In going over the records of the town and making a very careful search, I find that the first record of the Police Department appeared in 1636, at which time there was one constable appointed. During the following years and up to 1874 there was a yearly average of five men appointed to serve as constables.
In the year 1872 the first police officer was appointed to do patrol duty in Ward 3, and he was paid by public subscription by the citizens from that part of the town.
In 1873 two police officers were appointed by the selectmen to do patrol duty during the summer months in the evening and early part of the night.
In the year 1877, at the annual town meeting in March, it was voted to dispense with the Police Department, but as time went on crime and lawlessness increased and the constables were directed to hold themselves in readiness to act in suppressing the outrages that were gaining a foothold on our town.
From 1878 there was an ever-increasing demand for police protection, and up to the year 1890-91 at times there were from seventeen to thirty-four constablEs and police officers. As the town increased in size and the travel from the surrounding towns grew larger it was seen where a patrolman for East Weymouth was needed, and one was duly installed, much to the comfort and satisfaction of the good people from that ward. South Weymouth, not wanting to be left behind in its desire for police protection, soon requested a police officer and one was granted.
At North Weymouth, with its ever-increasing growth of population and its large water front, where several thousand vacationists spend their summers, it was soon seen that police from the other parts of the town could not meet the demands, and another man was added to the force. Thus with each part of the town policed at night, with the addition of two police inspectors, peace and quiet reigned once more in our town.
In the year 1902 the first chief was appointed and the force reorganized.
In 1912, by a vote of the town, the department was placed under civil service, and the same year, the lockup in Ward 2 being condemned by the State, a vote was taken by the town to erect a
building in XNard 2, both for the purpose of a station house and a licad(Itlarters, for the department, and the town now has a modern building with a day man and a night man oil duty.
During the past few years the automobile travel has increased lo that it has become necessary to have several extra men doing duty oil Sundays and holidays during the summer months.
During the summer of 1920, at the request of the ritizens of the ,outhern partof thetown, a motor cycle officer wasadded toenforce the traffic rules and to stop speeding, which from a police point of view is one of the hardest problems that the department has to deal A ith.
Whereas great and distressing calamities are frequently the consequences of outrageous fire, and wliereas it has in many instances not only depopulated the most popular and flouridiing towns, brought the affluent to want, and reduced the competent to the most distressing circumstances, but it has driven the aged, the sick, and the lame into the streets and exposed them to the severities of the weather, and perhaps introduced their disease which will only terminate with their existence; it has deprived many unexpectedly of their most dear and affectionate friends, and blasted all their prospects of future enjoyment; and, in fine, it hath operated on all ranks of men, and has perhaps been as destructive to their property and happiness as any misfortune that has visited the human race.
We, a number of young men, bearing in mind the above~mentioned calamities, taking warning by the misfortunes of others, impelled by the desire to protect our own and our neighbors' lives and property, and believing it will be the pleasure of many of our respectable fellow citizens to encourage and assist us in so laudable and desirable undertaking, have voluntarily stepped forward and formed Ourselves into a society for ttat -upose, and for the better reputation of our future proceedinge have formed and bound ourselves under the following constitution:
ART. 2. The subscribers to this Constitution sKall be the Society, and shall be under obittiotn to purchase the engine and a suitable house where it may be kept, and c any other necessary expense (with the help of what can be obtained by voluntary subscription), and be entitled to all the privileges allowed to such a society. ART. 3. Meetings.
ART. 10. The Society shall attend to work the engine the first Monday in April and the first Mondays in the six following months. The roll shall be called at sunset; any member being absent shall pay a fine of twenty,five cents unless he can make a satisfactory excuse. ART. 11. Relating to money in Treasury.
ART. 14. At the alarm of fire each member shall repair to the engine and continue with her Until she is housed on penalty of sevemy-fiye cents unless he shall meet any member of the Society and be informed that the engine is housed,
The first officers chosen were Samuel Arnold, Capt. Noah Fifield clerk, James L. Arnold, treasurer.
A committee chosen for the purpose reported that an engine and suitable house to store it would cost $460, and it was voted that members pay into the treasury $30.Aqluarviua "also voted "that the engine receive the appellation of
The engine was painted vermilion and the "buckets" were marked in "capital letters encircled with a yellow border."
