Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Schoharie

Schoharie, New York

Schoharie was first settled in 1713.

The Coldspring Aqueduct Association was incorporated in 1819 by Jabez W. Throop, William W. Enders, John Bouck, Benjamin Miles, Chester Lasell, Abraham Keyser, junior, and John Lawyer.  Jabez West Throop (1776-1845) started a pharmacy in Schoharie that his family operated until 1936.  The pharmcy was then moved to the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science where it is open as a museum.  Throop's biographers state that he was "a founder of the town's first public water system." No further information on this system has been found.

The Kromer Water Company was formed around 1867 by Charles B. Kromer (1852-1911), a Civil War veteran who later built the first telephone system in Schoharie.  A spigot from this system was used to fill an 18,000-gallon reservoir on the Court House lawn.  No further information on this system has been found.

The Schoharie Water Company built a system in 1900, and the Village of Schoharie built a water system in 1905.  It is not known if the village acquired the Schoharie Water Company system for built an entirely new one.

Water service is provided by the Village of Schoharie.

1819 An act to incorporate an Aqueduct Association, in the town of Schoharie, in the county of Schoharie. April 9, 1819.

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

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

1897 Engineering News 38(25):223 (December 16, 1897)
Schoharie, N.Y.-- The question of a municipal works is reported as being considered.  The Schoharie Water Co. now furnishes a supply.  Population 1,300.

1911 The Jefferson Courier and Schoharie County Chronicle, April 13, 1911
Charles C. Kromer died at his home in Schoharie, Wednesday, aged 69 years. he was a soldier in the Civil war, having enlisted Aug. 21, 1861, at the outbreak of the rebellion, and Dec. 31, 1862 was made a lieutenant. When discharged, July 12, 1865, he was ranking captain of Co. G. Third New York cavalry.
For several years he was editor of the "Schoharie Union." The first water system in Schoharie was instituted by Captain Kromer. He also built Union Block, one of Schoharie's ornamental buildings. He was the pioneer in establishing the first telephone system in Schoharie county.

1920 Forty-First Annual Report of the New York State Department of Health for the year ending December 31, 1920
Page 310: SCHOHARIE A reinspection of the public water supply of the village of Schoharie was made on October 13, 1920, by Mr. W. J. Erickson, sanitary inspector in this Department, a previous inspection of this supply having been made in 1915.
Schoharie, which is a village of about 1,000 inhabitants, is located in Schoharie county, about 35 miles west of Albany. Practically all of the population use the supply which is owned by the village. The water supply is derived from a spring located on the side, of a hill about a mile and a half northeast of the village. At times the spring supply is augmented by pumping from Fox creek.
The spring issues from a cavern in a small ravine on the side of the hill. From this cavern the water flows to a small intake reservoir about 50 feet below. There are no permanent sources of pollution on the watershed above the spring; this area, however, is largely used for pasturage or cultivated. The immediate vicinity of the spring and reservoir is fenced, but it is possible that at times surface wash reaches them from the surrounding pasture lands. It seems probable that this wash from pasture lands and from trespassers are the only sources of pollution.
The Fox creek, from which the auxiliary supply is derived, is the outlet of Warner's Lake. From the lake the stream flows through several communities. The area of the watershed is about 110 square miles on which there is a population of about 4,350, or 39 per square mile. The stream was followed from the intake to Berne, a distance of about 11 miles above. At Berne there are four privies which discharge directly into the stream. At West Berne there are about 10 privies located from 10 to 25 feet from the stream, and a slaughter house with carcasses and excreta strewn in the rear near the edge of the bank above the stream. At Gallupville, about 4 miles above the intake, conditions are not as serious as at West Berne. There are several privies near the millrace. The creamery mentioned in the previous report has been abandoned. Besides these direct instances observed, it seems probable that the main stream and its tributaries are subject to pollution from farms and pasture lands along their banks. The water of the creek cannot be considered as suitable for a public water supply unless the direct sources of pollution are eliminated and the water properly treated.
As a result of the reinspection it was recommended that the spring supply be adequately protected by the construction of drainage ditches to prevent surface wash from entering the spring and intake reservoir, that the village authorities take immediate steps to develop an additional supply of satisfactory sanitary quality so as to render the auxiliary use of Fox" creek unnecessary, land that pending the development of the additional source the Fox creek supply be efficiently sterilized should the use of this source become necessary.

1922 In the Matter of the Application of the Incorporated Village of Schoharie, Town of Schoharie, County of Schoharie, State of New York, for Additional Water Supply, Water Supply Application No. 287, (Water Control Commission, May 31, 1922)

1992 "Railroading in Schoharie Valley," by Edward A. Hagan, Schoharie County Historical Review, Spring 1992:2.  Reference to Kromer Water Co. on page 4.

2002 "Throop Pharmacy Museum" by Lee Anna Obos, Apothecary’s Cabinet 5:7-8 (Fall 2002) Published by the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.

The Throop Museum

A Brief History of the Schoharie Fire Department
The trustees of the Village also authorized the construction of the 18,000-gallon reservoir on the Court House lawn.  A spigot from the Kromer water system was installed to fill it, as well as was the drains from the County House roof directed into it.

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce