Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Whitehall

Whitehall, New York

Whitehall was settled in 1759.

The first water supply in Whitehall was built by Justin Smith in 1828.  He petitioned the legislature in 1835 for a law to protect his rights, which was granted.  Apart from a short reference in an 1878 history, nothing else is known about this system.  Smith died in Whitehall in 1845.

George Pettibone may have acquired this system, or built a new one, as he petitioned the legislature for protection "for his water works" in 1840, which was granted in 1844.  Nothing more is known about him or the system at that time.

The Village of Whitehall was authorized to build a water works in 1850, and Engineering News in 1885 states that the Village built a system in 1852, and rebuilt it in 1884.

The Whitehall Water-works Company was incorporated in 1877 by Edwin W. Hall, J. Sanford Potter, Herman R. Snyder, George A. Hall, Elisha A. Martin, Henry G. Burleigh, James Doren, and George Brett "for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of the village of Whitehall, in the county of Washington, with pure and wholesome water." The 1878 history states that "A company is now engaged in sinking an artesian well near the centre of the village, and a depth of over two hundred feet has been reached," but it is not known if this is the same company, or if the water-works company built a system.

The village endured several bouts of typhoid in the early 1900s, apparently related to the water works.

A new gravity water supply was constructed in 1925.

Water is provided by the Village of Whitehall.

References
1831 Albany Argus, December 9, 1831, Page 4.
Notice - The subscriber will apply to the legislature of this state, at its next session, for an act of incorporation, granting to him, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, the exlusive right to supply the village of Whitehall in the county of Washington, with pure and wholesome water.  Nov. 18, 1831.  Justin Smith.

1835 Report of the select committee on the petition of Justin Smith, January 10, 1835.

1835 An act relative to supplying the village of Whitehall with pure and wholesome water.  March 12, 1835.

1840 Petition of George Pettibone, praying protection for his water works in the village of Whitehall; also the recommendation of the trustees of said village, that the protection asked may be granted, April 3, 1840.

1844 An act relative to supplying the village of Whitehall with pure and wholesome water.  May 7, 1844.

1850 An act to revise and consolidate the laws in relation to the village of Whitehall.  March 16, 1850.
7. 17. If authorized by a majority vote of the electors of the village at a general or special meeting of said electors, the trustees shall have power to supply the village with water, and are authorized to direct as to the mode and place in which an aqueduct for the conveyance of water through any of the streets of said village shall be laid, and may require the material of said aqueduct to be more substantial than wood ... Provided, nothing herein contained shall affect the rights heretofore granted to others for "supplying the village of Whitehall with water."

1877 An act to incorporate the Whitehall water-works company, and to enable the village of Whitehall to contract with said company for the use of the water.  April 14, 1877.

1878 History of Washington Co., New York: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, by Crisfield Johnson
Page 479:  THE WATER SUPPLY.  The introduction of pure water into Whitehall by the construction of the public aqueduct in 1828 was, at that early day, justly regarded as most creditable to the village, though it is said that from the first the supply was insufficient. The scarcity became more and more felt as the village grew in population, and, from time to time, the storage capacity and tributary area have been increased, but without obviating the difficulty.
The present sources of supply are Smith's and Adams' ponds, lying to the southwest of the village. The upper reservoir has an area of one hundred by two hundred feet, with a water-shed of about twenty-five acres, and an elevation of three hundred and eighty-five feet above the canal at the village. The middle reservoir has two hundred by two hundred and fifty feet of water-surface, a water-shed of about one hundred acres, and an elevation of three hundred and ten feet above the canal. The lower reservoir has one hundred and fifty feet elevation, two hundred and twenty-five acres of water-shed, one hundred by two hundred and fifty feet of surface, and a much greater depth than the other two.
It has become evident that a greater supply must soon be had, and engineers have been employed by the village to make surveys preliminary to the prosecution of such a work. One of the projects contemplates the utilization of Long pond, a body of water more than one mile in length and one quarter mile in width, with an average depth of twenty feet, lying wostwardly from the village, at a distance of six and one-quarter miles from its outlet to the centre of distribution, and elevated four hundred and fifty feet above the canal. A company is now engaged in sinking an artesian well near the centre of the village, and a depth of over two hundred feet has been reached.
The Adirondack spring, said to possess medicinal properties similar to the waters of Saratoga, is located in the village, on Canal street. It is the property of a company, who have erected a building, and do also a considerable
business in bottling for shipment.
On the east side of Wood creek a small aqueduct with wooden pipes was constructed some years ago by Dr. Harrington; but this has decayed and been abandoned, and that part of the village has now no supply of pure water, except from wells, cisterns, and an excellent spring, known as Mosher's spring.

1885 Whitehall, Engineering News, 14:237 (October 10, 1885)

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

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

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

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

1916 "Whitehall (Typhoid)," by Hermann M. Biggs, M. D. State Commissioner of Health, Annual Report of the New York State Department of Health

1925"New Gravity Water Supply for Whitehall, N. Y.," by James P. Wells, Engineering News 95(9):344-345 (August 27, 1925)





2015 Morris A. Pierce