Among those joining the society later were the following: William Goodwin, Amos W Stetson Hiram Cook, Bela Hayward, Charles Clapp, Ebenezer i4. RichQs ' Thomas Porter, CorneliusJordan, J. Byron, Samuel Bowditch Samuel Cook, Tbomas Colson,
David 1. Tirrell, Alden Bowditch, Addison Chessman, Win. Field, John C. Rhines, Joseph Clapp, Alexander Bowditch, Berij- F. Bowditch, Eben C. Bowditch, Elias Nash ' Ethridge G. Hunt,
Charles Coolidge, Richard A. Hunt, Nathan Matthews, Aclorani Clapp, Levi Tirrell, Chapen Thayer, Martin K. Pratt and SilasBinney.
The engine house was located near the smelt brook for manN, years, but was later moved to the corner of Stetson and l3row'l Streets. The records of this Society continue uninterrupted Until 1840.
probably the first fire engine of any kind in South Weymouth came in f857 or 1858, and is thus described by Mr. Andrew J, Vining of San Francisco, Cal., formerly a South Weymouth boy. In a recent letter lie says:
I had bee. over to South Braintree and saw a small tub owned by some boys, two names I remember, Bumpus and Mcllis. They wanted to sell it for, I think, $10 or $12. 1 came home full of the spirit, and my father advanced me the money which I paid back by doing odd jobs. I organized a company and we went over one Saturday afternoon and brought it triumphantly home and house([ it in Deacon Torrey's barn. It needed considerable repairing. Russ White, I believe, did this, and Joe McGrath painted it. Both of these were gratis. The body was vermilion, the wheels blue, ironwork black. It held just ten bucketc, of water. The hose was twenty feet long; size of same, also on nozzle, I have forgven. We could, with four or five boys, throw a stream above any second story window, and many the window we washed. My father bought a fine sprinkler so we can Id ivash carriages and sprinkle gardens. Whatever became of this machine I don't know, but it was there, I think, when I enlisted in September, 1861. As the mutterings of war came, and the Reb~ellion actually was a fact, I for one lost my interest, I sugose, in the aforesaid engine, "Torrent" by name, and organized the Orcutt Ug t Infantry.
Following this, in September, 1870, came the Resolute Hook and Ladder Company, with the following officers: Otis Cushing, foreman; William S. Lovett, first assistant; Thaddeus M. Grave%, second assistant.
On Oct. 26, 1886, this company was reorganized, and elected Edgar S. Wright, foreman; J. T. Madden, first assistant; George Rockwood, second assistant.
The chemical extinguisher entered the service at South Weymouth in May, 1871, and was officered by Chas. W. Flastings, forernz!n, and Walter H. joy, clerk.The "Conqueror" arrived in April, 1873.
In 1877 the town voted to establish a fire department, and, on recommendation of a committee chosen at that meeting, decided to purchase of Mr. Leverish of New York three engines, hose and apparatus, and two hook and ladder trucks. and also voted that the town purchase all the property belonging to the Weymouth and South Weymouth fire districts, including the real estate, engines and other apparatus; and further, that the town cause to be erected three engine houses, one at East Weymouth, one in North Weymouth, and another in the fourth ward; and further, to provide suitable accommodation for the Amazon engine and hook and ladder truck at Weyenouth Landing, and for these purposes the sum of $18,000 was appropriated.
The engine house at Weymouth Landing war found to be in very poor condition, and it was decirred advisable to build new at that place; therefore a contract was placed with Mr. Charles Simmons to build four engine houses for the sum total of $5,120.
The following engineer-, were appointed by the selectmen: chief engineer, Charles E. Bicknell; assistants, J. R. H. Williams,
Frederic Bicknell, Stephen Cain, Alvali Raymond, Jr., Charles 11. Chuhhuck, 'r. L. Bicknell and William H. Hocking.
In, 1878 the town purchased two Button fire Co~iues at an vNpense of over $3,000.\%'hen the town organized the Fire Department in 1877 the
Active" was placed in Ward 1, the "General Bates" in Ward 2, the "Amazon" in Ward 3, the "Rescue" in Ward 4 and the "Conqueror" in Ward 5.
fit 1878 the "Rescue" was condemned and the "Gencral Putii,on" was bought and placed in Ward 4.
