Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States
New Jersey Cape May

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May was formed as the borough of Cape Island in 1848, incorporated as Cape Island City in 1851, and as Cape May City in 1869.

The Cape Island Water Company was incorporated in 1854 by Joseph Ware, Newbold Trotter, John B. Hoffman, R. R. Thompson,  and W. B. Miller "to supply the city of Cape Island with good and wholesome water."  No evidence has been found that this company built a system.

The Cold Spring and Cape May Water Company was incorporated in 1872 by John C. Bullitt, General William J. Sewell, Jacob F. Cake, James Leaming and Return B. Swain "for the purpose of effectually supplying with water the city of Cape May."  

A water system began service in 1874 that used steam engines to pump water into elevated cedar tanks.  It is unclear if the system was built by the company or the city, but the city acquired the works at some point during or shortly after construction. 

Water is provided Cape May City.


References
1854 An act to incorporate the Cape Island Water Company.  March 2, 1854.

1872 An Act to incorporate the Cold Spring and Cape May Water Company.  March 22, 1872.

1882 Cape May, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D. 

1882 "Cape May City Water Works," Annual Report of the New Jersey Geological Survey

1886 "Cape May's Water Works," The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) March 14, 1886, Page 4.

1887 "Water Works Bribery," Trenton Evening Times, December 22, 1887, Page 3.

1887 "Acquittal of Mayor Edmunds," New York Sun, December 22, 1887, Page 4

1888 "Boodle in Cape May. A political Sodom and Gomorrah near the Salt Sea," The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), December 22, 1888, Page 3.

1888 "Cape May City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Cape May City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Cape May City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Cape May City," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1897 The History of Cape May County, New Jersey: From the Aboriginal Times to the Present Day, by Lewis Townsend Stevens
Page 428:  On March 22. 1872, the act to incorporate the Cold Spring and Cape May Water Company became a law, and John C. Bullitt, General William J. Sewell, Jacob F. Cake, James Leaming and Return B. Swain were the incorporators. The works, which were finally in possession of the city, were started in 1874.
Page 439: In 1886 a scheme was gotten up to sell the valuable franchise of the city water works to a company headed by General W. W. Taylor, a brother of the literateur, Bayard Taylor, for $22,000. At the head of the scheme was the Mayor, James H. Edmunds, who was a pronounced corporation man. At the time there were six hold-over members of Council, four for the sale, one against it, Joseph Q. Williams, and one who did not define his position, Charles H. Dougherty. After a three-days' campaign the people almost unanimously elected F. Sidney Townsend, Enos R. Williams and William T. Stevens as colleagues of Mr. Williams. Charles H. Dougherty, who was the president for year beginning in 1885, resigned, and there was a tie in the body over the matteró4 to 4. Subsequently Thomas H. Williamson was elected to the vacancy. He voted with the people's representatives, and thus the works were saved to their rightful owners.

1916 "What I Know About the Use of Graphite in Boilers," by Frank B. Speace, C.E., Cape May City Water Works, Graphite 18(6):4033 (June 1916)




© 2017 Morris A. Pierce