Documentary History of American Water-works

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New England States Vermont Brattleboro

Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro was chartered in 1753 and was originally known as Brattleborough.

The Brattleboro Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1811 by Samuel Dickenson, Francis Goodhue, Ezra Clark, Mary Chapin, Lemuel Whitney, John Birge and Asa Green "for the purpose of making, using, and enjoying an aqueduct, to supply the within named persons, and their associates with water."  Goodhue in 1811 had also purchased the water rights for most of the lane south of the Whetstone Brook.  This company was operating as late as 1907, when it was cited by the Vermont State Board of Health for having water "in filthy condition."  

The Second Brattleboro Aqueduct Society was incorporated in 1817 by Francis Goodhue, Lemuel Whitney, Grindal R. Ellis, and Elisha Chase "for the purpose of completing, repairing, and enjoying the aqueduct, in said Brattleboro'." Although this company had built some manner of system, no further information about this company.

The Northern Aqueduct Association was formed around 1820 by Dr. Artemas Robbins and eight others. This system served Linden Street and the Common, and  operated until about 1876 when the water stopped flowing in the pipes.  A new Northern Association was formed to rebuild the system, after which the water in the old system starting flowing again.

The Brattleboro' South Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1831 by Samuel Root, Henry Clark and Joseph Fessenden "for the purpose of completing, repairing and enjoying said aqueduct."

Four aqueduct companies were operating in 1836.

The 1880 history of Brattleboro states that the Western Aqueduct Association was formed in 1826 by Francis Goodhue, John Holbrook, and Asa Green.  Although this may be correct,  another entity of that name was organized in 1842 that grow to be the largest in the village, serving most of the houses north of Elliott and west of Linden.

The Brattleboro Water Company was incorporated in 1859 by Daniel S. Pratt, Joel Bullard, John A. Stoddard, Rufus Pratt, James Eustis, Oscar J. Pratt and George B. Kellogg "for the purpose of constructing and maintaining an aqueduct to supply the inhabitants of the village of Brattleboro' with pure water for domestic purposes."

The Prospect Hill Aqueduct Company was incorporated in 1866 by Lewis Putnam, Jacob Estey, R. W. Clarke, William Thomas, John Kathan, and Asa S. Field "for the purpose of constructing and maintaining an acqueduct to supply the inhabitants of the village of Brattleboro, in the county of Windham, with water for domestic and other purposes."

Six water companies are listed in an 1866/67 business directory.

The Hines Aqueduct Association was formed by Isaac Hines around 1872 to distribute water from springs on "Hines Hill," later known as Chestnut Hill.  Hines died on August 22, 1876 and his son Alonzo sold the property to George E. Crowell, who continued work on the aqueduct.

The 1880 history of Brattleboro states that "There are 7 or 8 companies or organizations for supplying all demands for running water."

The Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company was incorporated in 1888 by George E. Crowell, George S. Dowley, E. P. Carpenter, Charles H Davenport, Warren E. Eason, E. W. Stoddard, B. D. Harris, and E. C. Crosby "for the purpose of furnishing the inhabitants of the town and village of Brattleboro with water for domestic and other purposes."

In 1893 the Chestnut Hill company supplied 200 houses or about one-fifth of the village, the remainder were mostly supplied by ten to twelve private aqueduct associations.

The Sunset Lake Water Company was incorporated in 1904 by George E. Crowell, C. B. Crowell, Percy V. Crowell, Edward C. Crosby and Clarke C. Fitts "for the purpose of developing a water supply and furnishing the inhabitants and business establishments of the town of Dummerston and the town and village of Brattleboro with water for domestic purposes and fire protection."

The Brattleboro Water Works Company was incorporated in 1909 by the consolidation of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company and the Sunset Lake Water Company.

The Brattleboro water system is owned by the Town of Brattleboro

1811 An act, to incorporate certain persons by the name of the Brattleborough Aqueduct Company, October 26, 1811

1817 An Act, to incorporate the second Brattleboro' Aqueduct Society, October 30, 1817.

1824 A gazetteer of the state of Vermont, by Zadock Thompson
Pages 69-70: Brattleborough ... The east vilage is a place of much business, and is said to be the richest village of its size in New-England. ... At the distillery of Francis Goodhue, 9000 bushels of rye are distilled, and at his cotton factory 18000 pounds of world is manufactured yearly. ... At the east village, there is an "Aqueduct Corporation', an 'Engine Company,' and a 'Royal Arch Chapter of Freemasons.'

1831 An act, to incorporate a Company in Brattleboro' East Village, by the name of the Brattleboro' South Aqueduct Company, October 24, 1831

1835 An act, incorporating Acqueduct Associations within this State, and giving them certain powers and privileges, November 4, 1835.