In 1879, in consequence of the condition of the "Amazon" engine, the "Rocket" was placed in charge of the company in Ward 3.At this time, the following companies were reported as belonging
Weymouth seems to have been well represented on the muster held, having at one time four firemen's associations which were always represente(; a, all firemen's musters in this vicinity. The Weymouth Veteran Firemen's Association had the "Active," a six-inch Hunneman machine which was a contestant up to 1920, and in 1922 it was destroyed in a fire at the Town Farm.
rhe "General Putnam" Association, organized in 1878, was a rival of the "Conqueror," and, although the former was a teninch Button machine and the "Conqueror a ~ix-inch Hunneman, the two appeared to be quite evenly matched. The "Putnam" had it record of two hundred and fourteen feet, was sold in 1891, and is now the DroDerty of the Worcester Veteran Firemen's Association.
The East Weymouth Association had the "General Bates," a ten-inch Button machine, purchased in 1877 and sold in 1886 to Lisbon Falls, Me., where it is now located.
At a muster at the Weymouth Fair grounds it won first prize, and at Brockton, Oct. 4, 1878, won first, with a play of two hundred and tmenty-seven feet ten and onc~half inches. In 1900 the East Weymouth Association purchased a first-class ten-inch Button inachine for S800, called the "Defender," built. in 1874 for the 1(%Vtl of Shelby, Ill., and during the first two years paid for itself, ,ainning 8665 in the year 1902 alone. This engine has the dis,inction (if winning the world's championship at lVeyniouth lair,308 WFYNIOUT14 FIRF DEPARTNIFNT
Sept. 18, 1903, making a play of two hundred and eiRhty-five feet six inches, and winning $300. It also had the record for prize winning, being awarded prizes at seven consecutive musters. In 1918 the machine was leased to Bristol, R. L, and is now in possession of that association.
The "Conqueror" stood fourth in the best record of New England hand engines for forty years, playing two hundred and twentynine feet three and one-eighth inches at a muster in South Weymouth Sept. 25, 1879, and also holds (he best record for playing under canvas. The "Conqueror" was purchased for the South Weymouth Fire District in 1872, from the city of Fitchburg, who bought it in 1845 from Hunneman & Co. It was sold in 1885 to Goffstown, N. H. In 1897 it was present at a muster at South Weymouth, and it has remained here ever since. In 39 musters it has won 14 prizes, aggregating $1,200 and a $75 clock. It took one prize of $100 while at Fitchburg, six prizes of $610 and a clock while at Weymouth, five prizes of $410 at Goffstown, also other prizes since returning to Weymouth.
On the advent of the water supply and pipe system the town reorganized its Fire Department, and hose wagons were purchased for the different wards, although the "Active" was not retired until 1886. Hose No. I at North Weymouth was putchased in 1887. Hose and )adder No. I was purchased in 1881; the second in 1900. Hosc No. 2, known as the Z. L. Bicknell Hose Company, stationed at East Weymouth, was remodeled in 1891 and reptaced in 1996 1:,y a new truck purchased for $1,009. Hose No. 3, at Weymouth Landing, was bought in 1881 for $540 and replaced by another in 1898 for $479.50. Hose No. 4, at Nash's Corner, was purchased in 1889. The engine house in this district was burned in 1886 and a new one built in 1888. The hose reel for Ward 5 was purchased in 1886 and was replaced by a modern hose wagon in 1896, costing the town $450. Hose No. 6 was purchased in 1885, a hose house built in 1890, and a new carriage bought in 1894 for $350. Hose No. 7 was established at Weymouth Heights in 1895. In 1895 the town purchased of Gleason & Bailey, Seneca Falls, N. Y., a new ladder truck for $766, which was stationed at South Weymouth.
In 1913 the town was presented with its first piece of motor fire apparatus, by the efforts of public-spirited citizens in Ward 3. In the same year East Weymouth was visited by a disastrous fire which destroyed the town hall, a garage and a factory. The results of this fire aroused a feeling for better fire protection, and in 1914 the town purchased of the Knox Manufacturing Company, two motor pumping engines and a combination truck for $24,000. The pumping engines were stationed at East and South Weymouth and the combination wagon at North Weymouth. The Hose Company at Lovell's Corner was disbanded in 1919, and Companics 4 and 7 were disbanded in 022. All the ladder trucks are motorized.
Back in the days of the post road and the stage coach, before I fie invention of the telegraph, before even the building of the first locomotive in this country, Weymouth had a water system.
It was not, as one might presume ' the type of water system most t ommon in those days, having a windlass or sweep for raising the xiater and numerous pairs of strong legs and arms for transporting it to its destination, but a real system of pipes for conveying water from a common source to the dwellings of various inhabitants.About 1820 Micah Raymond lived in a large one-story house
near the smelt brook" on land now owned by Russell B. Worster on what is now Commercial Street. Owing to proximity to salt water Mr. Raymond was unable to obtain a suitable supply from wells at this point, and so "built an aqueduct" (storied up and covered in a spring) on his land on Washington Street and laid pipes rflerefrom to supply his own house and such others as desired it) use the water.
This aqueduct, so called, was located at the southwesterly corner of the land now owo." I;y Ella C. Richards and Hattie B. Batchelder, directly across the street from Dr. Virgins.
It must have been built prior to 1825, for on February 24 of that i car the Weymouth Aqueduct Corporation was incorporated for I fie purpose of maintaining and extending an aqueduct already con-
structed. The incorporators were Abraham Thayer, Ezra Leach and Micah Raymond, and the company was authorized to hold real estate to the value of $2,000 and personal estate not exceeding S.3,000. Leach had charge of operation and repairs, and Thayer collected thp water rents which were based on a charge of $5 for a .single faucet.
Other springs were added to the system which seems to have supplied a considerable number of customers until about 1855, when some of the pipes were taken up and the water shut off.
The lead pipes of this system are frequently encountered by the present water department when making excavations on Washington Street hill.
This corporation was dissolved by an act of the Legislature passed June 2, 1873. It seems to have been the only real public water supply in actual operation in Weymouth up to the time of the con-
.,I ruction of the present municipally owned system in 1885, although several attempts were made to supply water from Great PoRd 1hrough the agency of a private company.Although few at the present day will dispute the fact that an
adequate supply of pure water is absolutely essential to the health and safety of anv community, the first efforts toward the introduction of a municipal water system invariably meet with stubborn opposition.
With changes only in names art(] figures, the story of one town is that of ill the others. A sinall group of far-sighted citizens, realizing the need of water supply, go enthusiastically to work to obtainit. They immediately encoun ter determined opposition from another, also small, group, which habitually opposes on general principles any movement fostered by the "progressives." Then the "war" begins, and while each side gathers some recruits, the majority of the general public remains indifferent until aromed by some loss of life or property, or by some extreme inconvenience which a proper water supply might have prevented.
So it was with Weymouth. Previous to 1880 the town had relied for its water supply upon private wells and springs, and while there bad undoubtedly been some agitation for a public system, the first definite step toward securing one was taken by Mr. A. J. Richards, who caused to be inserted in the warrant for a special town meeting held in August, 1880, an article "To see if the town will appoint a committee to petition the legislature for the right to take the water of Great Pond. . . ."
It was voted that the selectmen be instructed to petition for this right, but an -article to see if the town would choose a committee to investigate the question of water supply and employ an engineer for that purpose was laid on the table till the next annual meeting.
At the annual meeting held March 7, 1881, the sentiment for a town system was evidently not strong, as it was voted that the town would not incur any expense for taking water, but was willing that a stock company should take the waters of Great Pond.
The General Court of 1881 passed the act (chapter 174, Acts of 1881) enabling the citizens of Weymouth to issue bond-, for the construc',7G.q of a water system, and vesting the management of that system in a Board of Water Commissioners, to be elected after the acceptance of the act. The passage of this act seems to have marked a change in the attitude of the voters toward the water question, for at an adjourned meeting held April 4, 1881, it was voted that the selectmen, together with three from each ward, be a committee to obtain surveys and estimate of cost, and that not exceeding $500 be appropriated for that purpose.The moderator appointed the following committee:
It is interesting to note that one member of this committee, Mr. F. H. Torrey, is chairman of the present Board of Water Commis-
,ioners, while another, the late Douglass M. Haston, held tile office its late its 1913.
The committee immediately engaged M. M. Tidd, a prominent N%ittcr supply engineer, to make a prelimmary report. Thi~ report was presented to the annual town mectitig field March 6, 1882, which accepted it, but voted to lay the entire matter of water supply on the table. It is evident, however, that the voters already hall their subsequent action quite clearly in mind, for it Nvas voted to "indefinitely postpone" on an article to see if tile town would grant a franchise to a private corporation.
fiollo*ing is the first official report of the survcy made for the Weymouth,, Water Works:
Tile survey of the pond was made about the middle of Februarl, 18SI. At that time the pond was just two feet below high-water mark, alift from six it) tell inchell; below the original high-water mark, previous to the floeage by tliv Weymouch Iron Company, givin g an opportunity to investiv;v-r the whole of the pond proper, its slope along the shore, and a more correct icf~a of the area of switrup which is covered at high-water mark, and altogether was ore, of the most favorable time% for making the survev thathad been for )ear,. Thispondilpoems to Ile a great %hallow basin of surfa~e wafer, without any springs directly in it, fud and supplied wholly front the adjacent swamps. Thert, ate six streams eniptyinq into it in the sitting of the year from these Swamps, three of thein at tile head or southWly end, and three on the westerly and routhwesterIv sides. Aniong it, se three streams on the southeriv end, two of them take their rise in III, Swamp, lying southeasterly of the pond and Thicket Streeto tile other, which appears to Ile much the largest, in the swamps lying southwesterly of [lie pond. 'the othe, three, two of which are much smaller, take their rise in the swanips westerly of Randolph Street. The wittershed for these six streallis covers in area of cansiderable magnitude.
'tile area of the pond proper is two hundred and sixtv-eight acres; adding twenty-two acres for outlying swamps and other points which are covered it high water, makes the whole area covered at high-water mark, two hundred and ninety aeres. The bottom of the pond, with the exception of the ledges, is a
eAten surface, and from ten to twenty rods from the shore the depth of water lg
d, to ten feet. according to the boldness of the shore, and retains about that depth, with the excepi:va of the center of the northerly half of the pond, where a depth of twenty feet is found. Around the shore tile bottom is gravelly, but in the deeper water is muddy. Iron ote exists, and at one time, not far from 1800, was taken out in considerable quantities for some of the foundries at points south. Tile depth of water in the pond proper, near the mouth of the outlet, at high-water mark is nine feet. At the mouth of the outlet, or channel, the it th te Wat at water at high-water mark is five feet. This five feet is the depth of wa r t can be drawn from the pond in its present condition at high-water mark. Taking a line of mean around tile pond of three feet if bottom and two feet of top vo)uld give an arca of two hundred and fortv-six acres, five feet in depth, which could Ile drawn from the pond at high-water mark in its present condition, at the outlet, which would give four hundred million gallons of water. 'I apping tile pond at the depth of nine teet rselow high-water mark, or four feet deeper than the present outlet, would give an additional amount of water of about two hundied million gallons, but if drawn to that point would drain nearly the whole pond, which would perhaps not be of much advantage, is there would be doubts about the pond filling in one season, and it probably would not.
The height of the pood above tidewater, from the bottoun of the outlet to high-water mark, is 15?.523. The highest point of land at Weymouth Landing, which is the Richmond Street hill, is 321.259 lower than the bottom of tile outlet of the flood. Tile, high point of land westerly of the alryishouse is very nearly oil it level with the Richniond Street hill. The elevation of King Oak Hill at its312 HISTORY OF THE WEYMOTITH WATER WORKS
highest point is above the pond. The level of the pond would intersect a point not far from forty feet above the highest point of Commercial Street, near the house of Efinathan Bates. Weymouth Great Hill is a very little lower than the level of the pond. All other points in the north part of the town are lower than these prominent points, and the natural flow of the water would intersect almost any point desired, and in the thickly settled portion of the villages, with sufficient head to give it tear force. At the south part of the town, all points on Front, Main and Middfe Streets, south of Nash's Corner, or along about midway of the hill just northerly of the corner and south of Pleasant Street, at the junction of Park Avenue, would have to be supplied through high service by pumping, either into a reservoir or standpipe. If by reservoir, the territory is so level there does not appear to be any point of elevation sufficient to give the water any verv great force. fit conducting the water from tne pond to the northerly part of the town by a main, the natural flow of the water foorn the pond would be along through the lowlands, intersecting a point on Alain Street near the junction of Park Avenue, at which point the road is 8.421 lower than the bottom of the outlet of the pond, and is the first point reached in any of the streets from the pond sufficiently low to conduct the water through to the north part of the town, thence along Park Avenue, all points of which are still low(.- , through Pleasant Street to Fast Weymouth, thence along Commercial Street to King Oak Hill, thence to North Weymouth and Weymouth Landing; or it could b, conductcd from this point of junction of Park Avenue and Main Street along Front Street or a little we,terly of Front Street, following Front Street, intersecting Main or Middle Streets, but in that case would make expense of some considerable length of pipe with but very little setchument.
