The twenty-third annual report of the board of water commissioners of Holyoke, Mass,, gives receipts $91,991,64, and;expenditures $68,382.95. The drought of 1895 caused restrictions to be laid on lawn sprinkling, washing windows, and other sprinkling with hose, etc. Theboard has been temporarily thwarted in the endeavor to add to the facilities for increasing the water supply, but hopes to be more successful this year. The construction account shows an increase of 17,881,54; the main pipe extensions, 16-inch, 8-inch and 6-inch, taking $12,973.31. There are 385 hydrants, and outside of these which are provided by the city, these are in the line of fire appliances, 431 standpipe outs, 52 single hydrants, 119 double hydrants, 5 triple hydrants, 24 arm hydrants, 3 cellar hydrants, 5 mills using perforated pipe-sprinklers, 39 mills using automatic sprinklers, and 44 fire-pumps at mills. Of meters in use there are 200, including 1 rotary 5-8-iuch (Ball & Fitts), 893 4-inch of the Worthington, Crown, Ball & Fitts (duplex), Hersey and Thomson makes, 55 1-inch, 87 1-12inch, 34 2-inch, 26 3-inch, 7 4-inch, all of the same makes. The population of Holyoke is 40,549, of which 40,049 live on the line of pipe, 39,549 being supplied. The estimated total number of gallons consumed for the year was 1,256,055,000. The estimated average daily consumption was 8,441,247; to each inhabitant per capita, 84.86; by each consumer (3) 87.01; to service tap, 1,113. Passed through meters, 190,606,000. The water works were constructed in 1873, and are owned by the city. The sources of supply are two continuous natural lakes, three and one-half miles from the city, two mountain streams, and storage reservoir. A gravity pressure forms the mode of supply.



Its Industries, Institutions, Progress and Growth.

(By our Special Correspondent.)

What a name it has won for itself in the world of manufacturers and commerce, this tidy, snug Massachusetts city of Holyoke! And all, practically, within a term covering scarcely forty years!

The rise of the place in importance and wealth has, however, shown none of the characteristics of the overnight mushroom growth of so many of the Western communities. Capitalists saw that one of the most important water powers in the United States was going to waste, and arranged for its utilization with most admirable foresight and completeness of design. Manufacturers, one by one, took advantages of the facilities offered them, and the result is the existence of a city of nearly 40,000 souls, well laid out, well built and well governed, its many busy, important and sound industrial establishments supporting thousands of wage-earners, whose pretty homes show evidence of thrift and permanent prosperity.

Ilolyoke lies in one of the most beautiful portions of the Connecticut valley, to the river of which name it owes its life and strength. Rising in Connecticut lake, in New Hampshire, the course of the river to Long Island Sound measures about 400 miles. In the first 100 miles it has a fall of 1590 feet, but about 1000 of this goes to the credit of its first stage as a mountain torrent. Then, however, at Bellows Falls, Vt., forty miles north of the Massachusetts line, there is a drop of forty-two feet, and at. Turner’s Falls, Montague, Mass., another of seventy feet. Next, at Ilolyoke, comes the descent of sixty feet, below which point the Enfield rapids form the only fall worth speaking of.

Just above the city of Ilolyoke one of the ridges of the White mountains which border the Connecticut valley is cut through by the river, leaving upon the north Mount Holyoke, and upon the south Mount Tom, looking down upon the rapidly flowing stream. This, then, bending this and that way, finally forms a right angled triangle, and you have the site of Holyoke on the right bank of the river.

For many years the Indians had known the great falls of the “ Quonektacut” as a good place for fish, and had been in the habit of gathering here to catch them, but the people who came over from Massachusetts bay to find homes, were not favorably impressed with the place, and founded their towns where the advantages offered for farming were greater. In the early years of this century the locality was inhabited by but a few farmers’ families, while a small wing dam had from the rapids what power was needed to run a grist mill on the right bank of the river near the present dam. This mill supplied the wants of the little community, and every one was contented, until the year 1831, when the original Hadley Falls Company erected another dam to give power to the little Hampshire mill.

Naturally the attention of capitalists had already been attracted to the enormous possibilities offered by a scheme for completely controlling the power of the Connecticut at this point, and thus building up a manufacturing city ; but the cost of such an enterprise seemed to the men of the day so great that for some years no one could be found willing to embark his money in the venture. Finally, however, in July, 1S47, the dryest season of the year, some of those who had been thinking about it caused the volume of water flowing in the river (drawn from an area of S144 scptai’e miles) to be gauged. It was found to be 6980 cubic feet per second, estimated here as equivalent to 550 mill powers.


