Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States New York Chester

Chester, New York

Chestertown is an unincorporated village in the Town of Chester in Warren County and was first settled around 1794.

The first water works were built in 1834 by Jonathan Fish, who distributed water to a few buildings from springs on the west side of Oak or Panther Mountain.  Charles Henry Faxon purchased the system in 1848 and expanded it to serve "about every family in the village."

The Chester Water Association was incorporated in 1844 by Charles Fowler, Thomas A. Leggett and William Hotchkiss "for the purpose of supplying the village of Chester, in the county of Warren, with pure and wholesome water."  No further information has been found about this association.

The Village of Chester built a water system that began operating in 1893.

Water is currently provided by the Town of Chester.

References and Timeline
1844 An act to incorporate the Chester Water Association in the county of Warren.  May 7, 1844.

1885 History of Warren County [N.Y.] with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, by Henry Perry Smith
Page 544: Chester Water Works. This system had its origin in 1834, when Jonathan Fish laid a few pipes and conducted a part of the present supply to a few of the dwellings here. The water came from springs on the west side of Oak or Panther Mountain. The present owner and manager, the enterprising C. H. Faxon, purchased the springs, fixtures and right of way of Fish in July, 1848, and in the succeeding autumn he reconstructed the works and supplied about every family in the village. In 1856 he bought a spring on what is known as the Leggett farm (now owned by John Cunningham). Mr. Faxon didn't bring the water from this spring to the village, however, until the fall of 1880. The two sources now used will afford ample water supply for Chestertown for the next fifty years. The mountain water contains valuable mineral properties, particularly iron, which is held in solution to an extent which renders the water wholesome without injuring it for any purpose. The water from the Cunningham farm contains lime enough to make it also an unmixed benefit. In 1848 Mr. Faxon built the reservoir in the rear of McAveigh's store.  About two-thirds of all the water used in the village comes through this reservoir. Its capacity is 5,000 gallons. The reservoir at the foot of Panther Mountain has a capacity for 11,000 gallons. About 2 miles of 1 inch pipe are laid. Mr. Faxon intends soon to enlarge the pipe from the Leggett or Cunningham farm.
Page 608:  Charles Henry Faxon. - In 1850 he was the contractor for building the plank road from Warrensburgh to Chester and has been president of the company since the death of Charles Fowler, who had filled the office from the time of its first organization. In 1848 he built the water works of Chester village, has owned and superintended the works ever since.

1892 "The Chester Water Works," Middletown Times-Press (Middletown, New York), October 18, 1892, Page 7.
Work to be commenced immediately, the contract awarded.

1893 "Chester's Water Works," Middletown Times-Press (Middletown, New York), October 19, 1893, Page 3.
The village now has as fine a system as any place can boast of.

2016 Morris A. Pierce