Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Nelson, New Hampshire

Nelson was settled in 1767 and was known as Packersfield until 1812.

The first aqueduct in Nelson was built by Samuel Comings (1742-1826), a farmer, miller, and carpenter who lived in Packersfield from about 1780 to 1790.  It is unknown if this was a private aqueduct or served multiple customers.  Another resident of the town at the same time as Comings (both are listed in Nelson town records as taxpayers in 1787 & 1788) was Luther Emes, who later built aqueducts in Keene, Lansingburgh, and Boston.  It is possible that Emes learned about aqueducts from Comings, although no evidence of that has been found.

Samuel's second cousin, Stephen Cummings (1757-1797) constructed the Salem and Danvers Aqueduct.

There is currently no public water supply in Nelson.

1903 The Cummings Memorial: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Isaac Cummings, an Early Settler of Topsfield, Massachusetts, Compiled by Rev. George Mooar.
Page 106: 93. Samuel Comings 
Page 154:  136. Stephen Commings.  He died Apr. 25, 1797.  He was, according to Mr. Perley D. Cummings, "the inventor of a bit used for boring pump logs and aqueduct tubes of wood.  He built Salem Aqueduct, as well as a long one on Cape Cod."

1968 A history of Nelson, New Hampshire, 1767-1967, by Parke Hardy Struthers
Page 181:  Capt. Samuel Cummings. Samuel was an excellent mechanic and the first in town to lay an aqueduct -- had a small mill, just above the meadow, where he bored logs by water power.

2016 Morris A. Pierce