Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Rochester, New York

Rochester was first settled in 1811 and incorporated as the Village of Rochesterville on March 21, 1817.  The name was changed to Rochester on April 12, 1822 and it was incorporated as a city on April 28, 1834.

The first water works was authorized by the Village Trustees in 1820 for an aqueduct of 30 rods (?500 feet) in length which was built by James Preston for $90.50.

The Rochester Water Works Company was incorporated in 1835 "for the purpose of supplying the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water."  James Seymour, Isaac Hills, Isaac R. Elwood, George W. Pratt and Charles J. Hill appointed as commissioners to sell stock in the company.

A second Rochester Water Works Company was incorporated in 1852 by Levi A. Ward, Isaac R. Elwood, Azariah Boody, Charles A. Jones, William A. Reynolds, E. Darwin Smith, Hamblin Stilwell, Samnul Miller, William Buell, John B. Robertson and Freeman Clarke "for the purpose of supplying the said city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water."

This company issued reports in 1853 and 1860 describing proposed water works, but nothing was done until after the Civil War ended.  At this time the company engaged Alexander Easton, whose primary experience was in horse railroads, to manage construction of a water system.  After significant work and expenditures, this effort was deemed a complete failure by 1871 and the company was sold at auction in 1872 to Thomas B. Rand for $24,000.  Easton died three years later in Guatemala while building a railroad.

While the city was holding discussions with Rand about rebuilding the works, the a board was water commissioners was established by the legislature that had broad powers with only some oversight provided by the Mayor.  After extensive legal wrangling, the water commissioners started construction of works in 1873.  The city's system included a Holly direct pressure system to provide fire protection in in the downtown area using Genesee River water, and a separate gravity system taking water from Hemlock Lake.  The Holly system was completed in February 1874 and the Hemlock system on January 23, 1876.  Unfortunately the two systems were interconnected, leading to several cases of impure water from the river entering the Hemlock conduits.  This resulted in several typhoid cases, the last in 1940.

Several court cases resulting from the various water systems have resulted in a great amount of information on the systems.

The Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company was incorporated on December 30, 1902 to provide water to several suburban communities. The city had a tenuous relationship with this company, often competing but the city also bought water from the company as the Hemlock capacity proved inadequate for the growing city.  After passing through several hands, the company was acquired by the Monroe County Water Authority in 1959.

Water is currently provided by the City of Rochester, which has a history brochure and a page about Hemlock Lake, the city's primary water source.  Some areas of the city receive water provided by the Monroe County Water Authority.


References and Timeline
1819 Rochester Telegraph, December 14, 1819, Page 3.
Notice is hereby given, to the freeholders and inhabitants of the village of Rochesterville, (being qualified to vote for members of assembly,) that a meting will be held at the south district school-house in said village on Thursday the 23d inst. at 3 o'clock P.M. for the purpose of raising money by tax, to defray the expenses of a village watch - of conducting water by an aqueduct into said village, and for other purposes.
Ira West, Isaac Colvin, Everard Peck. Trustees.  Dec. 14, 1819.

1820 Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rochesterville, June 22, 1820.
Voted that James Preston's contract for thirty rods of aqueduct be closed, and that the full sum of ninety dollars and fifty cents be paid the said James Preston for constructing thirty and a half rods which has been finished as by agreement.

1820 Rochester Telegraph, November 21, 1820, Page 3.
Notice is hereby given, that a meeting of the inhabitants of Rochesterville, will be held at the School-house near Mr. Sill's, on Wednesday, the 28th inst., at 6 o'clock P.M. to consider the expediency of raising money by tax to complete the Aqueduct in said village - to purchase land for a public burial ground - to pay a village watch - to purchase fire-hooks and buckets - to erect public hay-scales, and for various other purposes.
Matthew Brown, Jr., Moses Chapin, William Cobb, Charles J. Hill, Elisha Taylor, Trustees.  Rochesterville, Nov. 20, 1820.

1823 Albany Argus, February 11, 1823, Page 3.
The senate in committee of the whole, agreed to the bill entitled, "an act incorporating the Rochester Aqueduct Association."

1835 An act to incorporate the Rochester water works company.  April 29, 1835.

1838 A Report of the Mayor, to the Common Council of the City of Rochester, on the Subject of Supplying the City with Water: Agreeable to a Resolution of the Board, of the 16th of January, 1838, by Elisha Johnson, Mayor.  

1840 Proceedings of the Common Council of the City of Rochester, October 20, 1840.
Resolved That there be constructed hydraulic water works from the floom of Mill race in Aqueduct street to the corner of Mill and Work street to be constructed with iron pipes six inches in diamater and half an inch in thickness together with two hydrants, one at the corner of Buffalo and Aqueduct street and one at the west corner of Mil and Works streets.
Resolved That the City Superintendent be directed to close a contract with A. J. Langworthy for the iron pipes and hydrants for the water works.

1841 Proceedings of the Common Council of the City of Rochester, March 1, 1841.
Ald. Arnold from the fire department committee reported in favor of allowing the account of A. J. Langworthy for iron pipe and hydrants at $857.15, agreeably with contract is accepted.

1850 Letter from William A. Reynolds to N. Gray, Esq., June 8, 1850, Publications of the Rochester Historical Society, 21:96-97 (1943)
My Brother owns an Hydraulic Building on the south side of Buffalo St nearly opposite the Arcade Buildings, used as an oil mill in which I have just been putting up one of "Hubbards patent Rotating Engines" No 9 which is connected with the Arcade Property by large Iron pipes underground, with attachments for hose at different points in and about the buildings - this is nearly ready for operation, and has cost me several hundred dollars.

1852 An act to incorporate the Rochester Water Works Company.  April 16, 1852.

1853 "Water works survey made by Mr. Battin and James E. Bruff," Rochester Daily Union, May 25, 1853, Page 2.

1853 Rochester Daily Democrat, May 26, 1853, Page 2.
 Mr. Battin, an experienced engineer, has been engaged to make the necessary surveys for the contemplated Water Works in this city.

1853 An act to amend the act to incorporate the Rochester Water Works Company, passed April 16, 1852.  May 26, 1853.  Authorized the city to sell $200,000 worth of bonds to aid the company.

1853 Buffalo Daily Courier, September 5, 1853, Page 2.
We learn from the Rochester American that Gen. C. B. Stuart, Daniel Marsh, Esq., and E. W. Serrell, Esq., of the firm of Stuart, Serrell & Co., New York, are at present in Rochester, engaged in making surveys for the Rochester Water Works Co. On the 1st October they will be prepared to report upon quite a number of different routes. It is their purpose, we we learn, to make a thorough examination in respect to every possible source of supply. It is well that all the information, within reach, should be elicited on the subject.

1853 Engineers' Report for Supplying the City of Rochester with Water from Various Sources: Made to the Directors of the Rochester Water Works Co by Charles B. Stuart and Daniel Marsh, Firm of Stuart, Serrell & Co., Civil Engineers, New York.  October 1, 1853.

1853 Extracts Relative to Ball's Patent Indestructible Water Pipe as a Substitute for Cast-iron Distribution Pipe: Taken from the Report Made to the Directors of the Rochester Water Works Co. October 1st, 1853

1853 "The Water Works Project," Rochester Daily Democrat, October 6, 1853, Page 2.  Mr. Batten to bring water from Honeoye Lake for $170,000.

