Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Dunkirk

Dunkirk, New York

Dunkirk was incorporated as a village in 1867 and as city in 1880.

The village built a Holly water works system that began service on July 4, 1872.  The system included two Holly rotary pumps for fire service along with the first Holly Quadruplex pumping engine. 

Water is provided by the City of of Dunkirk.

1871 An act to authorize the village of Dunkirk to issue bonds for the purpose of supplying said village with water, and to create a board of water commissioners.  April 13, 1871.

1871 Jamestown Daily Journal, October 4, 1871, Page 3.
The Commissioners of the Dunkirk Water Works have accepted the proposals for the construction of the Dunkirk Water Works made by Birdsall Holly, at $95,000.

1872 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to authorize the village of Dunkirk to issue bonds for the purpose of supplying said village with water, and to create a board of water commissioners," passed April thirteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-one. April 9, 1872.

1872 "The Holly Water Works," Lockport Daily Journal, July 6, 1872, Page 2.
The Dunkirk Advertiser and Union speaks as follows of the first public display of the Holly water works in that place last Thursday, the Fourth of July.

1872 "How the Holly Water Works Stand at Dunkirk," Oil City Daily Derrick (Oil City, Pennsylvania), July 20, 1872, Page 4.

1872 Western New Yorker (Warsaw, New York), August 22, 1872, Page 3.
The Dunkirk Water Works, constructed on the Holly plan, charges rates according to the assessed value of premises - for domestic use, $4.00 for every thousand dollars of assessed value, and $1 for each $1,000 additional.

1873 "Dunkirk," Jamestown Daily Journal, December 1, 1873, Page 4.
The Holly Water Works Company has sued the Board of Water Commissioners of the village of Dunkirk to recover some nine thousand dollars.

1873 Gazetteer and Business Directory of Chautauqua County, N.Y., for 1873-4, by Hamilton Child
Pages 104-105. "The Water Works of Dunkirk"

1874 "Compromised," Jamestown Journal, May 8, 1874, Page 8.
The suit of the Holly Water Works Company against the village of Dunkirk has been compromised by the parties.

1876 An act to amend section two, chapter one hundred and ninety-two of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-two, entitled "An act to amend an act entitled "An act to authorize the village of Dunkirk to issue bonds for the purpose of supplying said village with water, and to create a board of water commissioners."  April 22, 1876.

1878 "The Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection for Cities and Villages," Scientific American Supplement, 6(140supp):2219-2234 (September 7, 1878)
The second important improvement was made in 1871-2, when a direct acting, condensing, steam pumping engine, similar in general construction to the compound engine here after described, was erected at the Dunkirk, N. Y., Water Works.
This engine was adapted to both domestic and Are service, and made it possible to dispense with the rotary pumps in some instances.

1882 "Water Rates," Jamestown Evening Journal, May 12, 1882, Page 4.
What Dunkirk Citizens Have to Pay for the Aqueous Fluid.

1882 Dunkirk, Engineering News, 9:373 (October 28, 1882)

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

1884 Jamestown Evening Journal, July 18, 1884, Page 4.
The rotary pumps in the Dunkirk water works are to be replaced by Worthington's.  The sand drawn into the old pumps from the lake has worn out the cylinders.

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

1889 Historical and descriptive review of Dunkirk, Chautauqua county, N.Y
By a special act of the Legislature, in 1871, a Board of Water Commissioners was created for Dunkirk, and the water works was erected the succeeding year. The present board is J. S. Beggs, president; W. T. Colman, treasurer; John Madigan, secretary; M. L. Hinman, David Russell, J. T. Williams, Wm. Bookstaver and Louis Heyl. The water is drawn through a crib in Lake Erie, near the beacon light, and forced by the powerful Holly system through more than twenty miles of mains. There are 112 fire hydrants and at a minute's notice extra force can be supplied from the works, so that the use of fire engines is superfluous.
Since the erection of the works no serious conflagration has occurred.
The system cost the city more than $100,000; but from the great convenience to public places and manufactories, as well as the ample protection afforded against fires (in connection with the well-manned hose companies), it has well paid for this outlay and is an essential part of our city's prosperity. The works have a capacity of four million gallons per day, although the water consumed seldom exceeds one-half that amount. The institution has about 1,000 patrons. Geo. M. Abell, the superintendent, was born at Fredonia, but has lived in Dunkirk since 1827. He has been on the water board for twelve years and the superintendent for seven years past. C. J. Carney, of Boston, has been chief engineer and superintendent' of machinery for fifteen years past. He is ably assisted by Dennis Ready, who has been with the works almost from its beginning. E. Haycroft has also been assistant Engineer for four years past.

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

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

1894 "Municipal Ownership," Buffalo Courier, April 22, 1894, Page 11.
Dunkirk's Water Works and Electric Lighting Plant.  The City has profited by controlling both.

1896 On Lake Erie as a Water Supply for the Towns on its Borders, by George W. Rafter, read before the Microsopical Club of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, January 13, 1896.  Reprinted from the Buffalo Medical Journal 36(1):10-25 (August, 1896)  | Correspondence from Dr. William G. Bissell 36(4):307-308 (November, 1896) |

1897 "Brennan Should Not Be Blamed," Buffalo Courier, January 30, 1897, Page 3.
So says the engineer of the Dunkirk Water Works -- Ice Trouble.

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

1899 The Buffalo Times, March 11, 1899, Page 7.
Dunkirk's water works system is to be supplied with a new pump.  It will be bought of the Snow Steam Pump Works of Buffalo at a cost of about $15,000.  Pumps made by the Holly and Worthington companies will be turned in as part payment.

1979 A history of industrial power in the United States, 1780-1930, Volume Two:  Steam Power, by Louis C. Hunter
Page 561:  In 1871, Holly introduced at Dunkirk, New York, the first of what became known in this country as a direct-pressure pumping system but in Great Britain was called a constant supply system. [The Holly system at Dunkirk was actually the 35th Holly system.  The British "constant supply" is in contrast with an "intermittent supply" where water was only supplied, well, intermittently.  Holly's direct pressure system used a pressure regulator to control the pressure of water in the pipe, eliminating the need for elevated reservoirs and standpipes. Intermittent supply was rarely used in the United States. See this 1911 article "Water Supply."]

2018 Morris A. Pierce