The question was settled. That abundant capital would be invested in a place where such facilities for manufacturing enterprises were offered seemed to those who had the matter in mind inevitable, and the sequel has proved that they were wise in their generation. In this same year, 1847, Thomas H. Perkins, Geo. W. Lyman and Edmund Dwight, after acquiring all prior rights, formed the Hadley F’alls Company ” for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a dam across Connecticut river, and one or more locks and canals, and of creating a water power,” etc., with a capital stock of $4,000,000.

The company bought xioo acres of land, and forthwith set about the laying out of streets and the construction of canals, mills and houses ; also of a dam. This last, however, upon the very day of its dedication, was entirely carried away by the force of the impounded river.

Nothing daunted, the company bade its engineers try again, and these, profiting by the lessons of the disaster, set to work and built the magnificent dam, which, since its completion in 1849, has formed so firm a barrier across the river, giving a basis for additions and improvements as they were deemed advisable.


The dam, with its improvements, may now be described as a whole. The original structure, about one-fifth of a mile long, has a base of ninety feet, and runs to a height of thirty feet above the original level of the river. It was built of 4,000,000 feet of timber, protected at the foot by concrete and gravel, and at the crest by boiler iron. To this was added in 1868-70, owing to the wearing away of the bed of the liver below it, the apron which makes its present front, and forms with it the existing solid mass of masonry and stone. The new part, it may be remarked, was even more massive than the old, and cost over a quarter of a million of dollars.


The elaborate system by which water power for the manufactories is distributed by means of the canals is arranged upon a scale probably unequaled elsewhere, and is difficult to describe in detail. Briefly, there are three levels, the water passing from the river successively to the mills upon the first and highest level and the second and third levels, lower down, and thence running into the river again.

The main or upper level canal, into which the water is first admitted from the gates, has at the beginning a width of 140 feet and is twenty-two feet deep, narrowing at the rale of about one loot to the hundred. It is over a mile in length, and, as noted, supplies the highest tier of mills. It runs for some distance eastwardly, and then towards the southward. The second level canal is twenty feet lower, and is longer. Beginning at its southerly end opposite the end of the big reach of the upper level, it runs for over a mile northward, parallel with the first level, then east and south for one and three-quarter miles. It narrows from 140 to eighty feet in width, with an average depth of fifteen feet. These two canals form parallel water courses through Holyoke, bridged at the street crossings. The third level canal begins at the southerly end of the second level, and extends nearly a mile to the other terminus of the latter. It is a hundred feet wide and ten feet deep, and helps make up a line of marginal canals near or around the whole water front of the place, all now lined by factories of various kinds, drawing from them their power.

The mills on the upper level have a head and fall of twenty feet, and the difference between the second and third levels is twelve feet, while that between the marginal canals and the river varies from twenty-three to twenty-eight feet. Four overfalls with waste gates let the water run from each canal to the one below it, independently of the supply from the mills above.


In the year 1859 the Holyoke Water Bower Company was incorporated, acquiring all the rights and privileges of its predecessors, and it is under its management that the great development of the present system has been made, and the latter now flourishes. The president of the company is the Hon. Gideon Wells of Springfield, and its affairs in Holyoke are carefully watched over by the treasurer, Edward S. Waters, who lives on the spot. In passing, it may be noted that a “ mill power ” is defined as the right to draw during sixteen houts daily, to draw from the nearest canal thirty-eight cubic feet of water per second, with a head of twenty feet, and that the annual charge per mill power is $300.

Among the objects of interest included in the waterpower company plant is the testing flume, which is unique, and must be examined in detail to be appreciated. The members of the New England Water-works Association, at their meeting at Holyoke next week, will be given a chance to do so, and should not neglect to take advantage of it.


Now let us see what has come of this effort, really entered into in 1847, for the formation of a manufacturing city of such wide and established reputation, by men of means, sagacity and broad judgment. It is a matter of statistics in the method of relation, but they are not dry statistics by any means, but full of interest.