1855 "The Water Works Meeting," Rochester Daily Union, October 19, 1855, Page 3.

1855 "Statement of the Water Works Company," Rochester Daily Union, October 20, 1855, Page 3.  Includes details of the original 1852 company and its proposal.

1856 An act to repeal the twenty-sixth section of "An act to incorporate the Rochester Water Works Company" passed April 16th, 1852; and also to repeal an act amending said twenty-sixth section, passed May 26th 1853.  April 1, 1856.

1859 "Philadelphia firm interested in building water works for city: Lake Ontario and Hemlock Lakes to be considered as sources of supply," Rochester Union & Advertiser, February 3, 1859, Page 3.

1860 "The Use of Wood for Water Pipes--Interesting Experiments," Rochester Union & Advertiser, March 9, 1860, Page 2.

1860 An act to authorize the city of Rochester to sell the stock of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Company, and to assist in the construction of water works.  April 16, 1860.

1860 Rochester Union & Advertiser, August 13, 1860, Page 2
I. S. Hobbie engaged in building the Elmira Works

1860 Report on the introduction of a supply of pure water into the city of Rochester, September, 1860 by Daniel Marsh | Also here | Note:  These are both missing pages 32 and 33

1860 "Water Works for the City," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1860=61, Page 80, October 2, 1860.  Summary of the Marsh report.

1860 "Notice.- Supply of Water for the City of Rochester," The American Gas-Light Journal, 2(21):129 (November 1, 1860)

1860 "Water Works Proposals," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1860-1861, Page 114-116, December 28, 1860.  Describes 3 proposals received in response to advertisements.

1861 "Proposed Water Supply for Rochester, N. Y.," The American Gas Light Journal, 2:221-221 (January 15, 1861)

1861 New York Commercial Advertiser, January 19, 1861, Page 3.
The Rochester Water Works Company propose to construct water works for the city as a private corporation.  They will bring the water from the outlet of Hemlock Lake, in Livingston county, to the ridge South-east of the city, where there will be large distributing reservoirs.  The supply will be at least two million gallons per day, and the capacity of the water works may be increased in the future to an indefinite extent.  The company will lay in the streets of the city water pipes, as the Common Council shall direct, and put of 400 hydrants for fire purposes.  There will be 54 miles of distribution pipe and these hydrants located so as to be of the most service in the case of fire.  The company also agree to furnish water to ten fountains in the public parks of the city and supply the public schools, hospitals, asylums, &c.  In return for this, the city is to pay the company $50 per annum for each hydrant supplied with water as above.

1861 "Draft Contract with the Water Works Company," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1860-1861, Page 123, January 22, 1861.

1861 "Contract with the Water Works Company," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1860-1861, Pages 126-127, January 25, 1861.

1861 Rochester Union & Advertiser, December 17, 1861, Page 2
I. S. Hobbie and Lansing B. Swan, contractors of the Elmira Water Works, which were completed successfully.

1862 Rochester Union & Advertiser, May 7, 1862, Page 2
C. K. Hobbie, I. S. Hobbie and J. M. Hatch elected to board of directors of Elmira Water Works.

1863 An act to amend the charter of the Rochester Water Works Company, and to authorize such company to borrow money, and to secure the payment thereof by bonds and mortgage.  April 17, 1863

1863 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1863-1864, Page 44, June 2, 1863.
By Ald. D. D. T. Moore - Resolved that the contract between the Mayor and Common Council of the city of Rochester and the Rochester Water Works Company, made on the 18th day of January 1861, be and the same is hereby extended from the 1st day of January 1864 to the 1st day of January 1866, in the accordance with petition of Committee of said Water Works Company, presented this evening. - Adopted.

1864 Plan to bring Hemlock Lake water to Rochester discussed, Rochester Union and Advertiser, February 19, 1864, Page 2.

1864 "Report of the Committee on the Lockport Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1864-1866, Page 91, July 16, 1864.  The first Holly water works was installed in Lockport in 1863.

1864 "The Rochester Common Council and the Lockporters," Buffalo Commercial, July 21, 1864, Page 3.

1866 "Water Works," Rochester Union & Advertiser, July 7, 1866, Page 2.
It is talked in the streets that a Mr. Easton, of New Haven, has purchased of the "Rochester Water Works Co.," the right to construct water works for this city, on his own account pretty much.

1866 "Report on the Subject of Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-1867, Pages 77-78, July 16, 1866.  Includes the text of the contract with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Water Works Company which was adopted at this meeting.

1866 "Report on Water-Works," by Daniel Marsh, Engineer R. W. W. Co., Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-68, Page 10, September 18, 1866.  The whole of the iron pipe to complete the Rochester Water-Works has been contracted for and is now being cast.

1866 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-67, Page 161,  December 12, 1866.
By Ald. Guggenheim - Whereas, on or about July 16, a contract was made between the City of Rochester and "the Rochester Water Works Company;" and
Whereas, the party of the second part agreed to commence the construction of Water Works by tbe 15th day of August last, and to prosecute the same with all reasonable diligence until the same shall be fully completed; and
Whereas, it appears that the party of the second. part did not seriously commence the construction of said works; therefore,
Resolved, That a committee of 1hree be and is hereby appointed to investigate how far he "Rochester Water Works Company" have fulfilled their contract, said committee having power to go to Smithtown and report as early as possible; also, that no member or the Water Works Committee shall be placed on the special committee. Adopted.
The President appointed as such committee Ald. Guggenheim, Cope and, Remington.

1867 "Report of Committee on Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-67, Page 168, January 8, 1867.

1867 "Report of the Special Committee on Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-67, Page 175, January 22, 1867.

1867 New York Herald, March 5, 1867, Page 9.
Rochester Water Works Company.- Rochester, N. Y., February 27, 1867.- Sealed proposals will be received at the office of this company until Saturday, 9th March next, at noon, for digging and back filling 32 miles trenches in the streets of the city of Rochester, for laying the pipe of the Rochester Water Works Company.
A map and specifications may be seen at the company office. Daniel Marsh, Chief Engineer

1867 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to incorporate the Rochester Water-Works Company," passed April sixteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, to increase the capital stock, and authorizing the city of Rochester to aid in the construction of said works, pursuant to section twenty-six of said act.  March 26, 1867.

1867 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1866-67, Page 212, March 28, 1867.
The Clerk presented the following:
MAYOR'S OFFICE, March 28th, 1867.  Gentlemen of the Cornmon Council:
The great importance to the city of the Water Works about to be constructed, and of its answering fully the wants of the community, I would suggest the propriety of increasing the size of the conduit to be used from the lake to the reservoir that in place of twenty inches, the conduit be made twenty-four inches, and the capacity of the reservoir be increased to thirty million gallons; and further, that the water be taken from a point much nearer Hemlock Lake than heretofore agreed upon.  With these changes in the contract, the work will be of such character, it is believed, to meet the just expectations of citizens generally.
I likewise deem it of vital importance that the city take an interest in the stock sufficient to give them a voice in the management; this must be so apparent as not to need argument. The uses for fire purposes alone would require this safeguard. S. W. D. MOORE.

1867 New York Commercial Advertiser, April 15, 1867, Page 2.
Water Works in Rochester.- The first pipe for the Rochester Water Works was laid on Friday last.  The water is to be brought from Hemlock Lake.  The first pipe was laid at the crossing of the Erie Canal.  The pipe is sixteen inches in diameter.  The contractor says that at least one hundred car loads of iron pipe were on the way to that city, and day by day from that time forward the citizens of Rochester would have ocular demonstration that the Water Works were being constructed.