The whole length of streets in the town of Weymouth is about sixty-four miles. "The whole length of pipe of all sizes necessary for the town would be about thirtynine miles, or about two hundred and six thousand feet, fifty-five thousand feet of which would be necessary for the southern part of the town through high service. All of which is respectfully submitted.
The annual meeting of 1883 voted to instruct the selectmen to insert in the warrant, for the next March trieeting, two articles on the matter of water supply; but the summer of 1883 was a dry one, and the month of August the driest ever recorded in this locality, so quite naturally we find the voters of Weymouth assembled in special meeting on September 18, to vote on the acceptance of chapter 174 of the Acts of 1881, entitled "An Act to Supply the Town. Of Weymouth with Pure Water."
The vote was taken by ballot and resulted in the acceptance of the act on the first ballot, the vote being Yes, 356; No, 114. The moderator was instructed to appoint a committee of three persons from each ward to nominate three candidates for Water Commissioners, "and to report to an adjournment of this meeting, q careful analysis of the waters of Great Pond." At an adjourned meeting, held on Sept. 25, 1883, the committee proposed the following candidates for Water Commissioners, who were duly elected: Augustus J. Richards for three years, Josiah Reed for two years, and Henry A. Nash for one year- These three men, whose names and works stand out so prominently in that period of Weymouth history, need no introduction. The new undertaking was in capable hands.
'rhe Committee also presented two independent analyses of samples of water taken from two different places in Great Pond.
was less than the two-thirds required by law for the issue of bonds. This evidently was not clearly understood at the time of the meeting, measure as passed; but according to the a, the clerk recorded the ugustus J, Richards
and others petitioned for, and secured, a special meeting called at 3 P.~t. on March 24, at which, by a vote of 529 to 231, tile trea~urer was authorized to issue bonds to the extent of $300,000, and the Board of Water Commissioners to contract for the construction of the system.
Thus the preliminary struggle ended in a victory for the proponents of pure water. The ground was cleared for constructive work, and the remaining history of the Weymouth water systern is one of construction, growth and service.
Early in the season the Commissioners let the contract for about thirty-five miles of cast-iron pipe to A. H. McNeal of Burlington, N. J., and the general contract for pipe laying, screen house, Pumping station and standpipe to W. C. McLallan of Boston, who sublet the standpipe to Cunningham Iron Works of Boston, and the staralpipe foundations to B. F. Richards of Weymouth.
Valves and hydrants were furnished by tile Chapman Valve Manufacturing Company, and the original pump, which is doing the greater part of the pumping to-day, by the Geo. F. Blake ManufWuring Company of Cambridge.
Construction work under the supervision of Mr. Tirld was cotnmenced in the fall of 1884, suspended during the winter, resumed with full force in the spring of 188S, and carried on with such speed that on September 19 the work of laying house connections was commenced, and on December 5 the works were turned over to the town, the test by the insurance inspectors being made later in the same month.
If "She proof of a pudding is in the eating," surely the supreme test of water works construction is in its condition and behavior after thirty-five years of use, and the present management of the Weymouth hy~,_io cannot refrain from commenting on the consistent excellence of all the work performed by Mr. McLallan, under Mr. Tidd's supervision,
Among those who had a part in the work of engineering and inspection were the late George J. Reis, who was afterwards for many years superintendent; Harry A. Nash, now engineer with tile Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation; and D. N. Tower, superintendent of the Cohasset Water Works. The late Edward ("Big Ned ") Curran was one of McLallati's force who remained with the works, and was for many years a familiar figure about the town.