Passing over the years when the Indians fished and the few first settlers planted and gathered their modest crops, just note it that before the dam was built there were less than twenty dwellings in the town. With the completion of the dam the period oi industry and prosperity began, factories of different kinds starting up. Cotton manufacturers first took advantage of the fine water power afforded them, but in the year 1853 the paper trade took a hand in the game, the Parsons’ Paper Company putting up a plant. Then, one after another, makers of other goods were drawn to the place, and built factories, and turned out and sold goods at a good profit, and brought in money and a hard working, honest population to the place. The paper makers and others allied to them in their interests have come in a majority, and have given to the Ilolyoke the name of the “Paper City,” but manufacturers of textile fabrics, machinery and other wares, as will be seen in a minute, have not been behind hand. Thus the population of Holyoke, which was in the year 1852 put at 2245 souls, rose in 1890 to 35,671, and is now estimated at over 38,0’0.

Last year the paper products of Holyoke were valued at $11,057,000, and the textile products at $9,735,000, total $29,792,000, and the value of the paper interests was put at $6,534,104, and of the textile at $5,070,918, a total value of $11,605,022. In 1891 the paper interests paid a tax of $80,859, and the textile interests $61,654. The payrolls of the seventy-one manufacturing concerns of all kinds of the city, divided among 12,106 workers, amounted, monthly, to $369,575, or say $4,434/700 a year. The total valuation of property in the city, real and personal, was $22,943,940.

Pretty speaking figures these, and they may be left alone to tell their story.

As to the division of the manufacturing interests into classes, while the paper and cotton interests number more than a half of the whole, there is a good assortment of others whose representatives enjoy a wide reputation. The names of the Deane Steam Pump Company, manufacturers of pumping engines, of Coghlan’s Holyoke Steam Boiler and Iron Works, T. F. Hogan’s Sons, the Holyoke Hydrant and Iron Works, the Ilolyoke Machine Company, Long & Walsh, the City Foundry, the Moore Filter Company and others are well known throughout the country to all persons caring anything about water-works affairs, machinery, or iron working in general, and the lively and profitable business which they do speaks a good deal for the judiciousness of their choice of location.


The level-headed founders of Holyoke naturally included in their plans and constructed a system of water-works, but even they had not calculated with enough confidence upon the future, and before many years the rapid growth of population and aggregation of industrial establishments indicated that more extensive provisions must be made for the supply, both for fire and domestic service, of the lising city. So, in 1871, surveys for a new system were made. The results were gratifying, showing, that leaving the Connecticut river out of the question, a supply, enough to serve for many years to come, could be drawn by gravitation from Ashley’s ami Wright’s ponds, only about three and one half miles from the business centre—and with a good head. As soon as the needful forms of law could be gone through with, work on the new system was begun, and was finished in 1873, the year in which the city of Holyoke was formally organized. The two lakes are quite close together and receive the drainage of a water-shed of 1 726 acres, yielding, in theory, about 2,500,000 gallons of water daily. As a matter of fact, however, there are subterranean sources of supply which increase the actual quantity of potable water available, to a very much greater extent, as yet uncalculated. The quality of the water is good, the slopes from which it drains and the surroundings of the ponds being free from possible sources of pollution, and the pond* themselves being carefully looked after by the water department, and their borders kept free and clear from defunct vegetable matter and rubbish. They are within the city limits, are bordered by handsome drives, residences, and private grounds, and add much to the beauty of the place.

The moderate limit of cost of the works, fixed by the original act of the legislature, was adhered to, the expense of the dam, gate-house ami embankments, the principal supply main (witli a capacity of over 2,500,000gallons daily), in fact, of the whole system as thus constructed, falling below the stated sum. In planning the works future needs had, however, been looked out for. The flowage area of the two lakes at their natural level was about 187 acres. When in course of time it was found that more storage area was desirable, about thirty acres were added by simply raising the dams and other confining walls, etc. That was all that was necessary. All the other work had been done before with a view to this probability. With increasing demands from the manufacturers and residents the water from the Riley and Tannery brooks was, in 1881, turned into the main supply pipe, adding about one-eighth or more to the original supply. Then again, in 1884, a dam was built on the Whiting street brook and that helped. But a still greater impounded supply w-as demanded, and the city threw a new dam across*the Whiting street brook, lower down. It was finished in 1890 and made a storage reservoir, with an area of 114 acres and a depth of sixteen feet. Now it is believed that the wants of present and future dwellers and manufacturers in Holyoke, in the way of water for drinking, manufacturing and fire quenching purposes, have been provided for for some time to conte, though there was something of a scare last summer when the whole land was so exceptionally dry.

