Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
South Atlantic States
Virginia Hillsboro

Hillsboro, Virginia

Hillsboro was founded in 2002 and was originally called Hillsborough.

Several citizens of Hillsboro petitioned the Virginia legislature in December 1829 for an act to incorproate a company to supply the town with water.  The Hillsborough Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1830 with John A. Marmaduke, Samuel Clendening, and James Janney appointed to sell stock and form the company "for the purpose of constructing an aqueduct to supply said town with water." The company was allowed to impose a tax of up to fifty cents per share for the purpose of keeping the works of the said company in a state of repair and preservation, but could not impose any tolls for the use of the water. Samuel Clendening (1786-1875) used wooden logs to build the aqueduct "to convey water from Hill Tom Spring to Leslie's Tanyards and intermediate points."

The Town of Hillsborough was incorporated in 1837 and authorized to acquire the Aqueduct Company, but there is no evidence that they did so.

Samuel Turner, James C. Tanney, John Jones 2d, Joseph R. Leslie, J. Potts Neer & Thos. P. Clendening (partners) and Densley M. Dirrne constructed an "iron aqueduct" in 1858 and petitioned the legislature to incorporate the Hillsborough Aqueduct Company, but this was not granted.

In 1870, the "present joint owners of what is known as the Hillsboro' water company" were incorporated under that name.  It is not known if this company had acquired the Aqueduct Company system.

The Hillsboro' Water Company was reincorporated in 1887 by John H. Price, C. C. Bell, Thomas E. Camp, R. P. W. Jones, and C. C. Graver for "the reorganization of the old Hillsboro' water company, the incorporators herein named being the present owners of the property owned by the original incorporators, the repairing and laying of new pipes, main and lateral, to carry water from the spring known as Hill Tom to suitable points in the town of Hillsboro’"

The Hillsboro Water Company was purchased by the Town of Hillsboro in 1953, which built a new system.  The system was rebuilt again in 2014.

Water is currently provided by the Town of Hillsboro.

1829 Petition to the Legislature for an act to incorporate a company to supply the town with water.  December 12, 1829.  From the Library of Virginia Legislative Petitions Digital Collection

1830 An act incorporating the Hillsborough Aqueduct Company.  January 20, 1830.

1837 An act to incorporate the town of Hillsborough, in the county of Loudoun, and for other purposes.  March 24, 1837.

1858 Petition to the Legislatuare for an act to incorporate the Hillsborough Aqueduct Company. March 13, 1858.

1870 An act to Incorporate the Hillsboro' Water Company.  November 5, 1870.

1887 An act to incorporate the Hillsboro' Water Company.  May 12, 1887.

1978 Hillsboro Historic District Nomination Form Updated 2010.
Page 26: According to local history, Samuel Clendening Jr. built the system from hollowed-out pine logs with branches that led to Joseph and Samuel D. Leslie’s tanyard (in back of the present dwelling at 36963 Charles Town Pike) and to the town pump located in front of 36933 Charles Town Pike.17 In 1830, the Virginia General Assembly incorporated the system as the Hillsborough Aqueduct Company (changed in 1887 to Hillsboro Aqueduct Company). By 1858, at least six dwellings were connected to the wooden conduit, and at both the tanyard and town pump, there were a cast iron hydrant and a wooden watering trough.

2002 Hillsboro, Virginia - 200 Years Later, 'Town Made of Stone' Retains Its Idyllic Character by Eugene Scheel. | Also in the Washington Post, January 6, 2002 |
[James Edward] Copeland wrote in 1926 "that perhaps one hundred years ago," Samuel Clendening Jr. "cut and hauled pine logs from the government land on the Blue Ridge to Hillsborough and which were fashioned and laid for a conduit to convey water from Hill Tom Spring to Leslie's tanyard and intermediate points."
By 1858, at least six town homes were connected to the wooden conduit, and the town soon had two public hydrants, which emptied into two horse-watering troughs. In 1887, the state chartered the Hillsboro Water Co., with six trustees who were to maintain the system. But with the tannery closed and a population that had declined to 131 in 1900, the trustees felt that the system could maintain itself.
When Spencer Roberts took over, he replaced the wooden pipes with galvanized iron ones in 1935 and installed a two-inch water main through town. A 50-cent monthly fee from each house on the system paid for the improvements.
In 1953, the town dissolved Hillsboro Water Co. and took over the spring and its system, charging residential customers $2 a month, a fee unchanged through 1975.
Today, the 31 buildings hooked to the Hill Tom system pay $12.50 a month per person, with a maximum monthly charge of $50. For the past several months, spring customers have been under a boil-water alert after contaminants were found in a water sample. State officials have ordered the town to devise a water-treatment plan, an expensive and controversial matter.

2014 Loudoun County FY 2015- FY 2020 Proposed Capital Improvement Program
Attachment #1 - The Hillsboro Water Project Summary
Hillsboro Waterworks, (PWSID 610720) was formed in 1953 upon the dissolution of the Hillsboro Water Company.  The existing drinking water infrastructure is more than 60 years old.
The Town system's single source of drinking water for nearly two centuries has been Hill Tom Spring situated on the Short HIll Mountain on the northern edge of the town.

© 2016 Morris A. Pierce