1836 Vermont Phoenix, March 18, 1836, Page 3
Lead Pipe and Metal Pumps
The Public are respectfully informed that the subscriber has taken the Shop recently occupied by Gore & Crosby directly over Luther Weld's Gun shop, where he manufactures Lead Aqueduct Pipe of all sizes.
Jacob Estey, Brattleboro, March 17.

1836 Stephen Greenleaf's 1836 History, Printed in four parts in the Vermont Phoenix, October 23, 1868, October 30, 1868, November 6, 1868, and November 13, 1868.The villagers are amply supplied with water, the pure nectar of nature, at their dwellings, brought by four aqueducts, that are under the direction of four corporate associations.

1842 Vermont Phoenix, September 2, 1842, Page 3
Water! Water!! Water!!!
The Members of the Western Aqueduct Association and those desirous of joining said Association, also all persons Interested in the concern, are requested to meet at the Chapel in Elliot Street on Thursday, the first day of September next at 7 o'clock, P. M., for the purpose of adopting Byelaws, choosing Officers, and dividing the Capital Stock of the Association into equal shares. CHAS. CHAPIN, Moderator.
Brattleboro, Aug. 26, 1842.

1846 Vermont Phoenix March 5, 1846
The weather for the past week has been extremely cold, as most people have probably discovered.  Many of the aqueducts in the village were frozen up.

1848 Vermont Phoenix, August 24, 1848, Page 3
Esty’s Pump and Lead Pipe Manufactory! At the Old Stand South of the Bridge. The Subscriber continues to manufacture Copper Pumps and Lead Pipe of superior quality, which he will warrant to be equal to any made in this or any other place. Pressed Pipe coated with tin, called next to silver, constantly on hand and for sale at the lowest prices. Lumber and most kinds of produce taken in exchange. Jacob Esty.

1855 Vermont Phoenix, December 29, 1855, Page 3
For Sale.  Share No. 6 in the Brattleboro Aqueduct Company, it being one ninth of said Aqueduct.  Geo. Newman. Brattleboro Nov. 1st, 1855

1859 An act to incorporate the Brattleboro Water Company, November 4, 1859.

1866 An act to incorporate the Prospect Hill Aqueduct Company, November 14, 1866.

1867 Merwins Conn. River business directory for 1867/8 ... relating to the business interests of the cities, towns and villages, on the line of the river from Saybrook, Conn., to Newport, Vermont
Page 364-365:
Brattleboro Water company, K. Haskins, Sec. and Treas.
Centerville Aqueduct Association, Jno. Cutler, Pres.
Northern Aqueduct Association, Nelson Crosby, Agent.
Prospect Hill Aqueduct Company, L. K. Fuller, Sec. and Tras.
Southern Aqueduct Association, Joseph Clark, Treas.
Western Aqueduct Association, C. L. Mead, Sec. and Treas.

1873 Vermont Phoenix, August 8, 1873, Page 2.
At a meeting of the stock holders of the Western aqueduct association, held on Thursday last, it was voted to lay a four inch iron pipe from the main reservoir to the reservoir on HIgh street, a distance of about one mile.  A contract for the pipes has been made with a Philadelphia iron firm, and an assessment of $20 per share has been levied, which is no payable to the treasurer, Malcom Moody, at the Vermont Savings Bnak.  It is estimated that the whole expense will be less than $4,000.

1875 Vermont Phoenix, September 10, 1875, Page 2
We understand that J. Estey & Co. and Prof. Charlier have purchased a controlling interest in the Brattleboro Water Company and propose to lay three inch iron pipe five feet deep, the whole length of their aqueduct before cold weather sets in.  Isaac Hines also proposes to substitute iron pipe for logs nearly the whole lengthof his aqueduct, which supplies a good many houses on Western avenue and Forest square.

1875 Vermont Phoenix, October 1, 1875, Page 3
R. D. Ward & Co. vs. Western Aqueduct Association.---This action was brought to recover the balance claimed to be due for the iron pipe which the Aqueduct Association of Brattleboro laid from their spring near Centreville. From the evidence it appeared that in July 1873 the directors of the aqueduct association made a contract with the agent of plffs. to furnish them with between five and six thousand feet of iron pipe in lengths of nlne feet each, and tho same was to be delivered at Brattleboro on or about tho 1st of September of tbe same year. After this contract was made tho plffs. had some correspondence with the officers of the aqueduct association in which they recommended aud urged them
to take the iron pipe in lengths of twelve feet each; this the officers of the aqueduct company declined to do, stating that they desired the nlne feet pipe becauseo the line of the water pipes was crooked and the short plpe could be used in the curves without necessitating the cutting of the pipe.  Correspondence continued between the parties through the summer on this subject, and during the early part of the fall.
On or about the 5th of November the plffs. forwarded the iron pipe, in lengths of twelve feet each. The defts. claimed that the pipe was not accepted until the plaintiffs agreed lo make the association whole for any loss or damage which it might sustain on account of the twelve foot pipe. The defts. claimed that they had paid $1800 towards the pipe, and that the extra expense incurred by cutting and laying the long pipe, together with the expense of laying the same late in the fall after the ground had frozen, was a damage to the association of more than a $1000. The plffs. claimed that the 12 ft. pipe was accepted by the defts. without any agreement to pay such damages as the defts. claimed upon the trial. The jury found specially and found that the pipe at 49 cts. per foot came to $2882.80, and at 46 cts. per foot came to $2704.05. The jury also found that a deduction should be made in favor of the defts. for the sum of $288.03. Davenport & Eddy for plff., J. M. Tyler and C. B. Eddy for deft.

