Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Port Jervis, New York

Port Jervis was incorporated as a village in 1866 and as a city in 1907.  It is named after John B. Jervis, who was chief engineer for the Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Croton Aqueduct.

The Port Jervis Water Works Company was incorporated in 1868 and built a gravity system that began service in 1870. 

The City of Port Jervis bought the system in 1929 for $590,000.

Water is provided by the City of Port Jervis.

1868 An act to incorporate the Port Jervis Water Works Company.  May 8, 1868.

1869 An act to authorize the Port Jervis Waterworks Company to issue bonds.  May 4, 1869.

1870 "The Completion of Laying Pipes for the Water-Works," The Evening Gazette (Port Jervis, New York), August 9, 1870, Page 1.

1883 "Port Jervis," from Engineering News 10:333-334 (July 14, 1883)

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

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

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

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

1894 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to incorporate the Port Jervis water-works company," passed May eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight.  May 8, 1894.

1896 The Port Jervis Water Works Company, Respondent, v. The Village of Port Jervis, Appellant, 151 N.Y. 111, December 1, 1896, Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

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

1902 Port Jervis, N.Y., a review of its business interests
The PORT JERVIS WATER WORKS CO., office 130 Pike street, supplies water for public and private uses. The Company uses a gravity system requiring no pumping station. The distributing reservoir is in the northeastern part of the town and there are two storage reservoirs in Orange County near Sparrowbush and Huguenot. The Company supplies 1400 consumers and has twenty- one miles of mains, from 4-inch to 24-inch. The consumption averages about 1,000,000 gallons a day. There are 154 fire hydrants. The pressure is from 40 to 60 pounds, according to the elevation. The Company was organized in 1869 under the New York State laws with a capital of $125,000 paid in. The Company began with one reservoir with a capacity of 64,000,000 gallons.  In 1886 Reservoir No. 2 was built with a capacity of 216,000,000 gallons. Reservoir No. 3 was built in 1900 and has a capacity of 340,000,000 gallons. Dr. W, L. Cuddeback, president of the company, also president of the National Bank of Port Jervis; Merritt Turner, vice-president, is with the Erie Railroad as engineer; Geo. F. Farnum, treasurer, is a jeweler ; Christoph Graebner is secretary and collector, and E. H. Ellis is superintendent. The directors are, Dr. W. L. Cuddeback, Merritt Turner, S. A. J. Conkling, A. H. Peck, Dr. Charles N. Skinner, Dr. Henry Hardenburg and Peter E. Farnum.

1929 Engineering News Record, 102:363
a bond issue of $600,000 for the purpose of acquiring the property of the Port Jervis Water Works Company. The purchase price is $590,000. It is expected that possession of the plant will be taken on April 1.

1991 Port Jervis and the Gilded Age, by Peter Osborne
The city's present-day water system has its roots with the creation of the Port Jervis Water Works Company of 1869 and its purchase of Reservoir No. 1 which held 64 million gallons of water. Another was added in 1886, and yet another in 1900, creating a total capacity of 620 million gallons of water, all gravity fed to facilities in the city. Consumption in 1902 was about one million gallons of water a day. Ultimately this privately-held company was purchased by the city in 1929 and is now part of the city's Department of Public Works.

2018 Morris A. Pierce