1867 "Report on Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1867-68, Page 54, June 26, 1867.

1867 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1867-68, Page 72, July 9, 1867.
By Ald. Quin, - Whereas the Water Works Company has laid its main pipe in Alexander street, from Monroe Avenue to East Avenue, upon the sewer in said street, without authority, and the same may result in damage, inconvenience and expense to property owners on said street, and to the city, therefore,
Resolved, That said Water Works Company is hereby forbidden to lay any of its mains upon any sewer in this city, or to injure or interfere with any sewer, in the construction its works, or laying any of its pipes within the limits of said city. This resolution shall not be construed as prohibiting said Company from laying its mains or laterals across any public sewer, when necessary, provided the same be done under the direction of the Sewer committee. Referred to committee on Reservoirs and Water Works. .

1868 "An act to legalize the proceedings of the Rochester Water Works Company" and "An act to repeal certain acts in relation to the Rochester Water Works Company," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1867-68, Pages 190-191, March 17, 1868.

1868 An act to ratify, legalize and confirm the proceedings of "The Rochester Water Works Company."  April 16, 1868

1868 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to amend an act entitled 'An act to incorporate the Rochester Water Works Company,' passed April sixteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, to increase the capital stock, and authorizing the city of Rochester to aid in the construction of said works, pursuant to section twenty-six of said act," passed March twenty-sixth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and to repeal certain sections of an act entitled "An act to authorize the city of Rochester to sell the stock of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Rail Road Company, and to assist in the construction of water works."  April 17, 1868

1868 Cleveland Leader, July 6, 1868, Page 1.
Friday morning, while a team was drawing a load of the wood pipe for the Rochester water works, on Exchange street, near the Genesee Valley Depot, one of the rear wheels gave out and down tumbled the pipe, rolling into the gutter.  In the topmost one lay the driver, who was rolled over and over against his will, and with no possible idea of where he was going.  He crawled out and views the situation, shook himself to see if no bones were broken, and then indulged in a hearty laugh at the accident.  The team very sensibly stood still, awaiting further orders.

1868 "Chief Engineer's Report, by Daniel Marsh, July 31, 1868," The Daily Evening Telegraph, September 3, 1868, Page 5.

1868 "Rochester City Water Works, Report of Messrs. W. Milner Roberts and John C. Trautwine on the Rochester Water Works, October 1868," Rochester Union & Advertiser, December 9, 1868, Page 1.  Roberts and Trautwine were well-known engineers.

1869 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to amend the charter of the Rochester Water works Company, and to authorize such company to borrow money and to secure the payment thereof by bonds and mortgage," passed April seventeenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.  April 20, 1869

1869 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1869-70, Page 88, June 2, 1869.
By Ald. Qualtrough - Whereas, The Rochester Water Works Company have determined to take water for the supply and of our city at a point above Honeoye Outlet thereby render it certain that we shall obtain the pure water of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes; therefore,
Resolved, That the Board of Common Council of the city of Rochester, will heartily co-operate with the said Rochester Water Works Co. in the construction and completion of said works. Adopted.

1869 "Special Meeting on Water Works," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1869-70, Pages 229-230, November 5 & 6, 1869. 
The original contract with Alexander Easton has been abandoned, and a new contract made with Frederick Easton, who is now in Europe, but who, previous to his departure, executed a power to attorney to Alexander Easton to prosecute the work for him.  Alexander Easton subsequently executed a power to attorney to Richard Merrington, who is now prosecuting the work under the authority thus delegated to him.

1869 "Water for Fire Protection," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1869-70, Page 237, November 30, 1869. 

1869 "Report from Bond Holders of the Rochester Water Works Company," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1869-70, Page 239, November 30, 1869. 

1870 "Report on the feasibility of furnishing the county buildings with water," The Brockport Republic, January 20, 1870, Pages 3 & 4.  Recommends installation of a Holly pumping engine on the Genesee River to supply water to the county buildings.

1870 The Brockport Republic, January 27, 1870, Page 4.
Monroe County Board of Supervisors. Mr. Wilkin, representing the Rochester Water Works Company, addressed the board in reference to that company's furnishing water to the county institutions.

1870 The Brockport Republic, February 3, 1870, Page 3.
Monroe County Board of Supervisors. The special order of business for this hour, viz., the consideration of the report of the water works committee, was brought before the board, and after listening to the remarks of Hon. H. R. Selden, who represented the Rochester water works company, the further consideration was, on the motion of Mr. Montgomery, postponed until the next meeting of the board.

1870 Act of incorporation and reports of the Rochester Water Works Company. : Financial Agents for the sale of the Bonds, Utley & Dougherty, Bankers & Brokers.  February, 1870.

1870 "Gold Loan of the Rochester Water Works Company," New York Evening Post, February 12, 1870, Page 3. 
Each Bond Represents Completed Work.
The Bonds of the Rochester Water Works Company will inevitably take rank with and command the price of the best Water Bonds in the country, and the opportunity to secure at the low rate we are now offering them at one that should commend itself to those seeking a safe, secure, local investment.

1870 Complete notes of city pipe Rochester water works showing street connections, hydrants, gates and service connections, with diagrams of sections of streets, by Horace Jones | Held by New York Historical Society Library |

1870 The New York Times, September 27, 1870, Page 1.
Rochester, Sept. 26.- The last conduct pipe of the Rochester water-works was laid today, making a complete line of seventeen miles from Smithton Creek to Rochester.

1870 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 8, 1870, Page 4.
The laying of the pipe for the Rochester water-works has been completed, making a line of seventeen miles.

1870 The Brockport Republic, November 10, 1870, Page 1.
Monroe County Board of Supervisors. Annual Session. Thursday, Oct. 12, 1870.  A communication was received from W. H. McRae, Secretary of the Rochester Water Works Company, announcing that the Company was now prepared to let on the water, and asking the Board to appoint a committee to confer with them as to the rates and amount of water required.
By Mr. Montgomery - Resolved, That the respective chairmen of the committees on penitentiary, Alms House, Insane Asylum and Court House and Jail, be requested to ascertain and report when and upon what terms water for the county institutions can be obtained from the Rochester Water Works Company, and that the communication just read be referred to them.  Adopted.

1871 Rochester Water-Works Company Agt. John Wood, January Term, 1871, New York Supreme Court, Fourth Department

1871 "Water for Rochester," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 3, 1871, Page 4.  Text of bill introduced by George D. Lord naming five water commissioners that would serve unlimited terms, with any vacancies filled by the Common Council.  The plan of the commissioners would be subject to approval by local voters.

1871 "Common Council Protest against proposed Act to Create a Board of Water Commissioners," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1870-71, Page 291, March 21, 1871.

1871 "The Water Bill," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 18, 1871, Page 4.  Letter from "Tax-payer" and comments.

1871 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 25, 1871, Page 4.
The Water Bill was recalled from the hands of the governor by Senator Lord, after it had passed both houses of the legislature, at the instance of the Citizens Association, an organization composed of many of our largest tax-layer.  We trust that the Water Works Company will not push their enterprise with the utmost dispatch.  The bill which was abandoned was very defective: but that affords no reason for our city to be deficient of pure water. 

