Documentary History of American Water-works

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Pacific States
Oregon The Dalles

The Dalles, Oregon

The Dalles was incorporated in 1857.

The first water works were built in 1862 by Robert Pentland. who built the first water works in Portland in 1857.  The Dalles system was later owned by Dalles Mill and Water Co.

The city bought the system in 1890 for $50,000.

Water is supplied by the City of The Dalles.

1882 The Dalles, Engineering News 9:122  (April 15, 1882)

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

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

1890 "Council Meeting," The Dalles Daily Chronicle, December 19, 1890, Page 3.
Approval to purchase of the Dalles Mill and Water Company for $50,000.

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

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

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

1898 "A Bird's Eye View of The Dalles," The Dalles Times-Mountaineer, January 1, 1898, Page 4. | Part 2, Page 5 |
In February, 18862, a right of way and a franchise was granted to J. S. Reynolds to lay water pipes through the streets and to construct a water supply system.  R. Pentland obtained his franchise on September 6th of the same year, and proceeded with and completed the work.  Water was turned into the mains from Mill Creek about the first of November, giving the city its first supply of water, and making it possible to do without the springs and wells which were the sale source of supply before that time.  Mr. Pentland continued in control until January 1st, 1877, when he disposed of the plant to Mr. S. L. Brooks and Mrs. P. M. Humason.  The plant was sold to The Dalles Milling and Water Company in 1883.  The present system is owned by the city and was constructed in 1891.

1928 History of the Columbia River Valley from The Dalles to the sea, Volume 1, by Fred Lockley.
Pages 936-937:  Originally what is now the municipal water system of The Dalles was privately owned. A franchise was granted on February 25, 1862, to James S. Reynolds to lay water pipes in the streets and alleys of Dalles City. A few months later he transferred the franchise to R. Pentland, who piped water into the city. He sold out to Samuel L. Brooks and the O. Humason estate in 1877. They sold to The Dalles Milling and Water Company in 1883. In 1888 The Dalles received an amended charter by which it was permitted to issue bonds to the amount of $100,000 for a municipal water system. These bonds were advertised for sale and sold in April, 1890. Many of the citizens wanted to invest this money in the building of a new system, while others felt that if the city installed the system, the owners of The Dalles Mill and Water Company would lose heavily and should be reimbursed. The City Council finally passed an ordinance authorizing the purchase of he old plant of The Dalles Mill and Water Company for $50,000. Malcolm A. Moody, the mayor at that time, vetoed the ordinance. The City Council passed the measure over his veto. When the warrant for $50,000, made out in favor of The Dalles Mill and Water Company, was presented to Mayor Moody, he refused to sign it. A representative of the taxpayers enjoined the city from paying $50,000, or any other sum, for the old plant, on the grounds that it was obsolete, and to purchase it would be waste of the taxpayers' money. Mayor Moody was impeached, the charges being malfeasance, negligence and incompetency. The injunction was dissolved on November 29, 1890. The Council passed a resolution awarding The Dalles Mill and Water Company $50,000 and taking over their plant. The municipal water system installed by the city consisted of a reservoir at the Wicks place, eight miles up Mi11 Creek, into which the water was taken by a flume, the water coming from Mill Creek and Dog River. From the reservoir on the Wicks place the water was carried in a twelve-inch steel pipe six miles to a reservoir at the Mesplie place, three miles from The Dalles. From the Mesplie reservoir the water was taken in a fourteen-inch pipe to a reservoir on the bluff above the town. There was fall of 500 feet in the six miles between the Wicks place and the Mesplie reservoir.

1995 "Trevitt's Additional Historic District," National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.
Page 25: Pentland also established the city waterworks. James S. Reynolds was granted a franchise to lay water pipes through the town on February 25, 1862. He transferred this franchise in September 1862 to Robert Pentland who completed and operated the waterworks until selling it in 1883 to Samuel L. Brooks (his son-in-law) and Orlando Humason. Pentland was listed in the 1865 General Directory and Business Guide as the proprietor of The Dalles City Water Works (Owens, 1865). In 1883 the water system was purchased by The Dalles Mill and Water Company. In 1888 bonds to the amount of $100,000 were issued for the building of a municipal water system. On December 19, 1890, The Dalles Mill and Water Company sold the system to The Dalles City. Under the city's management, the old system was purchased for $50,000 and the rest of the money was spent for enlarging and improving the system (Lockley, 1928).  In the 1920s, remnants of the mill remained. The city used the extent buildings for their stables and to store steam rollers and drays (Beer, 1994). None of the buildings associated with the mill and water works remain.

2017 Morris A. Pierce