1876 Vermont Phoenix, September 22, 1876, Page 2
The new “Northern Aqueduct Company” to hold its first meeting at the Brooks House, Saturday.

1876 Vermont Phoenix, September 22, 1876, Page 3
Northern Aqueduct Association
Articles of Association
Art. 1.  We, the undersigned, do hereby associate together for the purpose of supplying a portion of the East Village of Brattleboro with water by means of an aqueduct.

1876 Vermont Phoenix, September 29, 1876, Page 2.
It is, perhaps, proper to mention that the next day after tbe first meeting of the new Northern Aqueduct Association, the old aqueduct began to run a good stream or water for the first time in several weeks. Perhaps the old pipe felt misused at its prospective disuse and wished lo show what it is still capable of, but a new one is nevertheless to be immediately laid. The source of the aqueduct is in three springs in the high land back of the asylum farm house.

1880 Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont: Early History, with Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Citizens by Henry Burnham
Page 38: It was easy to see how perfectly useless were the best of fire engines without some way to supply them. Meetings of the inhabitants were called at various times at which committees were appointed to devise and report at a future meeting some feasible plan to meet the difficulty. Progress towards this end was slow but after years of consideration large underground cement cisterns , supplied by waste water from dwelling houses, were placed at such points as was most advantageous.
In 1866 a great advance was made in this respect rendering the supply of water in Main street inexhaustible. A power engine or force-pump was placed in the machine shop of F. Tyler, at the south end of Main street, and operated by a large water wheel. By this means 200 gallons of water per minute, from Whetstone Brook, could be delivered at several hydrants, in such positions to be available at a fire in any part of Main street, and, with sufficient hose, can be of great service in protecting property in other streets.
Fires, under the present management, are almost invariable confined to buildings where they originate.  The most remarkable exception to this rule occurred in November, 1869, when the Brattleboro House and several stores were consumed.  The great freshet, which occurred in the month before the fire, rendered inefficient the power-engine which the village depended for the great supply of water from Whetstone Brook.
All the buildings on Main street and a large share of the dwelling houses in the village are supplied with constantly running water from springs of great purity. The water is brought by conduits to several distributing reservoirs in such localities to best accommodate the consumers of the water. There are 7 or 8 companies or organizations for supplying all demands for running water. The Western Aqueduct Association is the largest and most important in the place. Their spring is divided into 180 shares. The water was brought about one mile to High street in 1826, by Messers. John Holbrook, Asa Green and Francis Goodhue. Shares have been sold for $8 each, but are now valued at not less than $100 each. The company deliver the water at a brick aqueduct house in High street, and share owners put down small pipes leading to their dwellings at their own expense, and they are subject to taxation, in proportion to the amount of water they own, to keep the main conduit in repair.
To the western aqueduct may be attributed the growth, in fact, the very existence of two of the most important streets in this village. The three originators of this association conferred a benefit of great importance to the public. They have long since passed away, but their memory lives in that appropriate emblem of purity and industry — pure running water.
Page 62:  Dr. Artemas Robbins ... He was one of the nine originators and owners of the Northern Aqueduct company, which first went into practical operation about 60 years ago, and now continues to supply several families with water.

1881 Vermont Phoenix, July 1, 1881, Page 2
Mr. Geo. E. Crowell is about to lay an aqueduct to bring water from Pratt's hill for the supply of his houses on Forest square, and offers, with the assistance and cooperation of the bailiffs, to lay a pipe around the square with the necessary water supply and hydrants for the protection of that portion of the village in case of fire. We understand that the bailiffs are about to examine into the feasibility of the project, which promises to afford both an efficient and cheap solution uf a problem which, in view of the present lack of protection for that rapidly growing neighborhood, will soon have to be solved in one way or another.

1881 Vermont Phoenix, October 7, 1881, Page 2
Geo. E. Crowell is engaged in building a large water reservoir on Pratt’s hill for the supply of his Forest Square aqueduct.

