Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Claremont, New Hampshire

Claremont was settled in 1762.

The Claremont Aqueduct Association was incorporated in 1828 by Roswell Elmer, Austin Tyler, Timothy S. Gleason, Ephraim Tyler, James H. Bingham, Samuel Fiske, Godfrey Stevens and Cyrus B. Otis "to purchase and hold in fee simple or other wise so much land as may be sufficient to enable them to convey to any part of the Village in said Claremont by means of an aqueduct, the water from any brook, spring or springs of water, upon or in the neighbourhood of the hill southerly of said Claremont village, and not more than one mile from the Congregational Meeting House in said Village, and may purchase the exclusive right of springs within said limits so far as is necessary for the purposes of said aqueduct."  This company built a system that was still serving one customer in 1912.

The Cold Spring Aqueduct Company in Claremont was incorporated in 1835 by Timothy Eastman, Jotham G. Allds, Luther E. Stevens, Austin Tyler, Charles L. Putnam, and Arad Taylor.  No other information about this company has been found.

The Terrace Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1837 by Samuel S. Diamond, Thomas Ayres and Gilman Chase "for laying down and keeping in repair an aqueduct from the Kyes Spring, so called, in Claremont, to any part of the village in said Claremont."

The Bible Hill Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1872 by John Tyler, George H. Stowell, Edward J. Tenney, John L. Farwell and Frederick A. Tyler "for the purpose of bringing fresh water to the village of Claremont and the fair grounds and cemetery near the same, in the town of Claremont, in subterranean pipes."  This company built a system that was still serving 200 customers in 1912. 

Another small system was built by Homer E. Grannis in 1892, known as the Grannis Water-Works.

The Claremont Water-Works Company was incorporated in 1887 by John L. Farwell, Edward J. Tenney, Ira Colby, George H. Stowell, H. W. Parker, John T. Emerson, Herbert Bailey, Daniel W. Johnson, C. B. Rice, Edwin Vaughan, Oscar J. Brown, Albert Ball, and George H. Stowell, 2d, "for the purpose of bringing water into the villages in Claremont in said state by subterranean pipes."  This company built a gravity system using wrought-iron cement-lined pipes.

The town of Claremont was authorized to acquire or build a water works in 1899, and they acquired the Claremont Water-Works Company, although the exact date is not known.  The other small systems operated for some time, but their ultimate resolution is unknown.

The water system is currently owned by the City of Claremont

1828 An Act to incorporate a Company by the name of the Claremont Aqueduct Association. December 16, 1828.

1835 An act to incorporate the Cold Spring Aqueduct Company in Claremont.  June 27, 1835.

1837 An act to incorporate the Terrace Aqueduct Company.  June 28, 1837.

1872 An act to incorporate the Bible Hill Aqueduct Company.  July 3, 1872.

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

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

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

1887 An act to incorporate the Claremont Water-Works Company.  July 20, 1887.

1887 An act in amendment of an act to incorporate the Claremont Water-Works Company.  October 19, 1887.

1894 The Early History of Claremont, New Hampshire: A Paper Read Before the New Hampshire Historical Society, by Otis Frederick Reed Waite
Page 23:  We now have ... two aqueducts, supplying an abundance of excellent water for culinary purposes, and hydrants with pressure sufficient to carry streams over the highest buildings.

1895 History of the town of Claremont, New Hampshire, for a period of one hundred and thirty years from 1764 to 1894, Otis Frederick Reed Waite
Page 71:  Two aqueducts supply an abundance of pure water for drinking and culinary purposes, and hydrants distributed all about the village, with pressure sufficient to carry streams over the highest buildings.
Page 342:  On the twenty-eighth of August, 1891, the reservoir of the Bible Hill aqueduct, owned by John Tyler, in consequence of heavy rains, broke away, the water rushed down a ravine doing some damage to fields, and carrying off a small bridge at Draper Corner.
Page 480:  In 1872 Mr. Tyler built what is known as the Bible hill aqueduct, to supply Claremont village with pure spring water.  It runs to over two hundred families.

