Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Richfield Springs, New York

Richfield Springs was incorporated as a village in 1861.

The village built a gravity water system in October, 1879, but added a steam engine to pump water into an elevated reservoir around 1886.

Water is provided by the Village of  Richfield Springs.

1879 A Report made to the Board of Water Commissioners of the Village of Richfield Springs, by P.H. Baerman, C.E., upon a The Water Supply, July, 1879.

1882 Richfield Springs, Engineering News, 9:131 (April 22, 1882)

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

1885 An act to authorize the board of water commissioners of the village of Richfield Springs, in the county of Otsego, to raise an additional sum of money to increase the supply of water for said village.  May 21, 1885

1885 The Sanitary News 7:16 (November 21, 1885)
The water-supply service of Richfield Springs, N.Y., will be extended.  The contract has been let to T. Sullivan, of Syracuse, at $11,200.

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

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

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

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

1905 Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1905.
Page 1147:  Baerman, Palmer H. Baerman, born Aug. 4, 1847, at West Troy, N. Y.; graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy, N. Y., 1867; died Sept. 18, 1897.
After graduating, Mr. Baerman entered the service of the New York and Oswego Midland R. R. where he remained two years; later with the New York Central one year; and then was village Surveyor of West Troy. He held the position of Assistant Engineer on the New York State canals in 1872, and was later Engineer-in-charge on the waterworks of the Hudson River State Hospital at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., for two and one-half years. He became Chief Engineer of the Water Works at West Troy, Johnstown, Richfield Springs, Cooperstown, Norwich, Sherburne and Lansingburg; Assistant Superintendant and Chief Engineer of the Troy Water Works and designed the Water Works for Amsterdam, Greene, Deposit, and Oneonta. In 1889 he was appointed Engineer of the Public Improvement Commission of Troy, N. Y., and served until 1890. His last position was City Engineer of Troy from 1893 to 1894.

1916 Annual Statistical Report of the Department of Health for the year ending December 31, 1916, Volume 37
Page 569:  Richfield Springs

1919 Annual Report of the State Department of Health of New York for the Year Ending December 31, 1919
Page 300:  Richfield Springs

1921 Annual Report of the State Department of Health of New York for the Year Ending December 31, 1921
Page 230:  Richfield Springs

1925 History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, Volume 3, by Nelson Greene | also here |
Page 19:  Hon. Richard Willett Sherman
In 1875 Mr. Sherman entered the contracting field, forming an association with Messrs. Sullivan and Shanley of the New York and Canada Railroad. The next year, in partnership with Dr. Emmett Flagler, he constructed the West Troy and Green Island waterworks and later the firm of Sherman & Flagler built the waterworks at Gloversville, Richfield Springs and Walton. They also engaged in the construction of public projects in Vermont and Ohio, likewise made improvements on the Champlain and Erie canals and also executed other important contracts. The firm of Sherman & Flagler was dissolved in 1879 and Mr. Sherman then went to Havana, Cuba, to superintend for New York contractors the construction of a gas plant supplying by one system the entire city of Havana. Returning from Cuba in 1880, he executed a contract to provide Greenwich, Connecticut, with water works. In 1881 he formed a partnership with Michael McDonough, who became the junior member of the firm, and they filled many large contracts, constructing the waterworks at Lansingburg, Sandy Hill, Little Falls, Camden, Canastota, New Berlin and several other places.
In 1886 Thomas F. Kinney, the mayor of Utica, appointed Mr. Sherman to the office of city surveyor, which he filled until the close of the year 1888 and also in 1894. During that period many improvements were planned and effected, placing Utica in the front rank of beautiful cities, and during his tenure of office the public works of the city were improved. The system inaugurated is universally recognized as a monument to the enterprising spirit of Mayor Kinney and the engineering genius of Mr. Sherman. In 1888 the business of Sherman & McDonough was incorporated under the name of Troy Public Works Company, of which Mr. Sherman was president, and exceptionally successful work was done by the company, which constructed a large part of the waterworks of Utica, and in many other places in the state.

2018 Morris A. Pierce