Documentary History of American Water-works

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Middle Atlantic States New York Gloversville

Gloversville, New York

Gloversville was incorporated as a village in 1853 and as a city in 1890.

The village built a gravity system that was turned on November 16, 1877.

Water is provided by the City of Gloversville.

1871 An act to supply the village of Gloversville with pure and wholesome water.  April 28, 1871.

1873 An act to incorporate the Gloversville Water-works Company.  March 28, 1873.

1874 An act to supply the village of Gloversville with pure and wholesome water.  June 8, 1874.

1879 Gloversville Charter and Bylaws together with the rules and regulations of the Gloversville Water Works

1882 Gloversville, Engineering News, 9:50 (February 11, 1882)

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

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

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

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

1892 History of Fulton County, by Washington Frothingham
Pages 368-370:  Gloversville Water Works.  The introduction of a systematic and practicable supply of pure and wholesome water into a populous community is an important event. The first legal measures for such a purpose in Gloversville were taken in May, 1875. During the year 1871, a special act was passed by the legislature, forming a number of citizens into a corporation, with full power to introduce water, and a similar act was passed in 1873. Some preliminary examinations were made by the later organization, but no definite plans were adopted. The necessity of a supply of water for domestic use and also for extinguishing fires was acknowledged by the great majority of citizens, and on May 25, 1875, in pursuance of the provisions of the law, the board of trustees was duly organized as a board of water commissioners with the following officers: John Ferguson, president; Eliphalet Teeder, secretary; C. M. Ballentine, treasurer. A special election was held July 31, 1875, which resulted in 273 votes "for the water taxes," and 210 votes "against them." From the date of this election until May 7, 1877, the time was chiefly occupied in making surveys, examining various streams, conferring with persons of experience, and other necessary preliminary work. At a meeting of the board on the last mentioned date, it was unanimously voted to select the "Poor House stream" as a source for the supply. On May 18, 1877, the village board fully complied with the law and filed their bond as a board of water commissioners, and upon the next day organized with the following officers: President, Harvey Z. Kasson; secretary, A. D. Simmons; treasurer, John Sunderlin; commissioners, Levi T. Marshall, Purdy Van Wart, Daniel Lasher, James H. Johnson, Crosby McDougall, George W. Nickloy. During the midst of this commendable activity the village was visited by a disastrous conflagration. On May 21, 1877, between midnight and 5 A. M., a terrific fire raged through the very heart of the village, leaving desolation and destruction in its path. In the brief space of five hours, twenty two buildings were entirely destroyed. The fire originated, it is said, in No. 133 Main street and burned everything within reach, crossing Church street, consuming two large buildings, one of which (a wooden structure) had formerly been occupied as the First M. E. Church, and the other, which was of brick, had been used by the National Bank. This disaster illustrated more vividly than anything preceding it, the great necessity for a sufficient water supply. In June, 1877, the board advertised for proposals for constructing the works. The plans and estimates were made by Peter Hogan, civil engineer, of Albany, who continued in the employ of the water board until the work was finished. The contract was awarded to Sherman, Flagler & Babcock, June 26, at $50,243.63. July 3, one week later, work was commenced with C. W. Knight, of Rome, as assistant engineer.
The work was completed and the water turned on November 16, 1877, and a public trial and exhibition took place the following week. The first application for water was made by John Ferguson, who was the first president of the water board. The pipes were first tapped, however, for E. Veeder, to supply water for the Veeder block on Main street. During the progress of construction some changes were made in the plans, making the total cost of construction exceed the original estimate. The works as completed in 1887, consisted of three reservoirs and eight miles and 4,904 feet of piping, fifty two hydrants and fifty one gates. Extensions were made during 1878, at an expense of about S10,000, nearly half of which was expended in improving the reservoirs. In 1879 there were no extensions made, excepting a small pipe to afford temporary supply for domestic purposes. It was shown from the report of Dr. Eugene Beach, health officer for 1879, that the death rate for 1875 was 120, while in 1879 it was only fifty three. Undoubtedly much of this decrease in mortality may be attributed to other causes, but there can be no question that pure and wholesome water contributed to this beneficent result. There are at present five reservoirs, as follows: The Poor house, built in 1877, elevation 280 feet, capacity 3,000,000; Middle, built in 1877, elevation 281 feet, capacity 500,000 gallons; Bleecker, built in 1877, elevation 288 feet, capacity 1,500,000 gallons; the Potter, built in 1885, elevation 177 feet, capacity 10,000,000 gallons; Rice Creek, built in 1889, elevation 245 feet, capacity 3,000,000 gallons. The total cost of the water works, including land damages and construction, up to February 1, 1892, was $192,508.94. To meet this outlay there has been issued in bonds the sum of $155,000, as follows: In 1877, $80,000, bearing interest at the rate of six per cent.; in 1885, $20,000, bearing interest at the rate of five per cent.; in 1889, $55,000, bearing interest at the rate of three per cent. There have been paid of the second series in 1886 and 1888, $2,500, leaving unpaid $152,500. The present board of water commissioners is composed of J. H. Richardson, president; James W.T. Filmer, Charles E. Sweet, Zenas B. Whitney, Marcellus G. Burr. The superintendent and clerk is J. B. Tuckerman

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

2018 Morris A. Pierce