Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Massachusetts Chelsea

Chelsea, Massachusetts

Chelsea was first settled in 1624 and incorporated as a city in 1857.

The Crystal Lake Water Works was incorporated in 1853 by Francis G. Macy, George Odiorne, Laugdon Coffin, Isaac Story, Jr., and J. W. Clark "for the purpose of constructing, establishing and maintaining an aqueduct or water works, in the town of Chelsea."  This company did not build anything.

1n 1865, the city of Chelsea was authorized to purchase a supply of water from the neighboring city of Charlestown, whose own water works had begun operation on November 29, 1864.  The city of Chelsea engaged Charlestown engineer Theodore Edward Ames (1837-1900) to design their water system, and after negotiations between the two cities Chelsea voters approved the plan.  Chelsea held a water celebration on November 21, 1867.  Charlestown was annexed in 1874 by the city of Boston, which took over and greatly expanded the water system.

Water is provided by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and distributed by the City of Chelsea  

1853 An act to incorporate the Crystal Lake Water Works.  May 11, 1853.

1853 An act concerning the Crystal Lake Water Works.  May 25, 1853.

1865 An act to authorize the city of Chelsea to purchase a supply of water from the city of Charlestown, and to issue scrip in payment therefor.  April 11, 1865.

1866 "Proposed Introduction of Mystic Pond Water," Boston Journal, October 4, 1866, Page 4.

1867 Boston Journal, April 16, 1867, Page 4.
At the meeting of the Charlestown Board of Aldermen, last evening, a communication was received from the Mystic Water Board concerning the introduction of pure water into the city of Chelsea from the Charlestown Works, and proposing terms upon which the arrangement might be made.

1867 "Supply of Mystic Water for Chelsea," Boston Herald, May 8, 1867, Page 6.  Terms of proposed water supply.

1867 Boston Herald, May 28, 1867, Page 2.
Chelsea votes in favor of Mystic Water.  Whole number of votes 907.  Yeas 832; Nays 75.

1867 Boston Traveler, July 11, 1867, Page 4.
Ceremonies attending the introduction of water.  The citizens of Chelsea were out at an early hour this morning to attend the ceremonies attending the breaking of ground for the introduction of water from Mystic Lake, though the city of Charleston, and in accordance with an agreement with the latter city.

1867 Boston Herald, September 13, 1867, Page 4.
The Mystic Water for Chelsea.  The Mystic water for Chelsea will be conveyed across Chelsea bridge by an iron pipe laid alongside the Cochituate water pipe on the framework of the north side of the bridge.  The work of uncovering the Cochituate pipe for the purpose of laying the Mystic pipe is now being done.

1867 Boston Herald, September 23, 1867, Page 4.
Official Visit to the Mystic Water Works.  The city of Chelsea has made arrangements to take the water, and fourteen miles of pipe have been laid in that city.  They expect to have their water celebration early in November, and to have the works under full operation in Chelsea by Spring.  The capacity of the lake and the works is believed to be able to supply Charlestown, Chelsea, and East Boston (if necessary).

1867 Boston Traveler, November 21, 1867, Pages 2 and 4.
Water Celebration in Chelsea.

1882 Chelsea, from Engineering News 9:106  (April 1, 1882)

1882 Chelsea, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

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

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

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

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

2017 Morris A. Pierce