1883 Vermont Phoenix, April 6, 1883, Page 2
Crowell has resumed work on his Chestnut hill aqueduct and reservoir.

1883 Vermont Phoenix, May 11, 1883, Page 2
Crowell has a force of 15 or 20 men at work on his reservoir and aqueduct. As planned, the reservoir will be of great benefit to the place, having a capacity of some 5,000,000 gallons and being located at a height above the village as to form a valuable auxiliary to our fire department, and one which it is to be hoped the village will not be slow to avail itself of. The reservoir will require two years for its completion.

1883 Vermont Phoenix, August 31, 1883, Page 2
The laying of the Green street main for Crowell’s aqueduct to the corner of Elliot and Main streets has been prosecuted with vigor this week with the hope of completing it to morrow.

1883 Vermont Phoenix, October 19, 1883, Page 2
Crowell now has a force of men engaged in laying aqueduct mains on portions of Forest square not already supplied.

1887 Vermont Phoenix, May 20, 1887, Page 2
Connection is being made today with the big new supply pipe which runs from Mr. Crowell’s reservoir down to the head of High and Green streets. The water supply was shut off early this morning, but the pipes are expected to be “ready for business” again before dark to-night.
Mr. Crowell sent an order last week for four miles of iron pipe for his aqueduct, amounting to about 250 tons, which with that already received will aggregate some 300 tons for the season.

1888 An act to incorporate the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company, November 27, 1888.

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

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

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

1891 "Brattleboro," by Henry Burnham, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer: A Magazine, Embracing a History of Each Town, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military, Volume V, The Towns of Windham County.

1891 Vermont Phoenix, May 22, 1891, Page 4
The Western aqueduct association are putting large new pipes on Grove street.

1891 Vermont Phoenix, October 9, 1891, Page 4
The boys have the laugh on a certain worthy citizen who drove a crow bar into the ground with the intention of using it for a stake for fastening a cow, and when he struck some substance that offered resistance, renewed his efforts, with the result of forcing a hole in a large water pipe. There was excitement for a time, and there threatened to be a water famine on Clark and Canal streets, but the break was properly repaired before the loss of water became serious.

1891 Vermont Phoenix, December 4, 1891, Page 4
The annual meeting of the Southern Aqueduct association will be held at the office of Wm. S. Newton next Monday evening at 7:30.

1891 Vermont Phoenix, December 11, 1891, Page 4
The annual meeting of the Southern Aqueduct association was held at the office of W. S. Newton Monday Monday evening, when these officers were chosen:  President, H. R. Lawrence; directors, Jonathan C. Howe, B. A. Burnham; clerk and treasurer, William S. Newton; auditor, B. A. Burnham.  It was voted to repair the reservoir and water houses and to raise 50 cents on a share to pay for this work, the money to be payable July 1st.

1892 An act in addition to and in amendment of the charter of the village of Brattleboro, November 22, 1892.  Village authorized to construct or acquire water works up to a maximum cost of $200,000.

1893 Vermont Phoenix, March 3, 1893, Page 7
Brattleboro's Water Supply
Report of the Special Committee Appointed by the Village to Investigate the Subject
With a Summary of the Engineer's Report, and Statements from Mr. Crowell and the Fire Department Engineers
[Very thorough report on the water works] The Committee have learned with some surprise that, out of some 1100 households, or separate families, in the village, only about 200--or less than one-fifth--are receiving their water for domestic uses from the Chestnut Hill resrvoir--the other four-fifths and more getting their permanent supply from other sources, and mainly from ten or twelve private aqueduct associations in town, whose shares are generally owned with the buildings they supply--thus practically, and in most cases, permanently, cutting off the use of water by occupants of such buildings from any general water system, except for occasional temporary and special purposes.

1893 Vermont Phoenix, June 16, 1893, Page 4
A good many broken pipes on the Chestnut hill reservoir main are being found in West Brattleboro.
Ground was broken this morning for laying Mr. Crowell’s six inch pipe across the Brattleboro Retreat meadow, to connect the reservoir with the West river. It is to be hoped that the work will be pushed rapidly, for the public have become very uneasy over the continued use of the Whetstone brook water.  It is understood that several weeks must elapse in any case before the connection can be made.

1894 An act in addition to an act entitled "an act to incorporate the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company," approved November 27, 1888, November 23, 1894

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

1899 Vermont Phoenix, October 13, 1899, Page 6
The annual meeting of the Prospect Hill Aqueduct association was held Tuesday evening at the house of E. B. Bissell.These officers were elected : President, W.H. Adams; secretary and treasurer, G. H. Burns; directors, W. H. Adams, S. H. Farr and A. R. Harris. It was voted to levy an assessment of 25 cents a share to pay the running expenses. The association's springs are to be repaired.