The water department of llolyoke is under the charge of a board of three commissioners: James I. Curran, chairman I Moses Newton, treasurer ; and Martin P. Conway, secretary. Col. E. I’. Clark is water registrar, and, seated in his comfortable room in the city hall, though up to his eyes in the business of his office, seems never too busy to impart to the interested some of his large stock of knowledge concerning water-works matters. Superintendent John D. Hardy is also a busy man, and the person who would find him need only look for the place where any work on the water supply system is doing, and his supervision or help is needed. Mr. Clark has, by the way, been registrar since 1876, and Mr. Hardy superintendent for over eleven years past.

In the distribution system of the Holyoke water-works, according to the latest statistics, there were included forty-five miles 1017 feet of mains of four to twenty inches diameter, and five miles, 1603 feet of temporary mains of less than four inches diameter (all of cast or wrought iron), 334 public and 121 private hydrants (of the Holyoke Hydrant Iron Works and Mathews makes); also 155 meters of the Worthington, Crown, Hersey, Thomson and Hall & Kitts makes, ranging from fiveeighths inch to four inches. Of gates there are 398 in the system, of which 121 are four inch, 163 six inch, forty-seven eight inch, thirty-one ten inch, twenty-five twelve inch, nine sixteen inch, and one each twenty and twenty-four inch. There are also forty-two stand-pipes—and thereby hangs a tale which carries its lesson with it.

Last spring the city began to use the fire hydrants for filling the street sprinkling carts. The water commissioners protested, and offered to put up stand-pipes for this purpose, wherever they were needed, so that the hydrants might be left undisturbed for fire purposes. Their offer was, however, refused, until it was found that about forty of the fire hydrants were out of order, owing to their use by the street sprinkling men. Then the insurance men stepped in and said that they would raise their rates unless the fire hydrants were let alone; the authorities gracefully came down and ordered that it should be so, ami the water department was allowed to put up a sufficient number of stand-pipes to supply the watering caits, to the great relief of the minds of the firemen and others who appreciated the situation.

The Holyoke water-works have always been self-supporting. The net cost of the works up to the beginning of this year was §1636,934; the bonded debt was $350,000, and the value of the sinking fund $140,624. Last year the receipts from all sources were $75,051, of which $65,859 was for water. The cost of maintenance in 1891 was $-7,639. The estimated consuming population supplied numbered 35,114, using nearly 992,000,000 gallons of water during the year, or say 77.39 gallons daily each, the estimated average daily consumption by the whole city being put in round numbers at over 2,700,000 gallons.

As a natural result of good construction and careful management the water rates have ruled low. Last year they were reduced to an extent which gives to the people the benefit of a pure, wholesome supply of the fluid at a price claimed to be lower than that paid in any other city in the country, with perhaps one or two exceptions. And that is an advantage which the general run of manufacturers and householders feel in their pockets and appreciate.

In the original construction of the works Shedd & Sawyer of Boston were the consulting engineers ; E. C. Davis, engineer and superintendent, and Davis «& Ellsworth, engineers, and their work does them credit, having given their successors in charge of the system a comprehensively devised and solid foundation for the extensions and improvements already made and to come.


The head of water at Hampden park, near the city hall, is over 150 feet, and at Main street, about the lowest part of the city, 210 feet, giving a pressure at the hydrants on Main street ranging from eighty to too pounds, as may be, day and night, enough to furnish some pretty good hydrant streams in case of tire. As said before, there are in the city 334 public hydrants, from one to three-way. Outside of these there were, at latest reports, in the way of appliances for the distribution of water when needed for fire service 467 stand-pipe outlets, forty-eight single hydrants, seventy-three double hydrants and three cellar hydrants. Of the mills, two arc equipped with perforated pipe sprinklers and thirty-eight with automatic sprinklers, and there are forty-one fire pumps in readiness for use in these establishments. In so far the water-works department and private enterprise take their parts in guaranteeing protection against fire. But back of this stands the city fire department, and a very well organized, drilled and appointed one it is.

The old volunteer department of the town was established in 1851, and ” llolyoke No. 1,” an old Button hand engine, which had been owned by the Hadley Kails Company, was bought and put in service. Jonas Kendall was the first man to hold the office of chief engineer. As the town grew so did the department increase, more companies forming and apparatus being added from year to year.