1871 "Water Works Company - Legal Proceedings," Rochester Union & Advertiser, August 17, 1871, Page 2.  Company served with papers to appoint receiver.

1871 "Rochester Water-Works," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 18, 1871, Page 4. 

1871 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-72, Page 165, August 22, 1871.
LOCKPORT, Aug. 23d, 1871.
N. A. Stone, Esq., Alderman, Rochester, N. Y.:
In reply to your letter of inquiry, whether it is practicable to supply your city with water from Lake Ontario by the Holly system, I beg to state that this company has
contract for machinery for the water supply and fire protection of Atlanta, Ga. The machinery will be set up four miles distant and 300 feet below the city. In the contract we guarantee to supply at that elevation and sixty feet in addition for household purposes. We also guarantee to throw fire streams direct from hydrants at the altitude of 300 feet above the pumps. This, you will observe, is substantially the requirement for Rochester, and what we can do in Atlanta we can most assuredly perform in your city.
The question of the cost of the machinery cannot be answered without more definite information than I possess upon many points which affect the question.
This company will be happy to respond to the call of Rochester for water, and meanwhile I am, very respectfully yours,
T. T. FLAGLER, President.

1871 "Rochester Water Works Company," Democrat and Chronicle, September 12, 1871, Page 4.  Report of receiver appointed to sell company.

1871 "The Water Works Company," Rochester Union & Advertiser, October 3, 1871, Page 2.  Bondholders taking steps to foreclose.

1871 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 17, 1871, Page 4
Rochester Water Works.- The undersigned is authorized by the board and stockholders of the Rochester water works company to receive proposals from any responsible parties to complete the work required to convey water from Honeoye creek to the city of Rochester.
Proposals directed to the undersigned, at 29 North Fitzhugh street, Rochester.  Dr. D. M. Shipman

1871 Report by McRee Swift to the stockholders of the Rochester Water Works Company, December 2, 1871.  No copy of this report has been found, but excerpts were reprinted in the 1884 history by Tubbs.

1871 "The Water Question," Rochester Union & Advertiser, December 9, 1871, Page 2.

1871 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-72, Page 258, December 12, 1871.
By Ald. Stone-Resolved, That the following citizens be requested to act as a committee: Isaac Butts, H. B. Knapp, William S. Thompson, D. W. Powers, George G. Cooper, P. Barry, William N. Sage, Henry Churchill, John H. Brewster, Thomas Parsons, whose duty shall be to investigate the present plan to supply the city with water, and especially to examine the Holley or any other system, which shall look to bringing the water from Lake Ontario, and they are hereby authorized to incur what expense may be necessary to present the matters in some tangible shape for the consideration of this Common Council, and a public meeting of our citizens, if they shall deem the same advisable.  Adopted.

1871 "Meeting of the Water Works Committee," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 20, 1871, Page 4.

1871 Auburn Daily Bulletin, December 21, 1871, Page 1.
A Hint for the Water Works Co. - Rochester is agitating the question of introducing the Holly system of Water Works.

1872 Democrat and Chronicle, January 10, 1872, Page 4.
Water Works Sold.-- A. K. Amsden knocked down the water works property yesterday to T. B. Rand of New York for $20,500.  This is cheap property.  The iron pipes would realize a much larger sum, not to say anything about the reservoir property.

1872 "Report of the Water Works Committee,"Proceedings of the Common Council, 1871-1872, Pages 286-290 , January 30, 1872.

1872 "Report of the Water Works Committee," Democrat and Chronicle, January 31, 1872, Page 4.

1872 "Report on Laminated Wood Pipe," February 10, 1872, Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-72, Page 353, March 26, 1872.

1872 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-1872, Pages 334-335, March 12, 1872
By Ald. Stone - Resolved, That Issac Butts, Patrick Barry, D. W. Powers, John H. Brewster, Henry Churchill, W. S. Thompson, H. B. Knapp, Thomas Parsons, G. G. Cooper and William N. Sage be and are hereby authorized to organize a company, which shall be known as the Rochester Water Works Company, for the purpose of building and constructing water works for the supply of this city; and they are hereby permitted to lay their pipes in any street, lane, alley or public square, and this Common Council covenant and agree to pay them the same amount  for parks, public buildings and hydrants as what stipulated to the old Water Works Company, the said works to be built in accordance with the report submitted to this Board January 30, 1872.
And it is further stipulated that no money shall be paid by the Common Council to the said company until the introduction of water into the city buildings, and an ample supply for fire purposes.
And the Attorney is directed to prepare an act to be sent to the Legislature authorizing this board to raise all necessary funds for the above purposes.
Ald. Stone moved to table under the next regular meeting. Carried.

1872 Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 1, Page 653, March 13, 1872.
Mr. G. D. Lord introduced a bill entitled "An act to supply the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water," which was read the first time, and by unanimous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the affairs of cities.

1872 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-1872, Page 348, March 20, 1872
By Ald. Stone - Resolved, That the Engineer or the Superintendent of the Rochester Water Works Company be requested to communicate to this Common Council, at its next meeting, their plans and purposes in reference to bringing water from Hemlock Lake, and how soon their intend to accomplish that end; and the Clerk of this Board is directed to furnish them with a copy of this resolution. Adopted.

1872 March 25, 1872 letter from Lucien Birdseye, counsel for Thomas B. Rand, owner of the Rochester Water Works Company, Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1871-1872, Pages 352-353, March 26, 1872

1872 An act to supply the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water.  April 27, 1872.

1872 "The Water Works Commission," Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 29, 1872, Page 4. Includes short biographical details of the five water commissioners appointed by the Mayor.

1872 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Page 39, April 30, 1872.
MAYOR'S OFFICE, ROCHESTER, N. Y., April 29, 1872.
William F. Morrison, Esq., City Clerk:
Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 387 of the Laws of 1872, passed Apri1 27th, I do by virtue of the power thereby vested in me designate and appoint as Commissioners under said Act for supplying the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water, Roswell Hart, for the period of five (5) years; Edward M. Smith, for the period of four (4) years; William H. Bowman, for the period of three (3) years; Charles C. Morse, for the period of two (2) years, and Gilman H. Perkins, for the period of one (1) year. Respectfully yours.
A. CARTER WILDER, Mayor.
Ordered received, filed and published.

1872 Democrat and Chronicle, May 11, 1872, Page 1.
The Legislature - Mr. Lord Introduced a bill to incorporate the Rochester water works company.

1872 "Water Works," Democrat and Chronicle, May 13, 1872, Page 4. Excursion of the new water commissioners to Smithtown, Hemlock Lake, etc.

1872 An act to amend the several acts in relation to the city of Rochester. May 20, 1872.  § 22 to 27 relate to the water commissioners.

1872 "Memorial of Thomas B. Rand proposing to enter into a water works contract," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Pages 69-70, April 28, 1872.

1872 "Card from the Water Commissioners," Democrat and Chronicle, May 28, 1872, Page 4.

1872 "Take Care, Gentlemen," Democrat and Chronicle, May 29, 1872, Page 4.  Cautions about dealing with the water works company.

1872 "A title no clearer than the water," Democrat and Chronicle, May 30, 1872, Page 4.  Responds to claim by Thomas B. Rand that he has clear title to the old water works company.

