking legal counsel how to revive it.

1865 Pittsfield Sun, July 20, 1865 Page 2.
North Adams.  At a Town Meeting held on the 8th inst., it was voted unanimously by ballot to accept the Act of the Legislature, passed May 5, 1864, entitled "An Act in aid of the North Adams Water Company."

1865 Springfield Republican, July 29, 1865, Page 10.
Work has been vigorously commenced on the North Adams water-works, the town having rescinded its refusal to guarantee the debt of the fire district.

1865 Springfield Republican, September 9, 1865, Page 8.
The North Adams water works are nearly completed.  The main pipe from the dam to the village is two and a quarter miles long.

1866 An act in aid of the North Adams Water Company.  March 21, 1866.  Authorized Fire District to to buy Water Company.

1867 Springfield Republican, May 31, 1867, Page 4.
The North Adams water works have always been a disappointment and furnished but a scant supply of water.  The difficulty was explained and remedied on Monday, by the discovery of a log of wood tightly wedged in the main pipe

1869 An act in addition to the acts in aid of the North Adams Water Company.  March 5, 1869.

1869 An act concerning the North Adams Water Company.  May 1, 1869.

1882 An act to enable the Commonwealth to secure certain aqueduct rights in the town of North Adams.  April 29, 1882.

1882 Springfield Republican, July 19, 1882, Page 6.
The deed of the North Adams water company to the fire district of their property transferred several years ago was never recorded it seems and the original cannot be found.  The deposition of S. Thayer, who was clerk and treasurer of the company, has been filed as a deed to the transfer, the other officers of the company being deceased.

1882 North Adams, from Engineering News 9:336  (September 23, 1882)

1883 An act in aid of, and relating to a water supply for, the North Adams Fire District.  May 16, 1883.  Ratified and confirmed sale of water company to fire district.

1885 "North Adams Fire District," from History of North Adams, Mass., 1749-1885: Reminiscences of Early Settlers, Extracts from Old Town Records, Its Public Institutions, Industries, and Prominent Citizens, Together with a Roster of Commissioned Officers in the War of the Rebellion, by Willis F. Spear

1886 Seventh Annual Report of the State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity of Massachusetts
Page 223:  North Adams Fire District.

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

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

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

1895 An act to incorporate the City of North Adams.  March 22, 1895.
Section 61. Upon the first day of January next after the acceptance of this act, as herein provided, the North Adams Fire District in said town shall cease to exist, and all the property, powers and privileges of the said district shall vest in the city of North Adams, and all the debts, duties and liabilities of the said fire district shall become the debts, duties and liabilities of the said city.

1895 An act to authorize the North Adams Fire District to issue bonds for the refunding of its notes and the extension of its water service.  March 22, 1895.

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

Records of the Adams North Village Aqueduct Association are located at the Berkshire Historical Society Library and Archives in Pittsfield, MA





2017 Morris A. Pierce