Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States New York Machias

Machias, New York

Machias was settled around 1813 and is the principal hamlet in the Town of Machias.  It was originally known as Machias Five Corners and Chickasaw.

The Ishua Hydraulic Company was incorporated in 1851 by Edward Shearer, Rufus L. Whitcher, Rufus Mixer, Ira Winslow and Jerome B. Jewel "for the purpose of supplying the said place of Machias Five Corners with pure and wholesome water."  No evidence has been found that this company built a system.

The Machias Water Supply Company was formed in 1909 and built a system that began operating the following year.  The company was sold to the O. W. Pierce Water Company in 1934, named after Ormel W. Pierce, a prominent local resident who died in 1929.

The Town of Machias Water District was formed around 1965 and apparently bought the water company.

Water is currently provided by the Town of Machias Water District.

References and Timeline
1851 An act to incorporate the Ishua Hydraulic Company.  June 30, 1851.

1917 Thirty-Eighth Annual Report of the State Department of Health of New York for the year ending December 31, 1917
Page 398:  Machias public water supply.  The supply is owned and operated by the Machias Water Supply Company.  The supply was first installed and put into operation about 1910.

1929 Ormel W. Pierce (1866-1929) grave

1934 Annual Report of the New York State Public Service Commission
Page 509:  The name of Machias Water Supply Company was changed June 4, 1934, to O. W. Pierce Water Co., Inc. First report filed by O. W. Pierce Water Co., Inc., covers the year ended December 31, 1934. Territory served: Village and town of Machias.

1961 "PSC Drops Small Water Companies," Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York), September 16, 1961, Page 2.
The PSC announced Friday that the companies had been removed from the jurisdiction as they had a property value of $30,000 or less.
O. W. Pierce Water Co., Inc. of Machias, Cattaraugus County, 149 customers.

2017 Morris A. Pierce