1872 Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Page 80, June 4, 1872
The President presented an injunction issued by Judge Jerome Fuller, on complaint of the Water Works Commission.

1872 "Water works injunction," Democrat and Chronicle, June 5, 1872, Page 4.  Includes details of the injunction.

1872 "Judge Fuller dissolves injunction restraining water commissioners," Democrat and Chronicle, June 5, 1872, Page 4.

1872 "Draft water supply contract between T. B. Rand & Co. and the City of Rochester," June 10, 1872, Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Pages 86-90, June 11, 1872.

1872 "The Proposed Water Contract with T. B. Rand," Democrat and Chronicle, June 17, 1872, Page 4.

1872 "Proposal of T. B. Rand & Co. to supply water for fire purposes from existing pipes and hydrants," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Page 125, July 23, 1872.

1872 "Draft contract between Charles H. Simpkins, agent of T. B. Rand & Co. and the City of Rochester, to supply water for fire from existing pipes and hydrants," Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-1873, Pages 138-139, July 30, 1872.  Includes a list of included pipes and hydrants that were installed by the Rochester Water Works Company.

1872 "Water for Fire Purposes," Democrat and Chronicle, August 2, 1872, Page 4.

1872 Report to the Water Commissioners on the Chemical and Sanitary Quality of the Various Sources of Water Supply proposed for the City of Rochester, N. Y., September 2, 1872, by Samuel A. Lattimore, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Rochester.

1872 "Communication from Water Works Committee," Democrat and Chronicle, September 13, 1872, Page 4.  Pointed out that contract with water works company expired two years ago and that the existing pipes and hydrants are not in a condition to old water and are poorly connected.

1872 "The Assembly Question. Citizen's Meeting at City Hall. Remarks of Chauncey Perry and John Van Voorhis. Anti-Commission Resolutions. The Meeting Broken Up in Disorder by the Partisans of George D. Lord.  Deafening Medley of Yells, Groans, Hisses, Souts and Cries," Democrat and Chronicle, October 31, 1872, Page 4. John Van Voorhis described how Lord would end up being the contractor on the water works and fleece the city taxpayers.

1872 Report of the Board of Water Commissioners, of the city of Rochester, to the mayor of the city of Rochester made Nov. 15, 1872. 

1873 Journal of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 1, Page 29, January 8, 1873.
Mr. Fish ... introduced a bill entitled "An act to repeal an act entitled 'An act to supply the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water,' passed April 27, 1872," which was read the first time, and by unaninmous consent was also read the second time, and referred to the committee on the affairs of cities."

1873 "The Water Works Commission Sustained," Democrat and Chronicle, January 22, 1873, Page 4.

1873 "The Water Works Question," Democrat and Chronicle, February 5, 1873, Page 2.

1873 Daily Albany Argus, February 20, 1873, Page 2.
Legislature of New York. Bills introduced. Mr. Fish, to incorporate the Rochester Water Works Company.

1873 "A Plain Statement of the Water Question," Democrat and Chronicle, March 6, 1873, Page 4.

1873 "Petition to the Board of Water Commissioners of the City of Rochester," Democrat and Chronicle, March 17, 1873, Page 4.

1873 "The Spectator on raising fire insurance rates," Democrat and Chronicle, March 21, 1873, Page 2.

1873 Proposed - An act to provide for submitting the repeal of Chapters 387 and 771 of the Laws of 1872 to the electors of the city of Rochester, Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1872-73, Page 331, April 1, 1873.

1873 "Rochester Board of Water Commissioners Request for Proposals", Democrat and Chronicle, April 10, 1873, Page 3.

1873 "The Contract Awarded for the Construction of Water Works--Abstract of the Specifications and Contracts," Democrat and Chronicle, April 14, 1873, Page 4.  Contract award to James McDonald, Wellsboro Falls, Essex County.

1873 Daily Albany Argus, April 14, 1873, Page 2.
Rochester Water Works. The contract for the building of water works for the city of Rochester has been let, and the name of the contractor is not George D. Lord.

1873 An act to define and restrict the powers of the board of water commissioners of the city of Rochester.  June 13, 1873.

1873 "Report of the Board of Water Commissioners," July 1, 1873, Proceedings of the Rochester Common Council 1873-1874, Pages 64-66.  Also printed in Democrat and Chronicle, July 7, 1873, Page 3.

1873 "The Water Pipe Question," Rochester Union & Advertiser, August 22, 1873, Page 2.  These pipes were patented in 1869 and widely advertised for a short time.  The material was a lower grade of Britannia metal.  Despite its claims, it was found to cause lead poisoning in Sacramento in 1872, which was reported in the Boston Journal of Science.

1873 Rochester Union and Advertiser, August 23, 1873, Page 2.
The first street pipe was laid this morning by the Water Works commission.  It was laid at Goodman Street on Monroe Avenue, beginning at the city line and running citywards on the avenue.  The pipe will be alid ahead of the improvement now in progress.

1873 "The Rochester Water Works.  A Review of the Progress of the Work -- Everything Satisfactory," Rochester Union and Advertiser, August 23, 1873, Page 2.

1873 Sidney A. Newman v. Francis X. Beckwith  Case on Appeal, John Van Voorhis, Quincy Van Voorhis and Walter L. Hyde against Alexander Easton

1874 First annual report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the city of Rochester to the Common Council made January 1st, 1874.  Includes Supplementary Report of the Chief Engineer, February 20, 1874, describing the test of the Holly Water Works.

1874 Programme of public exhibition of the Holly system water works at Rochester, N.Y., to take place Wednesday, February 18th, 1874.

1874 Buffalo Evening Courier and Republic, June 12, 1874, Page
The laborers on the Rochester water-works struck  Wednesday  for  an increase  of  pay, the wages being $1 and $1.25.  New men were engaged, and the strikers made such demonstrations that the police were called out in force and succeeded, after the arrest of several of the more demonstrative, in preventing serious results.

1874 Troy Times, June 18, 1874, Page 1.
A gang of laborers on the Rochester water works struck on Wednesday for higher wages, and behaved in a turbulent manner, driving other men from their employment, etc. The result is that the four ringleaders are in the penitentiary for ten days each, and the rest of the men are working at their old rate of wages.

1874 An act to amend the several acts in relation to the city of Rochester.  June 26, 1874
§ 3. The board of water commissioners of the city of Rochester is hereby authorized to issue bonds for the construction of water-works for said city to an amount not exceeding three millions of dollars.

1874 Newman v. Beckwith, 61 N.Y. 205, September 5, 1874, Court of Appeals of the State of New York. | Records and Briefs |  Case involving Alexander Easton and Rochester Water Works Company. 

