Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Stockbridge was first settled by English missionaries in 1734.

The Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Stockbridge were incorporated in 1796 by Theodore Sedgewick, Jaheel Woodbridge, Stephen Nash, Jonathan Ingersoll, James Francis, Joseph Barton, Henry Williams Dwight, Silas Whitney, Ira Seymour, Phineas Ashmun, Josiah Dwight, and Silas Pipoon "for the purpose of conveying water by pipes into such parts of the said Town of Stockbridge as they may judge expedient."  No evidence has been found that this system was constructed.

In 1831, Isaac and George C. Kellogg from New Hartford, Connecticut installed a lead aqueduct that served several families, but it was unprofitable and was essentially abandoned by 1840.  The lead pipe was removed in 1851.  An 1869 court case includes several details of the system.

The Stockbridge Water Company was incorporated in 1851 by Charles M. Owen, Daniel R. Williams, and Jonathan E. Field "for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of Stockbridge with good water," This company a water system and in 1896 was authorized to serve the adjacent town of Lee.

The Town of Stockbridge bought the Stockbridge Water Company in 1972 for $75,000.

Water is supplied by the Town of Stockbridge.  

1796 An act to incorporate Theodore Sedgewick Esqr. & others for certain purposes therein mentioned. June 15, 1796. Incorporated the Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Stockbridge.

1851 An act to incorporate the Stockbridge Water Company.  May 21, 1851.

1869 Sarah B. Owen vs. David D. Field, 101 Mass. 90, September Term, 1869, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Includes many details of the 1831 system.

1881 Stockbridge, Engineering News, 8:434 (October 29, 1881)

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

1885 History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men, Volume 2, Edited by by Joseph Edward Adams Smith and Thomas Cushing
Page 597:  Town of Stockbridge. In 1831 a company from New Hartford, Conn., laid an aqueduct from a spring on the hill over the river on the southeast. It was not a profitable enterprise, the supply being limited to, comparatively few families, and it became useless about 1840. Another company composed of citizens was chartered in 1862, and in a gorge beyond Ice Glen a small reservoir was built, into which several springs are conducted. The water is carried beneath the river into the village in four inch mains, and quite generally distributed. It is, however, inadequate at certain seasons, and a sufficiency is a great desideratum which no very distant future must meet—probably from one of the lakes. The present company pays ten per cent. dividends. In 1884 an artesian well was sunk to the depth of 660 feet without yielding a sufficient supplementary supply. At this present writing a second trial is being made in vicinity of the former, Whose result is still problematical.

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

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

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

1896 An act to authorize the Stockbridge Water Company to furnish water to the inhabitants of the town of Lee.  March 18, 1896.

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

1972 An act to authorize the town of Stockbridge to acquire the property and assets of the Stockbridge Water Company.  July 13, 1972.

2013 Stockbridge Water Company, Its Beginnings by Rick Wilcox

2015 Stockbridge Water Company Part 2 by Rick Wilcox

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce