Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Hallowell, Maine

Hallowell was first settled in 1762. 

Chandler Robbins, Jeremiah Dummer, Benjamin Poor, Joshua Wingate, and Samuel Carr were incorporated as the Proprietors of the Aqueduct in Hallowell on February 9, 1797 for the purpose of conveying water by pipes in such parts of the said South Parish in said Town of Hallowell as they may judge expedient.  The other parishes of Hallowell were split off two weeks later to form what became the City of Augusta.  This system may have been built based on the references shown below but more evidence such as deeds or local newspaper articles could confirm this.

The Hallowell Water Company was incorporated on June 15, 1878 and constructed a water works system.  The City of Hallowell was authorized to construct waterworks and to buy the system of the Hallowell Water Company on March 26, 1895, and two years later the Hallowell Water Commissioners were established.

The Hallowell water system is currently owned by the Hallowell Water District, a public municipal corporation established in 1921.

1797 An act to incorporate Chandler Robbins and others for the purpose of conveying water in the south parish of the town of Hallowell.  February 9, 1797.

1849 Maine Cultivator and Hallowell Gazette March 24, 1849
For the Hallowell Gazette
A True Fish Story
In the month of September last, I had occasion to repair in Aqueduct in Hallowell that was formerly, a part of it, laid with logs.  The logs were difficult to remove, being from four to six feet under the surface of the ground, and the water continually running through and around them from the spring.  They extended ninety or one hundred feet, and concluding the logs would be a safeguard for the pipe, if we could get the pipe through them, that was our next object.  We concluded if we could get a line through, we could succeed in getting in the pipe.  The water running freely, we tried to float a line through, which we did not succeed in accomplishing.  We then hit upon a plan that worked finely.  We caught a trout in the spring and attached a small fish hook to his fail with a small line attached, and put him in at the entrance of the logs at the spring, and he drawed the line through the whole length!  We then returned the trout to the spring and wishes him well.  C. W.  [Note:  Lead pipes were often pulled through wooden pipes to avoid digging up the ground and also to protect the lead pipe.]

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

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

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

1895 An act to supply the city of Hallowell with pure water.  March 26, 1895.

1897 An act to incorporate the Hallowell Water Commissioners.  March 10, 1897.

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

1909 Old Hallowell on the Kennebec by Emma Huntington Nason
Page 83: Very soon after his arrival [in 1797], Dr. [Benjamin] Vaughan writes to his brother of his plan to bring water to the house "by means of pipes coming from a reservoir to be made at the spring-house;" of a winding avenue for carriages from the main road to the house; of a garden "having a terrace to divide it into an upper and lower part, or into a vegetable and fruit part;" and in the same letter, Dr. Vaughan orders "several thousand slips of white currant trees" for this garden. All of these improvements were soon made, and the Vaughan garden became the wonder and admiration of the whole neighborhood.

2015 Morris A. Pierce