During the years 1886 to 1888, inclusive, a considerable amount of new construction work was performed by the Board's own forces, so that at the end of 1888, what may be designated as the original system was completed at a total cost of $362,000. Since that time new construction has been added year by year a-, required, to the amount of $260,260, making tile total book value of the plant oil Dec. 31, 1919, $622,260,316 HISTORN' OF THE WEYMOUTH WATER WORKS
One of the outstanding features in the history of this plant is the length of service of its officials and operating force.
In a period of thirty-six years but twelve persons have served as Water Commissioners, or exactly four full boards, Augustus J. Richards and Henry A. Nash of the first board serving for seventeen consecutive years.The late Charlotte F constituted the entire office torce
Gen. W. Sargent has served as chief engineer at the pumping plant for a total of about twenty-eight years, and it is due in no small measure to his faithful care that the original equipment is .supplying Weymouth with water to-clay, with the unusual record of thirty-five years of continuous servi . ce.
To servants like the above mentioned the town owes a debt of gratitude which cannot be expressed in dollars and cents. Their duties were exacting and nerve racking; their accomplishments unseen and little appreciated; they had no hours of labor as we understand the term to-day; their work must be done, regardless of hours and regardless of fatigue. Their only reward was the satisfaction in their own hearts of a duty well performed. The present writer hopes that lie may in a measure enhance that reward by making the fact of "duty well performed " a matter of history.
Other engineers at the pumping station have been Flisha Phillips, 1885-86, and Charles B. Winginann, 1902-08.
The general supervision of the works has been in the hands of three superintendents, George J. Reis, 1885-1900, Ivers M. Low, 1902-13, and Fred 0. Stevens, 1914-.
The operation of the plant has not been without its difficulties. Several localities on the gravity portion of the system are so little below the source that difficulty in serving them at times of heavy draft was early encountered. This was partly overcome by changing some of these localities on to the "high service" system. Others, by reason of their geographical situation, could not be so changed, and continued to have trouble until 1914, when, after many years of effort by the Water Commissioners, the town voted for the general installation of water meters.
The first 1,500 ineter% were placed on the gravity system, greatly reducing the flow in that system, and practically eliminating the old trouble. That it is not entirely eliminated must be admitted, as it is bound to occur when abnormal and unsuspected drafts on the system are made by the manufacturing companies.
Previous to 1903 Great Pond was used to a considerable extent as a pleasure resort; boating, gunning and fishing were permitted apparently without any restriction, and the letting of boats was an established business. Realizing the danger in these conditions, the State Board of Health, in 1903, made certain rules and regulations
for the protection of the waters of the Pond, among them one prohibiting boating, fishing Or ice cutting without special permit from the Board of Water Commissioners.
After the adoption of this . order, and down to Jan. 1, 1911, permits to boat and fish were issued by the Commissioners with little or no restrictions to such taxpayers of the town as applied for them. No letting of boats was allowed and permits were not transferable. During this time, however, there was considerable discussion regard:qg concih;oni, ar-rid the pond, a large faction arguing for stricter regulations while another faction wished greater freedom for pleasure purpos~s. As a result of this controversy tire warrant for the annual town meeting of 1910 contained an article to empower the Water Commissioners to purchase land bordering on the pond, and one to instruct them not to issue permits for boating and fishing. Both motions were lost, as was the second motion it special meetings held Dec. 3 and Dec, 9, 1910~On May 11, 1911, the Water Commissioners voted as follows-
All boating or entering on Great Pond is hereby strictly prohibited." Since this date they have declined to issue permits for boating or fishing.
Out of this action came the suit of Alvin Hollis et als. v. Dougla5s M. Easton el als" brought in 1911. Lest there be any mismiderstanding of Mr. Hollis' motives in this matter it is well to quote the following from the report of the auditor in the case, appointed by the Supreme judicial Court.In August, 1911, the petitioner, Alvin Hollis, who is a mspectea and law
No sentence was imposed and the case was carried on exceptions to the Supreme judicial Court, which on Oct. 29, 1912, refused to grant a writ of mandamus to the petitioners. Exceptions were then filed as a basis for taking the case to the full bench of the Supreme Court, and during 1913 the case was pending 01) the exceptions. Early in 1914 the town moved that the court order the exceptions to be further prosecuted or waived, and after several hearing's on the matter the court on April 18, 1914, entered a final decree dismissing the petition.