1897 An act to authorize the Claremont Water-Works Company to re-fund its present funded indebtedness, and to provide means for the extension of the works.  February 25, 1897.\

1897 Fourteenth Report of the State Board of Health of the State of New Hampshire.  Report on some of the water supplies of New Hampshire
Page 12: Claremont.  The Claremont water-supply is furnished by several companies. The Claremont Water-works Company has a series of three reservoirs on Green mountain, so-called, the two upper ones flowing into the lowest, or third, reservoir. The water flows by gravity, and the capacity of the reservoirs is 32,000,000 gallons. The reservoirs are open, and the water is not filtered before entering the mains. No particular precaution is taken to keep the water free from pollution, except that a small ditch is dug around the reservoirs, to keep the road-wash out. There is considerable surface drainage between the upper source of the water and the lower reservoir, and there are also some small brooks that flow into it. After showers there is complaint that the water is much roiled. This system was constructed some nine years ago, and cost $100,000. Seven hundred families are supplied from it. The pressure is 80 pounds to the square inch, and the supply is ample for fire purposes, with 65 hydrants. An analysis of the water shows it to be very good.
The Bible Hill Aqueduct Company, owned and operated by John Tyler, Esq, furnishes water from springs and one reservoir on Bible hill, Claremont. The reservoir is higher than the springs and is used only when the latter do not furnish a sufficient supply. There are about 30 springs, which flow into one head, all being covered, but the reservoir is open. The capacity of the system is 20,000,000 gallons, with a daily capacity of 60,000 gallons. The water from the reservoir is filtered through three feet of sand, frequently renewed. Mr. Tyler uses a two-inch pipe for his main, and the water runs from a small gauge, giving 60 gallons per day for each family, 300 being supplied from his system. There is a pressure of 55 pounds per square inch on this water, but the pipes are too small to supply the same for fire purposes, and there are no hydrants connected with the system. The system was constructed 24 years since, and cost from $30,000 to $35,000.
The third system, owned and operated by Mr. H. E. Grannis, is known as the Grannis Water-works, and has its source in a spring and small reservoir in West Claremont, to which place it furnishes water. The capacity is 100,000 gallons, and the water flows by gravity. The reservoir is uncovered and the water is not filtered before entering the mains. The system has been in operation four years, supplying 20 families, and cost from $2,000 to $3,000. The pressure is 47 pounds, but the pipes used do not furnish a sufficient supply for fire purposes. The water has not been analyzed.

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

1899 An act to authorize the Town of Claremont to procure by purchase, or under the power of eminent domain, or put in a water supply.  March 1, 1899.

1910 Twenty-First Report of the State Board of Health of the State of New Hampshire.  Water supplies of  Towns and Cities
Page 41: Claremont.—The town owns a water supply derived from streams situated on Green Mountain, together with an auxiliary system of wells dug along the bank of Sugar River. The latter, which are about fifteen feet deep and covered with five feet of earth, afford an abundant reserve supply, the water being pumped to the lowest of the stream reservoirs as needed. The main supply is drawn from the three brook reservoirs, the combined capacity of which is 32,000,000 gallons. Twenty and one-half miles of distributing mains are of cement and cast iron. Service pipes are of galvanized and cement-lined iron, supplying about twelve hundred families. The watershed drained by this supply is mainly wooded, with some pasturage, and with but one or two dwellings.
Besides the public supply there are two private systems of water works in Claremont; one, the Bible Hill Aqueduct, was built in 1870, the source being springs and a brook. The springs are excavated about a reservoir and the latter is also fed by springs in the bottom. Lead service pipes. About one hundred and sixty families are supplied by this system.
The other private system, known as the Grannis Water Works, built about 1892 and owned and operated by Herman Holt, Esq., is also supplied by springs. There are two small reservoirs from which this water is taken: one some 30 feet in diameter, and about three feet deep on an average; the other some 75 feet in diameter and of an average depth of about three feet.
Page 44:  Examinatin of Water from Spring Leased by Claremont Aqueduct Association.

1912 Second Report of the Public Service Commission of New Hampshire, for the period ending August 31, 1912. Volume II
Page 1388:  Claremont Aqueduct Company, Incorporated December 26, 1828, 1 commercial service.
Page 1424:  Grannis Water Works, Hermon Holt, Owner, Plant constructed in about 1895.  17 commercial services.
Page 1508:  Tyler Spring Water System, C. A. Rice, Owner. 165 commercial services.

Claremont, New Hampshire Aqueduct Association treasurer's book, 1828-1871, New York Public Library

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce