Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Sunderland, Massachusetts

Sunderland was first settled in 1713.

The Rowe Spring Society built a water system in 1796 that apparently did not operate for a long period of time.

The Sunderland Water Company was incorporated in 1884 by Joel Burt, N. Austin Smith, and Austin D. Smith "for the purpose of furnishing the inhabitants of Sunderland with pure water for the extingishment of fire and for domestic and other purposes."  This company built a system that same year.

The Williams Water Company was incorporated on October 16, 1900 by Jane S. Williams, Frank O. Williams and Milton H. Williams."for the purpose of supplying spring water to the upper half of the village."  This company was acquired by the Sunderland Water Company around 1910.

The Sunderland Water District was formed in 1950 and bought the Sunderland Water Company for $38,500.

Water is provided by the Sunderland Water District.

1884 An act to incorporate the Sunderland Water Company.  March 26, 1884.

1886 Seventh Annual Report of the State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity of Massachusetts
Page 238: Sunderland Water Company.

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

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

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

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

1899 Springfield Republican, June 14, 1899, Page 9.
Sunderland. The Sunderland water company are laying new and larger pipe to replace a portion of that before laid, so as to be able to furnish their patrons with more water.

1899 History of the Town of Sunderland, Massachusetts 1673-1899, by John Montague Smith
Pages 170-171: Conveying Water From A Spring In 1796 To The Street.  From certain papers now in existence it is learned that in 1796, certain individuals, living near the south part of Sunderland street, formed themselves into a company, under the name of the "Rowe Spring Society," for the purpose of conveying water "from a spring of water which runs out of the ground in a lot of land which was originally Fellows Billings', situated at the north end of 'Kellogg's Hill.'"
The deed to the spring was given by Elijah Rowe, who then lived on the corner south of the present hotel, which was once owned by Fellows Billings, who probably sold the homestead with the "Kellogg's hill" lot to Elijah Rowe, when he moved to Conway, being driven out of town because of his obnoxious toryism. The deed was given to Miles Alexander, Gideon Ashley, John Montague, Samuel Church, Lemuel Clark, Benjamin Graves, Amos Daniels, Elijah Rowe, Heman Farnum, Thomas Clark, William Delano, Phineas Graves, Jr., Thomas Field, Abraham Sanderson, Lucius Graham, Jonathan Barlow and Philip Russell. The consideration named in the deed was 100 pounds. The whole cost of laying the pipes (logs were used) was apparently a little less than 200 pounds. The price paid for a day's work was uniformly 3s, 6d. Among the minor charges 6s, 8d, for 1 gallon 1 pint of rum.
The deed of the spring when executed, November 16, 1796, was witnessed by Belinda Montague and Abigail Montague, the two eldest daughters of John Montague.
Previous to the execution of the deed a bond was drawn up and signed by the grantors by which they "bound themselves to each other in the sum of fifty pounds each to be paid to them or their certain attorney," "to well and truly pay what costs which have already or shall hereafter arise in consequence of or in any way connected with or related to the conveying of said water as mentioned in said obligation," &c.
The bond here referred to is signed by the seventeen proprietors to the spring above named, with the seal properly affixed against each signer's name, and witnessed by Isaac Candrell, Elisha Alexander, Wm. Sanderson, Eli Sanderson, Rinnah Cooley, David Hubbard, Samuel Weaver; dated November 12, 1796.
How long the water project continued to operate is not known, but it is said to have been not a very successful venture. The "Rowe Spring," which was at that time purchased for 100 pounds, and described in the deed "as situated near the east branch of Dry Brook about 10 rods east of where the two Branches of said Brook unite," is the same spring as is now owned and utilized by the "Sunderland Water Co."

1900 Springfield Republican, December 8, 1900, Page 11.
A new organization, the Williams water company, has been formed for the purpose of supplying spring water to the upper half of the village.  The members are Jane S. Williams, Frank O. Williams and Milton H. Williams.

1902 An act to authorize the town of Sunderland to supply itself and its inhabitants with water.  April 11, 1902.

1910 An act to authorize the Sunderland Water Company to take or purchase the franchise and property of the Williams Water Company.  April 25, 1910.

1912 Springfield Republican, April 24, 1912, Page 6.
Sunderland.  At a meeting held Saturday evening, the town voted not to take over the Sunderland water company.  Thus a water supply for the Meadow and for Russellville in North Hadley is deferred for the present.

1950 An act establishing the Sunderland Water District in the town of Sunderland.  July 11, 1950.

1950 Springfield Union, September 12, 1950, Page 1.
Voters approve water district in Sutherland.  It was voted to buy all the property of the present Sunderland Water Co., privately owned, for $38,400, to borrow $50,000 to be amortized in not more than 30 years.

2017 Morris A. Pierce