Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Charlestown, New Hampshire

Charlestown was originally settled in 1740.     

Vryling Lovell, John C. Chamberlain, Jaazaniah Crosby, Henry H. Sylvester, Henry Hubbard, and Joel Smith were incorporated as the Proprietors of the Charlestown Street Aqueduct in 1823. These men were very prominent citizens, with Hubbard being a Dartmouth graduate, congressman, senator and governor; Chamberlain a Harvard grad and congressman; Crosby with Harvard undergrad and divinity degrees, Lovell a Dartmouth grad; Sylvester chief clerk in the US Patent office.  Smith was a carpenter and joiner who lived near the others on Charleston Street (now Main Street), and would probably have been tasked with boring installing the wooden pipe, although no evidence has been found that this company built a system. 

Another group of residents did built a system using wooden and log pipes as recounted in the 1955 town history, but no date is given. 

The Charlestown Water and Sewer Company was incorporated in 1905 by Frank W. Hamlin, Fred H. Perry, William H. Tinker, Henry E. Cowan and Wallace E. Mason, "for the purpose of furnishing the people of Charlestown a supply of pure water for domestic and public purposes, for the extinguishment of fires, for manufacturing and all other uses."  The town bought the franchise from this company the following year for $800, and subsequently issued bonds to build a water system.

The water system is owned by the Town of Charlestown.

1823 An act to incorporate sundry persons into a company by the name of the "Proprietors of the Charleston Street Aqueduct." June 21, 1823.

1833 History of Charlestown in New Hampshire: From Its First Grant by the Province of Massachusetts in 1735, to the Year 1833, by Jaazaniah Crosby.  Crosby was one of the incorporators of the 1823 aqueduct.

1876 History of Charlestown, New Hampshire: The Old No. 4, Embracing the Part Borne by Its Inhabitants in the Indian, French and Revolutionary Wars, and the Vermont Controversy; Also Genealogies and Sketches of Families, from Its Settlement to 1876, by Henry Hamilton Saunderson

1905 An act to incorporate the Charlestown Water and Sewer Company. February 23, 1905.

1907 An act authorizing the town of Charlestown to issue bonds to defray the expense and fund the indebtedness arising from the purchase of the rights and franchises of the Charleston Water and Sewer Company and the construction of the water system of said town.  February 20, 1907.

1955 Second history of Charlestown, N.H., the Old Number Four: embracing a summary of the early history of the town from its settlement to 1876 and more particularly developments and events in the town from 1876 to 1954, by Martha McDanolds Frizzell
Page 25:  A company was formed many years ago by the owners of #56, #58, #60, #61, and #62 to bring water to their places from a spring at #207, above the east end of the pond. They laid a pipe line made of "pump" logs 8 or 10 feet long with a two inch hole bored lengthwise through the center and fastened together with iron couplings. The line divided near #60 and lead pipe was used to carry the water to the other farms. Lead pipe was laid about 1898 and the old logs were taken up still fairly sound but nearly filled by a mossy growth which all but stopped the flow of water. Some of the old logs may still be found at the spring. #56 is the only place using the spring water at the present time.  [These properties are shown on a map on the inside front cover of the book, and are near the intersection of Old Clermont Road and North Hemlock Road.]
Page 196-198: [History of the Water and Sewer Systems.]

1987 Charlestown Main Street Historic District Nomination | Also here |

2013 Third History of Charlestown, New Hampshire: The Old Number Four, by Joyce A. Higgins

2016 Morris A. Pierce