Documentary History of American Water-works

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New England States New Hampshire Peterborough

Peterborough, New Hampshire

Peterborough was first settled in 1749.

In 1822, Messrs Fox & Smith bought a farm near the Peterborough meeting house from "Doct. Carter," who was probably Dr. David Carter, which included a "privilege in an aqueduct."  Carter has been a physician in Peterborough from 1812 to 1820.  Timothy Fox and Samuel Smith were prominent residents and shopkeepers, but no other information about this early system has been found.

In 1847 the Peterborough North Cotton Factory entered into an agreement to buy water from a local party named Wheeler, and installed a lead aqueduct to deliver it to the factory buildings.  In 1873 Wheeler needed to use all of the available water and disconnected the aqueduct.  The owner of the factory brought suit, but the court decided that the agreement did not include language making it assignable to a new owner, and Wheeler prevailed.  

The town voted in 1874 to install pipes from the Phoenix Factory force pump to the Town Hall for fire protection. 

The Petersburgh Water-Works Company was incorporated in 1891 by Frank G. Clarke, Charles Scott, Thomas B. Tucker, Alden B. Tarbell, Ebenezer W. McIntosh, Charles H. Brooks, Henry K. French, George H. Scripture. William Ames, George W. Farrar, John R. Miller, and Daniel M. White "for the purpose of bringing water into the village of Peterborough by subterranean pipes."  The charter was renewed in 1893, but no evidence has been found that this company built a system.

The town was authorized to built water works in 1895, which were completed the following year.

Water is supplied by the Town of Peterborough.

1824 Amherst Farmers Cabinet, November 13, 1824, Page 1.
Before the committee began their tour of observation, they received a letter from Messrs. Fox & Smith of Peterborough, stating that they missed an expected opportunity of sending to the secretary, to enter their farm for a premium; expressing a desire to be considered as competitors for premiums for their farms, what and Indian corn.  Considering the regulation, requiring competitors to enter by a certain day desired for the conveniences of the visiting committee; and that this committee had not been subjected to any inconvenience by the omission; their names, and objects of competition were inserted.
Their farm, situated near Peterborough meeting house, contains 88 acres.  This with their dwelling house and buildings appurtenant, and privilege in an aqueduct, they purchased May 1st, 1822, for $2208, --31 acres in part of the land, and parts of the buildings, are are occupied by another person, as tenant in dower.  Doct. Carter left the place in 1819 under good improvement.  Between that time and the time of the purchase by Messrs. Fox & Smith it was leased, and deteriorated.  Very little manure was left on the place.  There are 31 acres in mowing and tillage.  

1876 History of the Town of Peterborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire: With the Report of the Proceedings at the Centennial Celebration in 1839
Page 40:  The Childs Family.  Amzi Childs.  He moved to Peterborough in 1841, and carried on, for thirteen years, the manufacture of lead pipe, the first manufactory of the kind in this region.
Page 184: Dr. David Carter removed from Marlboro to town in 1812, and remained until 1820.  He spent a few years in practice in Dublin, where he died, January, 1828.
Page 239:  In 1874, the town voted, for the security of their property, to lay down water-pipes from the Phoenix Factory to the Town-Hall, which pipes were to be connected to the force pump of the factory.  Individuals who owned property on Main Street raised by subscription between $1100 and $1200, to continue the same through the street, to the great bridge.  The work was completed late in the fall of this year, tried, and found to be in perfect order.
In less than two weeks after the pipes were laid it was brought to a successful trial.  A room in Henry K. French's building, just over the book-store, having been set on fire by an incendiary, at five different places, with kindlings, so as to insure a rapid fire, the water-works were brought into full play upon the same, in a very short time, and quickly extinguished the same, with but little loss to the building.

1880 Wilder v. Wheeler, November 1880, 60 N. H. 351, New Hampshire Reports. (1885)  A right of the right to lay down an aqueduct upon land of the grantor and raw water therefrom for the use of the grantee, does not convey an assignable interest unless words of inheritance are used, or it can be inferred from the language of the whole deed that such was the intent of the parties.

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

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

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

1891 An act to incorporate the Peterborough Water-Works Company.  February 19, 1891.

1893 An act to revive the charter of the Peterborough Water-Works Company.  February 2, 1893.

1895 An act to establish water-works in the town of Peterborough.  February 21, 1895.

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

1935 An act relative to the management of the water-works in the town of Peterborough.  April 15, 1935.

1938 Historical sketches of Peterborough, New Hampshire: portraying events and data contributing to the history of the town, by the Peterborough Historical Society

1954 History of Peterborough, New Hampshire, by George Abbot Morison and Etta Marinda Smith | Volume 2 |
Page 273: Capt. Timothy Fox was a selectman.  He came from New Ipswich, and while living there met Mary, or as she was commonly called, Polly Smith, the second daugther of Dea. Jonathan Smith, of Peterborough, who attended Appleton Academy in New Ipswich.  After their marraige in 1818, the Foxes moved to Peterborough, and Capt. Fox was a member of the firm of Smith and Fox which had a store on Carter's Corner.
Page 358: Samuel Smith, youngest of the nine children of William Smith, the early settler, operated a store at Carter's Corner for a number of years.
Page 463:  Physicians who have practiced in Peterborough: 1812-1820  David Carter
Page 923:  Names of Places.  Carter's Corner  Pine St. and Cheney Ave.

2016 Morris A. Pierce