Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Maine Camden

Camden, Maine

Camden was first settled in 1779.

The first water system in Camden was buit by Micah and William Hobbs, who moved to Camden from Princeton, Massachusetts in early 1800.  They contracted with Jacob Reed to construct an aqueduct made of hemlock logs that served several houses.  Another aqueduct was built between 1812 and 1818 by Reed, who was the principal owner.

The Proprietors of Megunticook Water Works was incorporated in 1852 by George Collins, E. G. Knight, M. L. Parker, William Merriam, J. H. Estabrook, Hiram Bass and Nelson Pendleton "to construct and build an aqueduct for the purpose of conveying fresh water into the villages of Camden harbor and Goose river, in the town of Camden from Adams' spring or fountain, in said Camden."

Another company of the same name and corporate powers was incorporated in 1859 by George Collins, Hiram Bass, Nathan Pierce, Bezealer Knight, Vinal R. Perkins, Joseph H. Estabrook, Elijah Glover, H. H. Cleaveland, James Seward, J. W. K. Norwood and W. W. Currier.

Neither of the above two companies are believed to have built anything.

The Camden and Rockland Water Company built a system that served both of those communities in 1886.  Additional information on this company and its system is on the Rockland page.

Water is provided by Maine Water.


References
1852 An act to incorporate the Proprietors of Megunticook Water Works. April 5, 1852.

1853 An act additional to "An act to incorporate the Proprietors of Megunticook Water Works."  March 12, 1852. 
SECT. 1. The Proprietors of Megunticook Water Works shall have power to construct and build an aqueduct for the purpose of conveying fresh water into the villages of Camden Harbor and Rockport, in the town of Camden, from Megunticook stream or pond in said Camden.

1852 An act to incorporate the Proprietors of Megunticook Water Works. March 22, 1859.

1859 Sketches of the History of the Town of Camden, Maine: Including Incidental References to the Neighboring Places and Adjacent Waters, John Lymburner Locke
Page 79:  April 7th, 1800, Micah and Wm. Hobbs came to Camden from Princeton, Mass.; soon after which, they contracted with Jacob Reed to lay an aquaduct at the Harbor village. The pipes were made of hemlock, spruce, and cedar, in sections of about ten feet in length, connected by chamfering the ends so as to fit one into the other. The conduits led from a spring at the base of the mountain, (directly back of S. G. Adams, Esq.'s, house,) and supplied several houses on the northerly side of the bridge, and crossed the stream between Mr. Chase's smith shop and the Bowling Alley, and thence branched off in different directions to the houses on the southerly side of the bridge. Between-the years 1812 and '18 another aquaduct was laid, leading from a spring in Mr. Jas. Richards' field, from which the more southerly part of the village was supplied with water. It appears to have been a stock concern, of which Mr. Reed was the principal owner, and director. The pipes were only conducted to such houses as complied with the terms of the company.* Some of the old conduits may be seen near the north easterly end of the Megunticook House, where they have become exposed to view.
* By an act of the Legislature, passed April 5,1852, a similar company was incorporated in town, called the Megunticook Water Company, but as the proprietors did not meet with deserved success in obtaining subscription to their stock, the enterprise failed.

1888 The Rockland Water Company, in equity, vs. The Camden and Rockland Water Company, 80 Me. 544, November 3, 1888, Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

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

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

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

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

1907 History of Camden and Rockport, Maine, Reuel Robinson
Pages 114-115:  1800. So large and important had Camden village become, that it was thought worthy of being supplied with water works, and this year Camden's first water company was established by Micah and William Hobbs, who came here from Princeton, Mass., April 7, 1800, and shortly afterwards contracted with Jacob Reed to lay an aqueduct to supply the Harbor village. The pipes were of hemlock, spruce and cedar in sections of about ten feet in length, connected by chamfering the ends, so as to fit one into the other. The spring from which these conduits led was at the base of the mountain, back of the present Hillyer cottage. The company supplied several houses north of the bridge and crossed the river near where P. H. Thomas' stable now stands, about midway between Main and Washington streets, thence branching off to supply several houses south of the bridge. It may be well to note here that between the years 1812 and 1818 another aqueduct was laid from a spring in Mr. James Richards' field, supplying the more southerly part of the village. Some of the old conduits have been found as late as 1893 in making excavations for buildings on the Bisbee block lot and elsewhere. This is said to have been a stock company of which Mr. Reed was the manager, and only such houses were supplied with water as complied with the terms of the company.
Page 459: 1886. The Camden & Rockland Water Co. was this year preparing to put its mains into Rockport and Camden villages to furnish the inhabitants water from Mirror Lake, and on Sept. 25, a town meeting was called to act upon the question of the town's contracting with the company for a supply of water for the extinguishment of fires and other public purposes, at which a committee consisting of W. A. Merriam, E. M. Wood, P. J. Carleton, Wm. G. Alden and Edward Cushing was appointed to take the matter under advisement.
Page 462:  At a meeting held Nov. 6, a proposal from the water company was presented to the town, the same being to furnish through a ten-inch main and forty hydrants, water for extinguishing fires in Camden and Rockport villages for $2,000 per year, which proposition was accepted.
Page 483:  1891. The obligations of the town of Camden shall be borne by each town in the foregoing proportion except its contract with the Camden and Rockland Water Company, which shall be borne by each town in proportion to the number of hydrants used by each.
Page 528:  1901. On the meeting of the Legislature in January, 1901, a bill for a municipal water charter for Camden was at once presented and referred to the judiciary committee. A large remonstrance from Camden, individual tax payers, was also presented, while the Camden & Rockland Water Company entered its appearance in opposition to the proposed new charter. The fight was a long and strenuous one. The legislative committee made a majority and minority report. The majority report, signed by seven members of the committee, was against granting the charter and the minority report, signed by three of the committee, was in favor of it. The majority report was accepted by both House and Senate by decisive majorities and the charter was lost. A great deal of excitment and feeling had been aroused in town by the agitation connected with the fight for the charter which made itself felt at the annual town meeting held on March 25, immediately after the legislative votes on the matter, and this meeting was one of the most turbulent and exciting in the history of the town. At this meeting A. F. Achorn was elected Town Clerk; F. H. Wilbur, Josiah H. Hobbs and Everett N. Duffy, Selectmen and T. J. French, Treasurer.
Page 529:  During this year the Camden & Rockland Water Co. erected the Stand Pipe on the side of Mt. Battie, connecting it with the rest of their system in Camden by a twelve-inch main. They also in other respects improved their plant in Camden, among other things putting in more and better hydrants, giving the town a service for the extinguishments of fires, second to none in the state.

2011 "Local Water Company to be bought," The Courier-Gazette The Camden Herald, July 27, 2011.
West Rockport A Connecticut water company has reached an agreement to buy the water company that serves most of Knox County.  Connecticut Water Service Inc. announced July 27 that it has reached an agreement to purchase Aqua Maine Inc.





2016 Morris A. Pierce