1902 Vermont Phoenix, June 6, 1902, Page 4
The Brattleboro Aqueduct association held their annual meeting Tuesday evening In the office of S. W. Edgett. After hearing the reports of
officers it was voted to raise $2 on a share to meet current expenses.  These officers were elected: President, H. B. Chamberlaln; secretary and treasurer, C. W. Wyman; trustees, E. C. Crosby, G. E. Crowall and George S. Phlllips; superintendent. E. G. Phllllps.

1904 An act amending the charter of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company, October 27, 1904

1904 An act to incorporate the Sunset Lake Water Company, November 29, 1904

1905 Vermont Phoenix, January 6, 1905, Page 4
Report on Water Analysis
Chestnut Hill Aqueduct Association Will Remove Source of Contamination--Water Safe Under Normal Conditions

1905 Vermont Phoenix, December 8, 1905, Page 4
In Favor of Municipal Ownership
Reports of Committee on Water Supply Question Presented at a Special Village Meeting Friday
Minority Report Presented by Edward C. Crosby.

1905 Vermont Phoenix, December 15, 1905, Page 2
Mr. Crowell's Offer
States Terms on Which He will Sell Water System
Some Facts to Be Taken into Consideration in Fixing Value--All He Wants is a "Square Deal"

1905 Vermont Phoenix, December 22, 1905, Page 1
The village meeting Tuesday evening resolved itself into a rabble, where impulse and thoughtlessness overran premeditation and deliberation. There Is a strong sentiment in the community for municipal ownership of the water works, but it would bo folly now to go ahead with the construction of an entirely new water system. In competition with the Crowell systems. Nobody knows what the cost of a new system would be the estimate is $250,000, and judging by the result of other similar estimates the village might find Itself saddled with a debt of $350,000 or $400,000. Nothing could be done about a new system anyway until after the next session of tho legislature, and by that time Mr. Crowell will have his new supply coming to the village from Stlckney and Pleasant Valley brooks. The legislative act of 1892 provides a way for the village to acqulre Mr. Crowell's properties on a basis equitable alike to him and to the village. The voting down of Mr. Dunham's resolution Tuesday night was an act which will not bear the scrutiny of sane analysis.

1905 Vermont Phoenix, December 22, 1905, Page 4
Village Meeting Adjourned Again
Accepted Water Committee's Reports, but Transacted no other business in session of 2 1/2 hours
Resolution to wait for Mr. Crowell Voted Down
Gathering Marked by Confusion, Forensic Sparring and Expression of a Great Variety of Opinion

1906 Vermont Phoenix, January 5, 1906, Page 2
Water Supply Question Again
Special Village Meeting has Been Called for Next Wednesday Night--The Articles and Some Ancient History
What Present Conditions are Under Close Scrutiny
Does the Village Want to Take Action Which will Burden Taxpayers? --Letter from John Galvin

1906 Vermont Phoenix, January 12, 1906, Page 2
Chose Water Board of 12 Members
Directed to Procure for the Village, by Purchase or Otherwise, a Water System at Expense not to Exceed $250,000---Objections by Mr. Crowell's Counsel.

1906 Vermont Phoenix, May 25, 1906, Page 8
Bids on Water Works
Village Water Committee Will Receive Them at 4 PM Today
Representatives of a Dozen contracting Firms Here--Provisions for Issuance of Water Bonds

1906 Engineering World 4(2):59 (June 20, 1906)
Brattleboro, Vt.-The Brattleboro Water Board has published the figures contained in the bids received for constructing an independent water system for Brattleboro. The lowest bid was that of the Loren N. Farnum Co. of Boston, Mass., at $157,000 on a cash basis, and $165,000 if required to take bonds. The Farnum company agrees to complete the works by Dec. 1, and it also agrees to lay what additional pipe may be required to make the system practically equal the present system for $7,000. The engineer estimates that $5,000 will be required for rock ballasting, making the cost of a complete system $12,000 more than the bid, or $169,000. The village appropriated $250,000 for the purpose of establishing a water system.

1906 Engineering World 4(4):96 (July 6, 1906)
Brattleboro, Vt.-The contract for the municipal water system here has been awarded to the Lorning N. Farnum Co., 504 Exchange Bldg., Boston, Mass. at $169,000.  Other bidders were F. T. Ley & Co., Springfield, $188,000; Breglia & Way, Springfield, $167,650.86; F.S. & A. P. Gore, Medford Mass., $197,439; O'Connell & Son, Holyoke, $162,659.

