Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Hillsborough was settled in 1741, and is frequently spelled "Hillsboro."

The first water works in Hillsborough by built by Colonel Benjamin Pierce to serve his tavern in the Hillsborough Lower Village, which he purchased in 1804.  It is unclear when the water works were constructed, but were operating by 1824 and supplying water to residents in the Lower Village.

The Hillsborough Water-Works was incorporated on June 23, 1887 by William Birnie, Charles L. Goodhue, Thomas S. Birnie, John C. Campbell, George E. Gould, and Samuel W. Holman "for the purpose of bringing water into the village of Hillsborough Bridge, or to any other part of the town of Hillsborough in the county of Hillsborough, for domestic uses, the extinguishment of fires, and such other purposes as may be deemed necessary."  Birnie and Goodhue were water system contractors from Springfield, Massachusetts and also manufactured cement-lined wrought-iron pipe, which was used in this system.

The Hillsborough Bridge Village Fire Precinct bought the water system in 1897, and it was transferred to the Town of Hillsborough in 1963.

The water system is currently owned by the Town of Hillsborough.   

1824 Amherst Farmers Cabinet, June 11, 1824, Page 1.
Gen. Benjamin Pierce of Hillsborough entered his farm, and artificial grass.  His farm is under good improvement for the time he has occupied.  He has abundance of grass, much of which grows on land recently cleared.  The grass on one acre, where he cultivated potatoes, which obtained a premium several years ago, is evidence of the durable effects of high cultivation.  His dwelling house and other buildings are handsome and commodious.  His fish pond, formed by obstructing the course of a rivulet, passing through an elegant and productive garden, is hihgly ornamental, and abounds with trout--a delicious morsel, not eaten by himself alone, but shared with is guests.  He has turned the course of a never failing rivulet and formed a reservoir, from which by subterraneous aqueducts his own buildings and the village are copiously supplied with water.  His accommodations for bathing, both by shower and immersion, furnished with water from his aqueduct, merit particular notice.  That a judicious use of baths, particularly for ablution in the warm season, is conducive to cleanliness and health, there is at lease prima facie evidence in the neatness, energy, and activity of the General.

1887 An act to incorporate the Hillsborough Water-Works, June 23, 1887

1887 An act legalizing and confirming the vote of the town of Hillsborough at the Town-meeting held November 2. A. D. 1886, to exempt from taxation the system of water-works then being constructed in the town, October 25, 1887

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

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

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

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

1897 An act in relation to the Hillsborough Bridge Village Fire Precinct, and providing for the election of water commissioners therefor, and defining their duties, February 23,1897.

1921 "Water Supply," from The History of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, 1735-1921: History and description, by George Waldo Browne

1963 An act providing for a referendum for dissolving the Hillsborough Bridge Village Fire Precinct and transferring its functions to the Town of Hillsborough, May 14, 1963

2015 Morris A. Pierce