it is to be hoped that this once vexing question has been settled for all time-
It is interesting and fitting, after a lapse of thirty-t years, to review briefly the material results of the decision of the inhabitants of Weymouth to operate their own water System. After supplying water for domestic use at rates much lower than
those charged by ally private water company in this vicinity, and after furnishing free of charge for the last ten years fire service which at the lowest pre-war rates of private companies would amount to $5,500 per year, the town has in its water system to-day the following assets:
1. A source of supply sufficient in quantity to take care of the growth of tire town for many years, and in quality perfectly safe and healthful as attested by its constant supervision and approval by the State Board of Health. (This water is subject to some criticism at times oil account of its color, which is due to the swampy nature of a part of its drainage area, but while this color may be displeasing to the eye, it has no effect whatever oil its sanitary fitness. Eventually, no.doubL, as the tastes of the people become more and more refined, it will become necessary to provide artificial means for removing this color, but the fact remains that the quality of the water is the same to-day as when given the unqualified indorsement of the experts in 1883.)
2. A pumping and distribution system, having a book value as of Dec. 31, 1919, of $622,260.64.
Taking into consideration the increased values of labor and material, the amount of replacement work that has been done under the maintenance account, and the fact that the greater part of the book value is in cast-iron pipe, upon which depreciation is light, it is a very conservative estimate that places the reproduction cost less depreciation at one-half million dollars.
Outstanding against this are bonds to the amount of $134,000, offset by a sinking fund of $55,000, leaving a net debt of $79,000 and net assets, after all debts are retired, of at least $400,000, or $100,000 more than the original bond issue which seemed so large to the voters of 1883.
About the year 1820 Micah Richmond, a currier by trade, owned a large tract of land on the turnpike, now called Washington Street, including land fronting on that street (now owned by the George S. Baker estate, William K. Baker, Jeremiah Bailey, A. G. Nye, Washington Merritt, Edward T. Jordan and Albion Hall) and extending back on Richmond Hill, so called. Micah Raymond lived in a large one-story house near the smelt brook (on land now owned by Russell B. Worster). By reason of the land adjoining the house being so near the salt water the wells were affected thereby, and for the purpose of supplying himself and the neighbors with pure water he built an aqueduct upon his land on Washington Street, and rail pipes therefrom to his own house and such others as desired to Use the water. The aqueduct was located upon the southwesterly corner of land now owned by the George S. Baker estate. It must have been built previous to 1825 ' for in air act incorporating the Weymouth Aqueduct Corporation it is stated that the purpose was
i~, maintain and extend all aqueduct already constructed. The date of incorporation is Feb. 24, 1825, and Abraham Thayer ' Ezra Leach and Micah Raymond are named as the corporators. The (oi poration had power to hold real estate not exceeding $2,000 and pcrsonil estate not exceeding $3,000. As the water from the original aquMuct was 110L sufficient to supply all those who used it, pipes %~crc afterwards connected with a spring on the land of Cotton Tufts opposite the estate of Samuel Reed on Washington Street; also with a spring upon the land of Asa Webb opposite the stable (,,f Lizeard Bourke oil Tremont Street near the house of Mrs. Hourphrey. This fast spring furnished water for the house of Asa Webb A%ho lived where the Cowing family now live. The corporation (foes not seem to have held any real estate. Besides Micah RayIflond the water was used by Ezra Leach who lived in the house now occupied by Elias Richards; Peter H. Cushing, who lived upon the opposite side of the street; Abraham Thayer, who kept the hotel afterwards occupied by Asa B. Wales; Ezra W. Sampson, who lived upon the place now occupied by Alden Bowditch; and Ezekiel Worster, who lived upon the place now occupied by Mrs. John G. Worster. The water was also used in the house of Ezekiel Worster, occupied at one time by Abraham Thayer; also in the old Arnold house, afterwards occupied by Silas Binney, and at the steam mill in the rear of Ezekiel Worster's house. The main aqueduct seems to have been in operation until about 1855, when some of the pipes were taken up and the water cut off. Ezra W. Leach seems to have had charge of the operating and repairing of the aqueduct, although Abraham Thayer had to do with collecting the water rates. The price asked for water was $5 per faucet. The corporation was dissolved by an act of the Legislature passed June 2, 1873. (Statutes 1873, chapter 327.)