Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States New Hampshire Amherst

Amherst, New Hampshire

Amherst was originally settled around 1733.     

An aqueduct was operating in Amherst from about 1800 to at least 1932, as shown by the following advertisements for shares in the local aqueduct and the 1875 newspaper article shown below.  In addition, the Annual Reports of the Town of Amherst record water payments to the Amherst Aqueduct Company at least from 1890 to 1932.  (Available online at the University of New Hampshire)

Amherst Village Messenger, June 20, 1801
Amherst Farmers Cabinet, March 27, 1830

The Town of Amherst was authorized to construct waterworks by a law passed April 22, 1913, but the law was repealed when the Amherst Water Company was chartered on March 17, 1915 by Charles P. Dodge, William D. Clark, Frank C. Taylor, Lindley F. Wyman, Harold H. Wilkins, George K. Walker, Frank M. Ackerman. and William W. Goodale.  

The current water system is owned by the Pennichuck Corporation, which was purchased by the City of Nashua in January 2011 but continues to operate as an independent company.

1819 Farmer's Cabinet (Amherst, New Hampshire), October 9, 1819, page 3
Died- In Natchez, Sept 5. of the yellow fever, Mr. Jesse Dunklee, Age 24, son of Mr. Jacob Dunklee, of this town. [Dunklee was one of several men from New Hampshire who went to Natchez to build water works.  See the entry for Natchez]

1875 Amherst Farmer's Cabinet June 9, 1875
Mr. S. P. Webster, who was at work on Friday excavating from the pipes of the Amherst Aqueduct, was seen in the afternoon to fall into the trench.  He was at once removed, but was found helpless, and although then able to speak his mind was not clear.  Upon removal to his home he remained unconscious for some twenty-four hours, and through his mind is now clear he is unable to speak or heat, but communicates by writing.  It is supposed the fall was occasioned by effects of the sun, in connection with heart disease.

1883 History of the Town of Amherst, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire: (first Known as Narragansett Township Number Three, and Subsequently as Souhegan West) by David Franklin Secomb
Page 881-882:  Dea. Cyrus Eastman  Having an inventive genius he was constantly making experiments, and in 1815, or thereabout, devised a plan for making lead pipe, for which he obtained a patent, and engaged in its manufacture. In 1819 he went to New Orleans in the employ of a company who had a contract to furnish the city with water.  But the undertaking proved an unfortunate one, as most of the company sickened, and some died there.  The survivors returned home poorer but, perhaps, wiser men.  When Manchester began to be built up Mr. Eastman was one of a company to furnish the inhabitants with water by means of aqueducts.  He also furnished the pumps and pipes for the use of the railroad companies between Lowell and Franklin.  [Eastman probably went to Natchez rather than New Orleans, as the latter city used wooden logs to distribute water which were mostly installed after Eastman had returned in New Hampshire.]

Amherst Hillsboro Telegraph, September 23, 1830

1913 An act to establish water-works in the town of Amherst, in the county of Hillsborough.  April 22, 1913.

1915 An act to incorporate the Amherst Water Company.  March 17, 1915.

2015 Morris A. Pierce