1874 Annual Report of the American institute of the City of New York for the Year 1873
Pages 543-544: The Rochester Water Works.  These works, constructed on the system of Birdsall Holly, an inventor, residing in Lockport, N. Y., were recently subjected to an unprecedented test, and proved completely efficient. The machinery consists of two sets of pumping engines, each embracing four double acting cylinders 9 by 24 inches, and each set so arranged as to suck and discharge at eight successive and equal points in each revolution, thus giving uniformity to the flow of water. These pumps which supply the mains for ordinary use are driven by the turbine wheels under a pressure due to a height of 90 feet. The water is brought to the city by an aqueduct from Hamlock lake. There are also four double acting pumping engines with cylinders 10¼-by 24 inches, a 150 horse Holly rotary engine and two Holly rotary pumps. The capacity of all is about 4,000,000 gallons per hour in the street mains during the 24 hours, and 3,000,000 gallons can be delivered extra, in the same time, by means of the steam machinery. During the trial these works succeeded in throwing eight large streams at once, to an average height of 135 feet. One two inch stream was thrown 220 feet; one four inch stream was thrown 465 feet; one three inch stream reached an altitude of 285; a four inch stream reached the height of 287½ feet, and a vertical five inch stream was thrown 250½ and a vertical five inch stream was thrown 250½ feet. These are 1/2 feet. These are astounding results, but it is evident that these large streams would not be available in conflagrations, for the current would demolish an ordinary building. The practical use of the 30 smaller streams thrown at once to the height of 135 feet, is beyond question, and the city of Rochester is supplied with mechanical safeguards against fire which probably are not equaled in efficiency by the water-works of any other city.
Mr. John W. Sutton — The great fault of the Holly system seems to me to be this: it is always attached to the mains, of course, and the supply for the buildings is taken out of the same mains. Consider the pressure upon the plumbing work when the stream can be thrown 400 feet. The system may be excellent for a fire, but is a poor system where buildings a,re to be supplied with water at the same time.
The President — We have in Jersey City a pressure of over 100 feet head of water always. The pressure can be lowered by the hydrants at any time, but it can be easily raised.
Mr. Hudson — We must remember that all the plumbing of the city must be of such a character as to sustain the highest pressure that can be used, or it may give way.

1875 Report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the city of Rochester to the Common Council of the city of Rochester, January 1st, 1875 

1875 An act supplementary to an act passed May twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, entitled "An act to amend the several acts relating to the city of Rochester."  February 26, 1875

1875 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to amend the several acts relating to the city of Rochester," passed May twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-two.  March 3, 1875

1875 "The Tweeds of Rochester," New York Times, March 28, 1875, page 1.

1875 "The Rochester Ring," New York Times, April 3, 1875, Page 1.

1875 George J. Whitney, Surviving Trustee, etc., Respondent, v. The Union Trust Company of New York, Impleaded, etc. Appellant. May Term, 1875.  Court of Appeals of the State of New York, Action to foreclose a mortgage of the Rochester Water-works Company.

1875 An act appointing commissioners to examine the accounts, acts and proceedings of the board of water commissioners of the city of Rochester, for constructing water-works for said city, and also the commissioners appointed to fix upon the site for a city hall and erection of a building, to be used as such, thereon in the city of Rochester.  June 9, 1875

1875 An act in relation to the care, custody and management of the water-works of the city of Rochester, and to regulate the collection of water rents in said city.  June 9, 1875

1875 An act to amend chapter three hundred and eighty-seven of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-two, entitled "An act to supply the city of Rochester with pure and wholesome water."  June 15, 1875

1875 "Rochester Water Works. The Report of the Examining Committee," Democrat and Chronicle, August 16, 1875, Page 3.

1875 The Hartford Daily Courant, September 13, 1875, Page 3.  | Also in The Baltimore Underwriter, 14:186 (September 16, 1875)
Reviewing the investigation of frauds in connection with the Rochester water works, in which George D. Lord is implicated, the Rochester Express thanks it has disclosed more corruption "than can be atoned for in the next hundred years."

1875 "George D. Lord, of the Canal Ring," Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 41:104 (October 23, 1875)

1876 "Hemlock Lake Water. Long Expected, Come at Last," Democrat and Chronicle, January 24, 1876, Page 4.

1876 Charles Harrison, as Survivor of Himself and James Jones and Henry Jones, Appellant, v. William R. Utley and Andrew J. Wilkin, Respondents, 6 Hun. 565, January Term 1876, New York Supreme Court Fourth Department

1876 An act to amend chapter one hundred and forty-three of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-one, entitled "An act to amend and consolidate the several acts in relation to the charter of the city of Rochester," passed April eight, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and the various acts amendatory thereof or relating to the city of Rochester.  March 1, 1876.  Established an executive board to replace the water and public works commissioners.

1876 In the Matter of the Application of the Rochester Water Commissioners to Acquire Lands of The Rochester Water Company, 66 N.Y. 413, June 20, 1876, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

1876 "Rochester, N. Y.," from Addresses as President of the National Board of Fire Underwriters of the United States: On Several Occasions, 1871-76

1876 Claim of George D. Lord for extra work done on works works in the amount of $600,388.97, Proceedings of the Common Council, 1876-77, page 173, November 14, 1876.

1876 City response to claim of George D. Lord, Proceedings of the Common Council, 1876-77, page 180-181, November 28, 1876.

1876 Charles Harrison, as survivor of himself and James Jones and Henry Jones, Appellant, v. William R. Utley and Andrew J. Wilkin, Respondents.  Fourth Department, January Term 1876.

1877 Annual report of the Executive Board in charge of the Department of Water Works, Fire, Highway and Street Improvement for the year 1876 to the mayor and Common Council of the city of Rochester, N.Y January, 1877

1877 Supreme Court, Monroe County; George D. Lord against the city of Rochester, William R. Seward and Thomas Leighton. Proceedings of the Common Council, pages 219-221, January 23, 1877.

1877 An act to amend chapter one hundred and forty-three of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-one, entitled "An act to amend and consolidate the several acts in relation to the charter of the city of Rochester," passed April eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and the various acta amendatory thereof or relating to the city of Rochester.  May 3, 1877

1877 An act to authorize the city of Rochester to acquire the title to land or other property for the use and purposes of water-works, sewers, dumping rubbish and dirt.  June 16, 1877

1877 George D. Lord vs. City of Rochester. Scrapbook of clippings detailing George D. Lord's lawsuit against the City of Rochester over the cost of building the city's water system. Held by Rochester Public Library.

1878 Second annual report of the Executive Board of the City of Rochester, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements for the year 1877.  January, 1878

1878 "The Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection for Cities and Villages," Scientific American Supplement, 6(140supp):2219-2234 (September 7, 1878)

1879 Third Annual Report of the Executive Board of the City of Rochester, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the sixteen months ending May 1st, 1879.

1879 An act to amend chapter one hundred and forty-three of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-one, entitled "An act to amend and consolidate the several acts in relation to the charter of the city of Rochester," and the various acts amendatory thereof, or relating to the city of Rochester.  April 17, 1879

1879 An act to confer additional powers and duties upon the executive board and the water works and fire board of the city of Rochester.  June 20, 1879

1879 Smith v. City of Rochester, November 25, 1879, New York Supreme Court, special term held at Canandaigua, Ontario County.  Decision and opinion by Judge David Ramsey in favor of Rochester can be found here, and his opinion here.  The case was overturned on appeal, see 1883 references.

1880 City of Rochester v. Town of Rush, 80 N. Y. 302, March 9, 1880, Court of Appeals of the State of New York | Case records and briefs |

1880 Fourth Annual Report of the Executive Board in charge of Highways and Street Improvements; and Report of the Water Works and Fire Board in Charge of the Water Works and Fire Departments of the City of Rochester, for the eleven months ending April 1, 1880.

1880 New York Times, October 24, 1880, Page 5.
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 23.—The Supreme Court, General Term, in session here, gave a decision to-day in the case of George D. Lord against the City of Rochester in favor of the plaintiff, granting a new trial.