1906 Vermont Phoenix, September 28, 1906, Page 7
Asked to Call Special Village Meeting
A petition was persented to the baliffs this forenoon asking them to call a special village meeting as soon as possible to see if the village will vote to purchase the Chestnux Hill reservoir system and the Sunset Lako reservoir system at the price of $295,000, "the sum now asked for the same." Another article is to see if the village will vote to instruct our town representative to take measures to secure proper and sufficient legislation to enable the village to construct or purchase a system of water works, and rescind the Informal vote to instruct the water board to arbitrate, taken at the last meeting. A third article is to see if the village will vote to purchase the two systems named
and to arbitrate as to the price. The petition is signed by O. E. Randall, A. J. Currier, E. Q. Frost, W. C. Mitchell. W. G. Rockwell, C F. Benson, C. I. Knapp, C. L. Spear, L. M. Stlckney, I. L. Moore, N. H. White, C. M. Wheeler and W. H. Phillips. The bailiffs will act upon the petition as soon as possible.

1906 Vermont Phoenix, October 19, 1906, Page 4
To Secure Further Legislation
Then Village will be Enabled to "Construct, Purchase or Procure" Water Water---Four Steps Taken at Village Meeting Friday Night
It was voted not to buy the two systems of water owned by George E.Crowell for $395,000.

1906 Vermont Phoenix, October 26, 1906, Page 3
Amendments to the Village Charter
Full Text of the Bill Introduced into the Legislatuare by Representative Gibson with View to Procuring Water System---May Issue $400,000 Bonds

1906 Vermont Phoenix, December 7, 1906, Page 10
Brattleboro Water Works
The Hearing Held at Montpelier This Week
Whole Subject Thoroughly Discussed Before the Joint Committee on Municipal Corporations---Everybody in Good Temper---Many Helpful Suggestions Made by the Committee

1906 Vermont Phoenix, December 14, 1906, Page 7
The Water Works Controversy.
Another Committee Hearing Wednesday--Some of the Things Said or Thought Would Not Look Well if Printed in a Book

1906  An act in substitution of No 117 of the acts of 1892, entitled "an act in addition to and in amendment of the charter of the village of Brattleboro."  December 19, 1906.  Allowed to issue $400,000 in bonds.
SEC. 18. This act shall be of no force and effect unless the said village of Brattleboro shall within one year from its passage purchase or offer to purchase the water systems and all the properties, real and personal, including all rights, privileges and easements of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company, and of the Sunset Lake Water Company, including all water rights and rights to turn water and other rights and privileges now owned and held by George E. Crowell for said corporation or intended for said systems, for the sum of two hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($260,000) and at the time of purchase the principal sum or sums, with accrued interest of any mortgage, mortgages or liens resting upon said property, shall be deducted from the purchase price and assumed by the village. Any work done upon or additions to the plants of the said companies after the passage of this act shall be with the approval of the bailiffs of the said village, and the expense thereof shall be added to the purchase price as above fixed.”

1906 Vermont Phoenix, December 21, 1906, Page 1
The Village Charter Amendment

1907 Vermont Phoenix, March 29, 1907, Page 3
Advantages of Municipal Ownership
Brattleboro Could Own the Water Works on a Profitable Basis--- Possibilities of Income with Growth of Village Assured---Articles Special Village Meeting Might Consider

1907 Annual Report of the State Board of Health of the State of Vermont
Brattleboro, Vt., July 6, 1907. H. B. Chamberlain, President Brattleboro Aqueduct Company, Brattleboro, Vt.
Dear Sir:—The water of the Brattleboro Aqueduct Co., of which I understand you are the president, is in a filthy condition, some days much more so than others; it is roily and, on some occasions, tastes and smells bad. I do not think the springs and pipes have been cleaned out for several years. I think that surface water gains access to the pipes, possibly through the blind ditches which, I understand, were laid to take water from the swampy places into the main pipe. If cattle get into the swamp treading around and leaving their droppings, and water from this source gets into the pipes, this may be a cause of its contamination. A thorough examination of the whole line from the Thurber place down should be made and the general conditions improved, so that these sources of pollution would be prevented.
In behalf of the State Board of Health, HENRY D. HOLTON, Secretary and Executive Officer

1907 Vermont Phoenix, July 26, 1907, Page 1
No Special Meeting
Agreement to Extend the Water works Option One Year
By Consent of All Parties in Interest the Option is Extended to Jan. 1, 1909--Reasons for this Action which Promises to Stop all Controversy on the Water Works Question.

1907 Vermont Phoenix, August 16, 1907, Page 6
The Agreement Signed
Necessity for Immediate Action in the Water Works Situation is Therefore Postponed

1908 An act to consolidate the Chestnut Hill Reservoir Company and the Sunset Lake Water Company, December 12, 1908.

1908 An act in substitution for No. 117 of the acts of 1892, entitled "an act in addition to an in amendment of the charter of the village of Brattleboro," and in substition of No. 263 of the acts of 1906, entitled "an act in substitution of No.117 of the acts of 1892, entitled "an act in addition to and in amendment of the charter of the village of Brattleboro."  January 7, 1909

1909 Burlington Weekly Free Press and Times, May 20, 1909, Page 14
BRATTLEBORO COMPANIES MERGE. Montpelier. May 14 The Chestnut Hill Reservoir company and the Sunset Lake Water companv of Brattleboro filed today In the office of the secretary of Sate articles of incorporation merging the two companies and making the united capital stock $400,000. The par value nf each stock is $100. All the debts of the separate companies will be cared for by the new company which carries the name of the Brattleboro Water Works company.