The first steam fire engine was put in service in i860. It was an Amoskeag of the second size.

When the city of Holyoke was incorporated in 1873 it bought out the property of the fire district, and took the service into its own hands. The first chief engineer under the new government was Richard l’atlee. As occasion required, the force and apparatus of the department were added to. It did good work from time to time at mill and other fires, the worst one. looked at from a humanitarian point of view, being that in the French Catholic church in 1875, in which over seventy persons lost their lives. It was at that affair that the present chief engineer, John T. Lynch, then a member of the Mt. Holyoke Hose Company, gained a lasting reputation for great bravery, carrying away the credit of having saved the lives by means of his strength, nerve and coolness of twenty or more human beings.

Chief Lynch is an Irishman by birth but came over here in 1861, at the age of eleven years and became a Staten Islander. He was a member of Clifton Hose Company No. 6 of Staten Islaad when he was still a lad, and has since remained almost continuously in the fire service. In i860 he took up his abode in llolyoke, joining the fire department as a matter of course, and did lots of good service with the rest of the men, including the memorable piece of work at the church fire. He was made second assistant chief of the fire department in 1S80, and served in that Capacity for three years. Then he was elected an alderman of the city. T wo years later, in 1885, he was appointed as the first paid chief of the reorganized (ire department of llolyoke. This position lie still occupies, lie is a quiet, modest man, who knows and attends to his business and is very highly spoken and thought of.

In 1891 there were in Holyoke uighty-five fires and alarms. The damage done was $19,680, and the insurance paid amounted to $17,533. The average loss by each fire was $25.26. The expenses of the fire department were, for the year, $45,936. The largest fire which happened broke out on April 29, in the middle of a big lot of lumber piles and, before the department could control it, a number of these, 300 feet long, twenty feet high and twelve feet wide, were consumed, and between thirty and forty small frame dwellings in the near vicinity were damaged more or less. That the whole of that part of the city did not burn down was due to the good work of the department, for there was a high wind blowing at the time.

The manual force of the fire department is made up of the chief engineer, five assistants, eleven drivers, five engineers of steamers, the requisite number of stokers and tillermen and about 125 or more call men. These have to handle, in the way of apparatus, five steam fire engines of the La France, Amoskeag and Button makes ; one La France aerial truck, two hook and ladder trucks, six one-horse hose wagons and a hose reel. Two very handsome and substantially built new engine houses, one in Ward No. 3 and the other at Elmwood, will shortly be ready for occupation, and when the men and apparatus are installed in them will give still better protection to those parts of the city. The architectural designing of these houses has been really very well done, and inside they are being fitted up with every modern device for the comfort and convenience of the men, and for facilitating the work which they will be called upon to do.

There is a Gamewell fire alarm system in the city, with sixty-seven boxes, under the care of Superintendent John Castle, who is now putting in larger gongs in the fire houses, and arranging for a general improvement of the system. Roger P. Donoghue is the chairman of the Hoard of Fire Commissioners, and Horace Rescott is clerk of the board. The fire service is well looked after.


is not only an important manufacturing community, but it is a beautiful city of homes. It has an excellent school system and many churches, solid bauking institutions, large wholesale stores and well stocked retail shops dealing in about every variety of wares which a man could desire. It is a well governed, orderly community, too, with well paved streets and roads, and good street car service and gas and electric lighting. Its city hall is an extremely handsome and well arranged building—one of the most striking in appearance of any in this section of the country.

The Mayor of Holyoke is Jeremiah F. Sullivan, who is now filling his third term as head of the city government. Mr. Sullivan, who is a native of Ireland, came to America in 1S49. lie lived for a while at Providence, R. I., but soon removed to llolyoke, w here he went into business. He gained the confidence and respect of his townsmen, who elected him an assessor. For fifteen years he served in this capacity, for eight of these years as chairman of the board. His course as Mayor has strengthened his popularity among all classes, llolyoke is also happy in having as city clerk Thomas D. O’Brien, and as city engineer Edward Walther, who is to be thanked for some mightily good work. Superintendent of Schools E. L. Kirtland, who is secretary of the school committee as well, is an old newspaper editor and proprietor, and as courteous as well informed. Altogether the people of Holyoke have very good reason to be satisfied alike with their etty, its institutions, and the men whom they have elected to run its affairs.