1881 An act to empower the executive board of the city of Rochester to acquire land and other property for the water works of said city.  March 15, 1881

1881 Fifth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 4, 1881.

1881 Rochester, Engineering News, 8:233 (June 11, 1881)

1881 Thomas Leighton v. Roswell Hart, Charles C. Morse, Gilman H. Perkins, and John Bower Oct 14, 1881

1882 New York Times, March 17, 1882, Page 5.
What Rochester Had to Pay. ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 16.— In the County Clerk's office yesterday afternoon William F. Cogswell filed a receipt for the satisfaction of a judgment against the city by the Supreme Court in the case of George D. Lord against the City of Rochester.  The amount receipted for is $61,601.70, and a stipulation of discontinuance had been made.  The plaintiffs received a check for the amount awarded, and the great suit is therefore at an end.

1882 Sixth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 4, 1882.

1882 An act to further amend chapter one hundred and forty-three of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-one, entitled " an act to amend and consolidate the several acts in relation to the charter of the city of Rochester," as amended and established by chapter fourteen, laws of eighteen hundred and eighty, and the several acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto.  May 2, 1882

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

1883 Seventh Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 2, 1883.

1883 Hiram Smith et al, Appellants, v. The City of Rochester, Respondent, 92 N. Y. 463, June 5, 1883, Court of Appeals of New York State | Records and Briefs |
The plaintiffs owned and operated mills on a fresh and non-navigable creek, fed by the surplus waters of three small inland lakes, one of which was navigable, and navigated for local purposes by those who dwelt on its shores. All the premises in question were originally ceded by this State to Massachusetts by the treaty of 1786. The defendant, under recent legislative authority, constructed a conduit from the latter lake to supply the city, drawing 4,000,000 gallons of water daily. Held, that such diversion, being injurious to the defendant, may be enjoined, and the defendant must respond for the injury.

The leading case in this State is Smith v. The City of Rochester, 92 N. Y. 463; on second trial, 38 Hun. 612, opinion affirmed, 104 N.Y., 674.

1884 "Water Works," from Rochester: A Story Historical, by Jenny Marsh Parker

1884 Eighth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 7, 1884.

1884 "The Rochester Water Works," by Nelson J. Tubbs, Engineer in charge of the water works, from Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, by William Farley Peck

1884 In Supreme Court, general term- fifth department In the Matter of the Application of the City of Rochester to acquire the permanent and perpetual right to draw from Hemlock and Canadice lakes an amount of water sufficient for the use of said city and its inhabitants, not exceeding nine millions of gallons per day; record on appeal from order confirming report of commissioners of appraisal, Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Hathi Trust copy |

1885 Ninth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 6, 1885.

1885 "Looking over the Line.  An Official Inspection of the Reservoirs and Conduit," Democrat and Chronicle, May 27, 1885, Page 6.  A tour from the Mt. Hope (now Highland Park) Reservoir to Hemlock Lake.

1886 Tenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 5, 1886.

1886 Matter of the Application of the City of Rochester to acquire the permanent and perpetual right to draw from Hemlock and Canadice lakes an amount of water sufficient for the use of said city and its inhabitants, etc, 40 Hun, 588, June, 1886, Supreme Court of the State of New York, General Term, Fifth Department 

1887 Eleventh Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 4, 1887.

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

1889 Twelfth and Thirteenth Annual Reports of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the years ending April 2, 1888 and April 1, 1889.

1890 "The Recent Endemic of Typhoid Fever at Springwater, N. Y., considered with special reference to its cause, and the contamination of the Rochester water supply which might result therefrom," by George W. Rafter and M. L. Mallory, Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Sciences, 1:65-86 (June 23, 1890)

1890 Proceedings of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 7, 1890.

1890 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 1, Description of Water Shed and Description and Illustration of the Method and Results of the Sanitary Protection of Hemlock Lake," Engineering Record, 22:412-413 (November 29, 1890)

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

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 2, Illustrations and description of the inlet crib, inlet main, laying submerged main, and the lake gate-house," Engineering Record, 23:78 (January 3, 1891)

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 3, Hemlock Lake Screens and gates, and the Genesee River Bulkhead," Engineering Record, 23:94-95 (January 10, 1891)

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 4, Rainfall and collection, details of Canadice lake bulkhead framing and machinery," Engineering Record, 23:109 (January 17, 1891)

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 5, Description, plan, section and details of the stoage and distributing reservoirs, straining well, gate-house and pipe trenches," Engineering Record, 23:127 (January 24, 1891)

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 6, Description and illustrations of the Holly system, reservoir fountain, air valves, and the connection between the high and low pressure mains," Engineering Record, 23:143 (January 31, 1891)

1891 "Construction Details of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works, Part 7, Wooden stop gate chamber, elevation, plan and details of special bridge construction to receive water mains at arch-crown," Engineering Record, 23:159 (February 7, 1891)

1891 Fifteenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 6, 1891.

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

1892 "On the Hydraulics of the Hemlock Lake Conduit of the Rochester, N. Y., Water-Works."  and "On the measures for restricting the use and waste of water, in force in the City of Rochester, N. Y.," with discussion. George W. Rafter. Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 24:13-22 (January, 1892).

1892 Sixteenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 4, 1892.

1892 An act to authorize the issue of bonds of the city of Rochester to pay for an additional water supply.  April 20, 1892

1893 Seventeenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April 3, 1893.

1894 Eighteenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending April, 1890?. Held by Rochester Public Library.

1894 An act to authorize the city of Rochester to issue bonds to pay for a water distributing system.  May 3, 1894

1894 An act to amend chapter three hundred and fifty-eight of the laws of eighteen hundred and ninety-two, entitled "An act to authorize the issue of bonds of the city of Rochester to pay for an additional water supply."  May 3, 1894

1895 Nineteenth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending ?. Held by Rochester Public Library.

1895 "The New Steel and Masonry Water-Supply Conduit, Rochester, N. Y.," Engineering News 33(15):284-287 (April 11, 1895)

1895 "The New Rochester Water Works," Engineering Record 31(20):346-348 (April 13, 1895)

1895 An act to provide for the sanitary protection of the sources of water supply of the city of Rochester by the acquisition by said city of real property and interests therein necessary for that purpose, and by the abatement and removal of sources of pollution.  June 14, 1895.

1896 Twentieth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending ?. Held by Rochester Public Library.

1896 Twenty-First Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending December 31, 1896.

1896 "The Rochester Crime against Hydraulic Engineering," Chapter 3 in 115 Experiments on the Carrying Capacity of Large Riveted Metal Conduits, by Clemens Herschel.

1897 Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending December 31, 1897.

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

1898 Anna B. Neal, Respondent, v. The City of Rochester, Appellant, 156 N. Y. 213, June 7, 1898, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

1898 Twenty-Third Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending December 31, 1898.

1899 Twenty-Fourth Annual Report of the Executive Board, in charge of the Water Works, Fire, and Highway Departments, and of Street Improvements, for the year ending December 31, 1899.