1909 Vermont Watchman, August 5, 1909, Page 2
Work has been begun upon the 80,000,000 gallon reservoir which is to be built in Pleasant valley, a mile or more above West Brattleboro, for the Brattleboro Water Works company. Over 100 Italians arrived in Brattleboro Monday to work on the job, and the first of the week was spent
in constructing their habitations. It is expected that the contract will keep between 100 and 150 men busy from now until late in the fall. Twenty-five acres will be stripped of the surface soil and a dam 600 feet long and from three to 25 feet in height will be built. The dam
will be of concreto with earth on each side and will be laid on a foundation of solid rock. Excavation for the foundation of the dam is now under way.

1909 Vermont Watchman, October 28, 1909, Page 2
The Brattleboro Water Works company has declded to build the spillway of its reservolr in Pleasant valley high enough so that it wlll hold
back 120,000,000 gallons of water from the start, instead of 80,000,000 gallons as at flrst contemplated. The work can be done to somewhat better advantage now than after the reservolr has fllled and the relatlve cost wlll not be large. The Increase ln the capacity of the reservolr wlll necessitate cleanlng from one to two acres more of the bed, and that work ls now ln progress. The extra work wlll not delay materlally the date of closlng the gate and allowlng the reservolr to fi11, and lt ls expected that the gate wlll be closed about Nov. 15,
The gate house ls nine-tenths done and the splllway ls seven-elghths completed.  Figurlng the consumptlon of water at 60 gallons a day for each person ln town, Whlch ls a liberal estlmate, the reservolr once full would last the town 250 days, or more than elght months, wlthout any water runnlng ln, calllng the populatlon of the town 8000.

1910 Vermont Phoenix, January 14, 1910, Page 6
The high pressure water service will not be turned on until spring.  In a special meeting of the baliffs Monday evening it was decided to postpone indefinitely having the high pressure turned on.  The baliffs received formal notification Monday evening that the Brattleboro Water Works company was ready to turn on the high pressure from the Pleasant Valley reservoir on all sections north of Elliot street.  Inquiry among the plumbers shoed that nearly all the orders for pressure reducers in that section had been filled and a few days would have sufficed to fill the remaining orders.  It was known, however, that some people had neglected or refused to put on these safety devices and that the plumbing in their houses would not stand the extra pressure. The condition of the service pipes leading from the mains to the houses in such that many breaks may be expected when the high pressure is turned on, even with the safety devices.  It would felt by the baliffs that the people woul dbe better satisfied if their troubles were postponed until warm weather when repairs could be made more easily.

1910 Vermont Phoenix, June 10, 1910, Page 4
The annual meeting of the Brattleboro Water company was held Monday evening.  These officers were elected:  President, H. B. Chamberlain; directors, George E. Crowell, E. C. Crosby, and H. C. Streeter; secretary and treasurer, E. G. Phillips.  An assessment of $2.50 a share was voted.
In the annual meeting of the Western Aqueduct association Tuesday night the officers last year were re-elected.  They are: President, E. C. Crosby; secretary and treasurer, G. C. Averill; directors, E. C. Crosby, H. D. Holton, A. E. Thurber.  No assessment was voted as there is enough money is available to meet the expenses of the year.

1910 Vermont Phoenix, July 8, 1910, Page 4
One of the Brattleboro Water Works company's horses driven by Fred Adam ran down the Main street hill late Tuesday afternoon and smashed Into one of the plate glass windows of H. M. Wood's store. The animal became frightened by the shifting of its load of iron pipes some of the pipes shoving forward and bitting him in the back. Mr. Adam was walking beside the wagon and he did all that he could to turn or stop the runaway. He had a narrow escape from being crushed when the horse ran upon the sidewalk at the Flat street corner and he escnped the broken glass of the window by a narrow margin. He was left between the kicking horse and the other window and for a minute or more he was In great danger. A large crowd gathered and the horse was quieted with out any further damage. The animal was scratched somewhat and Mr. Adam was slightly bruised, but the only materlal damage done was to the window.

1911 Vermont Phoenix, April 14, 1911, Page 4
Body in Reservoir
Mrs. Mary A. Purrington Disappeared Last November
Found by Boys Throwing Stones on Ice--Chestnut Hill System Promptly Disconnected from Public Supply

1911 Vermont Phoenix, July 14, 1911, Page 4
For the first time in its history the Brattleboro Water company found itself short of water this week and had the tower on Western avenue, near Union street, connected the supply of the Brattleboro Water Works company. The latter's supply is not especially low at present, but the officials are emphatic in the suggestion that users of the water do not waste it.

