Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
North Central States
Ohio Fairport Harbor

Fairport Harbor, Ohio

Fairport Harbor was settled in the early 1800s and originally named Grandon.  The name was changed to Fairport in 1836, and Fairport Harbor in 1959.

The Fairport Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1829 by Henry Phelps, Alvah Cable, Ralph Granger, Roderick W. Skinner, Charles H. Paine, Julian C. Huntington, Harmon Kingsbury, and John J. Hull "for the purpose of supplying the village of Fairport, in the county of Geauga, with water by Aqueducts."  This company engaged Jonathan Goldsmith to design an aqueduct, but he concluded that the supply available on Little Mountain was inadequate.  The company increased its capital stock in 1836, but no evidence has been found that it built a system.

The Painesville Water Company was incorporated in 1891 and built a system that serves Painesville, Fairport and Richmond.  The company had legal disputes with the city of Painesville and was taken over by the city in 1897.

The Village of Fairport built its own water works in 1934.

Water is currently provided by the Village of Fairport Harbor.

1829 An act to incorporate the Fairport Aqueduct Company.  February 11, 1829.

1836 An act to increase the capital stock of the Fairport Aqueduct Company.  January 29, 1836.

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

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

1934 Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 31, 1934, Page 2.
Awards Fairport Water Contracts.  Contracts totaling $132,619 for the PWA constructin of a water plant at Fairport, were awarded today by the Village Council, subject to approval of a request for $25,000 additional funds.

1980 Jonathan Goldsmith, Pioneer Master Builder in the Western Reserve, by Elizabeth G. Hitchcock
Page 56: A Goldsmith drawing titled "Profile of Fairport Aqueduct," and showing "GROUND PLAN" and "ELEVATION OF THE RESERVOIR" and also a smaller building labeled "FOUNTAIN,' was executed for a project. The project that may have been conceived is explained in Lucia's [daughter Lucia Goldsmith's 1900] manuscnpt:
The greatest objection to Fairport and Richmond was want of good water. Most of the inhabitants depended on lake or rainwater. He [Goldsmith] thought it could be brought from Little Mountain but [illegible word] the cautious ones assured him [it] was impossible; so great an expense could not be incurred. He had a survey made (at his own expense) from Richmond to the springs back of Rider's, (I have the chart now), but found that, though the fall was sufficient, the supply was [illegible word] inadequate.

2015 Morris A. Pierce