1900 First Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1900.

1901 Second Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1901.   Also 3 & 4

1902 Third Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1902

1902 Municipal Engineering, Volume 23, (July-December 1902)
Pages 340-342:  "The Water Supply of Rochester N. Y.," by John F. Skinner Special Assistant Engineer
Pages 342-343:  " Distributing system of the Rochester Water-Works," by W. N  Radenhurst, Water Works Assistant Engineer

1903 Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company, Respondent, v. The City of Rochester, Appellant. 176 N. Y. 36, October 6, 1903, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

1903 "The History of the Water Supply," from Proceedings of the Common Council of the City of Rochester, October 6, 1903

1903 Fourth Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1903

1904 "Report on the City of Rochester, N. Y.," December, 1904, from Reports on Cities, No. 10,  National Board of Fire Underwriters.

1904 Fifth Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1904. Also 5 to 8

1905 Sixth Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1905. also 7 & 8

1906 Seventh Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1906

1907 "Rochester Water Works," from Municipal Code of the City of Rochester, Volume Two.  This provides a good summary of the history and litigation involved in the water works.

1907 Eighth Annual Report of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the year ending December 31, 1907

1908 Ninth and Tenth Annual Reports of the Department of Public Works of the City of Rochester for the years ending December 31, 1908 and December 31, 1909.

1908 "The Water Works," from History of Rochester and Monroe County, New York: From the Earliest Historic Times to the Beginning of 1907, Volume 1, by William Farley Peck

1907 The City of Rochester, Respondent, v. Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company, Appellant, 189 N. Y. 323, October 8, 1907, Court of Appeals of the State of New York

1910 Journal of the New England Water Works Association  24(4):473-636  (December, 1910).  Includes several articles about Rochester.
Page 623: The Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention of the New England Water Works Association was held at Rochester, N. Y., September 21, 22 and 23, 1910.
Pages 473-482: "Memoranda Relative to Rochester," by Edwin A. Fisher
Pages 482-485: "Rochester Parks," by C. C. Laney
Pages 485-492: "A rambling description of the water works," by Berkman C. Little
Pages 492-498: "Pertinent matters relating to the water works," by Frederick T. Elwood
Pages 498-503: "Cobb's Hill Reservoir," by John F. Skinner.
Pages 503-514: "The purification plant of the Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company," by James M. Caird.

1913 Report on the Steel Plate Pipe Conduit II of the Rochester Water Works, by John F. Skinner, Principal Assistant Engineering, December, 1913.

1915 "Water Works Bureau," from Government of the City of Rochester, N. Y.: General Survey, Critical Appraisal and Constructive Suggestions, by Bureau of Municipal Research 

1919 Stubbs v. City of Rochester, 226 N.Y. 516, 124 N.E. 137 (1919).  | Also see 163 App. Div. 245 (N.Y. App. Div. 1914) | and here |

1920 "The Revenue Chargeable to Public Uses of Water in the City of Rochester, New York," by Stephen B. Story, Journal of the American Water Works Association, 7(6) 869-879 (November, 1920)

1921 Report of a survey of the Rochester water works : submitted to the Board of Trustees by Rochester Bureau of Municipal Research.  Written by Stephen B. Story, April, 1921.  This is scanned from a mimeograph copy, many thanks to Sara Dougherty for doing the scanning at the Local History Room of the Rochester Public Library.                                                                

1924 "Sources of Supply, Conduits and Reservoirs, of the Rochester, N. Y. Water-Works System," by John F. Skinner, read September 30, 1924. Journal of the New England Water Works Association 38(3):219-225 (September, 1924)

1927 Report on the Rochester Water Works, by Harrison Prescott Eddy, Allen Hazen, and Edwin A. Fisher

1928 "The Water Supply of Rochester, N. Y.," by Irving E. Matthews, Journal of the American Water Works Association, 19(3):239-252 (March, 1928)

1930 "Diggers Find Wooden Mains Decades Old," Democrat and Chronicle, November 27, 1930, Page 31.  Remains of Rochester Water Works Company wooden conduit found in East Henrietta Street during construction of a tunnel from the Iola Power House to the Monroe Community Hospital.

1932 "History and Engineering of Rochester's Water Supply in its First Century," by Edwin A. Fisher, Proceedings of the Rochester Academy of Science, 7(3):59-95 (March, 1932)

1932 Report on the Rochester water works, by Business District Association, Inc. November 3, 1932.

1936 "Pioneering in the Water Works Field," by Morgan D. Hayes, Journal of the American Water Works Association, 28(1):22-29 (January, 1936)

1940 "Rochester Guards Against Typhoid," The Cornell Daily Sun, December 13, 1940, Page 8.

1940 "Rochester Fears Typhoid Outbreak," St. Petersburg Times, December 14, 1940, Page 9.

1941 "The Pollution and Emergency Disinfection of Rochester's Water Supply," by Earl Devendorf, Journal of the American Water Works Association, 33(8):1334-1356 (August, 1941)

1945 Rochester The Water-Power City 1812-1854, by Blake McKelvey
Page 110:  A lane, opening into Carroll (State) Street, provided access to the public "reservoir" fed by a log "aqueduct" which carried the overflow of the Red Mill thirty rods north to a central water trough for the use of both fire fighters and thirsty horses.
Page 248:  The most serious instance of civic complacency was the failure to make any provision for a water system. Authority to raise funds for this purpose, granted in Rochester's first city charter, spurred study of the problem. Mayor Johnson presented a detailed plan in 1838 for a public water works to be constructed section by section as needed, with
the total capital cost of $150,000 spread over a period of years and the water rates pledged for the payment of the bonds. The savings enjoyed through a reduction in the excessive fire insurance rates would, Johnson argued, more than cancel the individual's water payments, leaving the health benefits and other assets as clear gain.
Pages 336-337:  A more serious handicap resulted from the limited water supply. Stimulated in part by Buffalo's successful action in 1852, a Rochester Water Works Company was chartered that year and a survey made which indicated the feasibility of a plan to tap Hemlock Lake, some thirty miles south of the city. The estimated cost, $575,000, postponed further action, however, compelling the council to make new appropriations for small underground reservoirs.

1949 Rochester The Flower City 1855-1890, by Blake McKelvey

1956 Rochester The Quest for Quality 1890-1925, by Blake McKelvey

1961 Rochester: an emerging metropolis, 1925-1961, by Blake McKelvey

1962 "Rochester," from Public Water Supplies of the 100 Largest Cities in the United States, 1962, US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1812, by Charles Norman Durfor and Edith Becker

1972 "Water for Rochester," by Blake McKelvey, Rochester History 34(3):1-24 (July 1972)

1977 "Water Works History: A Comparison of Albany, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester" by Joseph W. Barnes, Rochester History 39(3):1-24 (July 1977) 

2014 Engineer Joseph Nelson Tubbs and Rochester’s first water supply system, by Luis Felipe Bendezu. Paper for Speaking Stones REL 167, December 10, 2014


Rochester Village Trustee and City Council Proceedings 1817-1900 | Copies at Google Books: | 1869-70 | 1873-74 | 1875-76 | 1881-82 |

Rochester Newspaper Index

Rochester History Journal

Rochester Images includes maps pictures of the reservoirs and pipeline construction

Rochester City Directories

Rochester newspapers on line at fultonhistory.com

Rochester Daily Democrat 1840-1857

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 1872-1970

Rochester Union and Advertiser 1862-1883

Rochester Daily Advertiser & Telegram 1829

Rochester Republican 1829-1849

Rochester Album 1824-1828

Rochester Telegraph 1818-1820

Rochester Daily Record 1910-1974


My thanks to my colleague Sara Dougherty for scanning several documents document held by the Rochester Public Library.








© 2016 Morris A. Pierce