1911 Vermont Phoenix, July 29, 1911, Page 1
To The Patrons Of the Brattleboro Water Works Co.
[Regulations for using a hose.]

1921 Annals of Brattleboro, 1681-1895, Volume 1, by Mary Rogers Cabot
Page 229:  Joseph Clark at one time owned most of the land on the south side of Whetstone Brook to the Vernon and Guilford lines, and established the first stop for wool carding and cloth dressing.  The water rights owned by him were sold, in 1811, to Francis Goodhue by John Holbrook.
Page 234: In 1826 John Holbrook, Asa Green and Francis Goodhue formed the Western Aqueduct Association which brought to High Street the first water supply.
Page 371: Water Supply
All the buildings on Main Street, and a large proportion of dwelling houses throughout the village are supplied by water from springs of great purity.
The water from the Western Aqueduct (Association) was brought about one mile to High Street in 1826 by John Holbrook, Asa Green and Francis Goodhue. It was divided into one hundred and eighty shares which sold for eight dollars each. This supplies all streets north of Elliot Street. The Northern Aqueduct (Association) supplies Linden Street and the Common. The Southern Aqueduct (Association), South Main, Canal, Clark and Reed Streets. The Brattleboro Water Company, organized in 1860, a portion of Green, School and Elliot Streets. The Prospect Hill Aqueduct Company, 1866, residences on Prospect Hill. The Centerville Aqueduct (Association), residences in Centerville only.
In consequence of a fire entirely consuming, for lack of water, the house of Doctor John L. Dickerman in 1834, large cement cisterns, supplied by waste water from dwelling houses, were placed at advantageous points.
A remarkable example of public service quietly carried on has come to light by the resignation of Mr. F. W. Kuech (January 26, 1918) from the care of the water tower of the Western and Northern Aqueduct Association, near the Common. He not only made necessary repairs on the building, but for forty-one years hauled wood from his own woodpile and "sat up" with a fire on bitterly cold nights to keep the water from freezing, without any expense whatever to the shareholders.

1921 Annals of Brattleboro, 1681-1895, Volume 2 , edited by Mary Rogers Cabot
In 1882, when Mr. Crowell bought the Isaac Hines property, he put on a large force of men to complete the aqueduct which Mr. Hines began. This included the Chestnut Hill reservoir, of 8,000,000 gallons capacity, which was Brattleboro's main source of water supply for domestic and fire purposes until Mr. Crowell constructed and added to this water system an immense reservoir in Pleasant Valley, 120,000,000 gallons capacity.
The question of public ownership of this system came up in 1905 and subsequently was carried to the Legislature, but the village finally voted not to buy it and it has remained in the ownership of the Brattleboro Water Works Company, of which Mr. Crowell was the head and which has been managed by his son, Christie B. Crowell.

1925 Christian Science Monitor, January 3, 1925 Page 3
Brattleboro Votes to Buy Water Works
Brattleboro, Vt., Jan. 3--The special meeting of Brattleboro village last night voted unanimously to buy the interests of the Brattleboro Water Works Company for $525,000.  It was voted also to buy land for the protection of the water shed and to seek from the Legislature such changes in the village charter as will be needed for the operation of the water system.  The village commissioners stated that the income should leave an excess for the treasury after paying all expenses including bond charges.

1925 An act to enable the village of Brattleboro to issue bonds for a water system and improvements thereto. February 26, 1925
Section I. The village of Brattleboro is hereby authorized to issue, without further vote of the village, its negotiable bonds to pay for the water system purchased of the Brattleboro Water Works Company.

1925 St. Albans Daily Messenger, March 17, 1925, Page 3
Permission has been granted by the Public Service Commission to the Brattleboro Water Works Co. to sell all its assets to the village of Brattleboro, carrying out the vote of a recent village meeting to take over the water works property at a valuation of $525,000.  A hearing was held before the Public Service Commission on February 20th.

1925 An act to authorize the village of Brattleboro to operate a water system, March 18, 1925.

1928 Village of Brattleboro v. Anna Yauvey.  Supreme Court of Vermont. February Term, 1928. Opinion filed October 3, 1928. Case about water rights arising from the Hines Aqueduct System in 1872.

1958-60 Centerville Aqueduct Association v. State Highway Bd., Windham County Court, Biennial report of the Attorney General of the state of Vermont for the Two Years Ending June 30, 1960, Page 28

1985 The Early Aqueduct Systems and the Subsequent Brattleboro Water Department Compiled by Richard H. Wellman.  This is a very helpful document and lists most of the early aqueduct systems in Brattleboro.

2009 On the Job: The Brattleboro Public Works Department by Wayne Carhart and Charles Fish

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce