Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Dover, New Hampshire

Dover was originally settled in 1623 when William and Edward Hilton settled Cochecho Plantation, becoming the first permanent European settlement in New Hampshire.

The Proprietors of the Dover Aqueduct were incorporated on July 2, 1823 by Asa Freeman, Jesse Varney, John Williams and William Hale for the purpose of conveying water by subterraneous pipes into the
Village of Dover.

The Dover Landing Aqueduct Company was incorproated on June 16, 1824 by Nathaniel W. Ela, Joseph Smith, Nathaniel Young, Jeremy Young, Michael Read, Daniel M. Durell, John Ham, Amos White, Alphonso Gerrish, Hosea Sawyer, James B Varney for the purpose of conveying water by subterraneous pipes, into that part of the village of Dover which lies upon the northerly and easterly side of the Cochecho river,

The Cochecho Aqueduct Association was incorporated on June 22, 1832 by Ezekiel Hurd, Samuel H. Anderson, Charles Young, Walter Sawyer, William B. Smith, John Burns, Stephen Evans, David Peirce, Andrew Steele, Joseph Smith, Henry A. Foot, Solomon Jenness, Joseph Morrill and Ezra Drowne for the purpose of conveying water by subterraneous pipes into the village of Dover.

The Belknap Aqueduct was incorporated in 1851 by Levi G. Hill, Joseph H. Smith, Moses Paul, and Charles W. Woodman "for the purpose of bringing fresh water into the town of Dover, by subterraneous pipes."

Another Belknap Aqueduct was incorporated in 1857 by Thomas H. Cushing, William Hale, William Burr, Wolcott, Hamlin, George Matthewson, Thomas Stackpole, J. B. Folsom, Samuel L. Wiggin, Zimri Wallingford and George D. Vittum "for the purpose of bringing fresh water into the city of Dover, in subterraneous pipes."

Yet another Belknap Aqueduct was incorporated in 1863 by Thomas H. Cushing, William Hale, Wm. Burr, Wolcott Hamlin, Thomas Stackpole, J. B. Folsom, and Zimri Wallingford "for the purpose of bringing fresh water into the city of Dover, by subterraneous pipes."

The city was authorized to construct water works and to purchase the three existing aqueduct systems in 1889. 

The water system is currently owned by the City of Dover.   

References
1823 An Act to incorporate certain persons by the name of the Proprietors of the Dover Aqueduct, July 2, 1823.

1824 An act, to incorporate certain persons by the name of the Dover Landing Aqueduct Company, June 16, 1824.

1832 Petition to incorporate the Cochecho Aqueduct Association, May 14, 1832.  Note:  An index of New Hampshire Legislative petitions has an entry for this as being filed May 14, 1774 by Cyrus Bangs, but this entry is a typo and has been corrected in the New Hampshire Archive Records..

1832 An Act to incorporate certain persons by the Name of the Cochecho Aqueduct Association, June 22, 1832.  

1851 An act incorporating the Belknap Aqueduct.  July 5, 1851.

1855 An act to amend the charter of the Dover Landing Aqueduct Company. July 13, 1855.

1857 An act to incorporate the Belknap Aqueduct.  June 27, 1857.

1863 An act to incorporate the Belknap Aqueduct.  July 2, 1863.

1887 Report on the Water Works at Dover, New Hampshire, from Engineering News, Volume 18:391 (November 21, 1887)

1889 An Act to amend the charter of the City of Dover July 11, 1889.

1889 Annual Report of the Water Commissioners of the City of Dover, New Hampshire | Volumes 19-28 | Volumes 19-41 |

2011 Historical Survey of Dover Water Works, including history of city's water system
A special meeting of the Dover City Council was held on 28 June 1887 to consider the building of a public water works system for the City. The public favored the undertaking and on 9 September 1887 the City Council authorized Mayor B. Frank Nealley to "secure and employ a competent and experienced engineer to ascertain water supply and cost of constructing water works."  The Mayor's friend, John Holland, Agent of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company, a primary employer in the City, recommended Percy M. Blake, a civil; engineer based in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. Blake conducted a preliminary assessment of the available water supplies within the City and on November 14, 1887 reported them to be sufficient to support a population of 25,000.  On 30 November 1887 the voters approved in a special election the construction of municipal water works in a vote of 1326 in favor to 346, opposed. Percy Blake was hired by the City on 8 May 1888 to prepare the plans and specifications. In the first months of 1888 the City negotiated with the three existing aqueduct companies operating in the City for the rights to their water supplies, property and equipment, which were purchased for the following amounts: Cocheco Aqueduct Co., $67,500; Dover Aqueduct Co., $20,000; Dover Landing Aqueduct Co., $13,000.

History of Dover Water Works Site

2012 Index to Petitions at the New Hampshire State Archives ca. 1680 -- 1819 by Frank C. Mevers, PhD. Page 117 shows record of Cyrus Bangs 1774 petition.





2015 Morris A. Pierce