History of the Andover Water Company

The first recorded meeting of the Andover Water Company was held at the Hotel Twitchell on Tuesday, the 24th day of November 1908, at 8:00 p.m. This meeting was attended by local citizens interested in organizing a Corporation, and those attending were: Y. A. Thurston, E. S. Poor, M. L. Thurston, A. A. Berry, Owen Lovejoy, L. M. Hewey, F. P. Thomas, James N. Hall, C. A. Rand, C. C. Sweatt, L. W. Blanchard, W. J. Twitchell, J. A. French, G. J. Sweatt, W. J. Twitchell, J. A. French, G. J. Sweatt, A. L. Lang, and T. H. Derrick.

It was voted that those present to organize the Corporation to the provisions of the Articles of Agreement Statutes of the State of Maine.

The purpose of furnishing water to residents of Andover and to construct, maintain, and operate an efficient system of water supply were the main principles under which the Corporation would function.

It was decided that a masonry dam should be constructed across Stony Brook at a height above Andover Village, to assure sufficient water pressure for fire protection to Andover. "A water main of pipe shall be laid by the most possible route with 6" pipe in the principal streets. Under this arrangement, 20 hydrants shall be placed for use in the town for public service. It is agreed that said town shall pay a rental of $600.00 a year, this includes the Andover school house and churches (and) also a watering trough or drinking fountain."

It was voted that the capital stock of the Corporation would be $50,000 divided into one thousand shares at the value of $50.00 each. The officers would be president, vice-president, treasurer, clerk, and board of five directors. The directors should have the general management and control of the business. The first officers were:

President F. P. Thomas

Vice-President Y. A. Thurston

Secretary H. M. Thomas

Treasurer J. A. French

The Company, in 1909, was named a Public Utility under the general laws of Maine. It constructed its water system at the cost of approximately $25,000. The ditches were dug by hand by a group of Italians, probably coming from Boston and camping out in a field above Louis Akers' farm. It has been said that one of them disappeared, probably after a fight, and was buried in a ditch, as no one knows otherwise.

The piping and connecting was done by J. A.. French. The original dam was built at a cost of $1,175. This unit was replaced by a concrete dam in 1931 at the approximate cost of $10,000 by James Kerr of Rumford. In 1963, the present dam was raised 4' and the reservoir was cleaned out and enlarged to hold 4,000 gallons of water. A new building was erected over the gates.

At this time a new law came into effect that nothing could be built to drain into the reservoir, so land on each side was given by Royal Bolduc and Raymond Akers.

In 1952 a chlorinator building was built and the water chlorinated. The water had to be tested once a week (and now, I believe, tested daily), and samples were sent to the state regularly.

Through the years each officer of the Water Company has served many years. The first President, F. P. Thomas, was followed by F. C. French, Sylvanus Poor, and Raymond Akers. There have been only two regular Secretaries: H. M. Thomas, followed by Alice Thurston, acting for a short time and Elizabeth Swan. The water rent was paid for years to the Secretary, until a Collector was appointed. Roy Lohnes was the first Collector, followed by Anne Fox.

The Water Company was sold in 1972 to the Andover Water District.

Interesting notes are that the early meetings were held at Hotel Twitchell and the Hook and Ladder House, then later at the homes of the presidents. Before the Water Company was formed, water was obtained from wells. A company formed by a group of citizens and called the Crystal Spring Company also provided water. The "crystal spring"was at the Fred Merrill farm, across the river, and supplied water to the houses on Upper Main Street, as well as to the fountain in the square. This fountain held water for horses, and a lower section of the fountain was for dogs to drink.

There were springs on Farrington Hill which supplied many houses in that area, the water running into barrels in the kitchens. It really must have been a great day when the townspeople could turn on a faucet for water!

This information was taken from the two record books of the Andover Water Company. Conversations with Mrs. Emily Thurston, Elizabeth Swan, and Merton and Anne Fox provided additional information.

Note: Windmills were also used to pump water. There were several in town. One was at the Withie place, one at Howard Spidell's, one near Colby and Glenice Roberts' home, one near Jim Bodwell's, and another near Miss Blanchard's home off Upper Newton St.

Andover Water District

Report of Auditor - Year Ending December 31, 1978

Operating Statement

Receipts:

121 Balance January 1, 1978 $3,072.73

232 Sales Tax 381.90

401G Bad Debt Recovery 51.48

432 Interest 546.68

601 Residential 9,444.48

603 Commercial Sales 242.00

605 Industry Sales 325.83

606 Government & Church 648.00

607 Hydrants 4,000.00

622 Miscellaneous Sales 887.50

827 Insurance Refund 10.00

$19,610.60

Expenditures:

113 Payment on Long Term Debt $1,000.00

232 Sales Tax 377.64

372 Services 107.98

711 Purification Labor 2,600.00

712 Purification Supplies & Expenses 956.88

741 Distribution Labor 640.00

744 Distribution Supplies & Expenses 100.50

761 Repairs to Purification Equipment 25.10

792 Repairs to Mains 144.00

793 Repairs to Services 53.50

810 Billing & Collecting 500.00

820 Officers Salaries 1,100.00

822 Office Supplies & Expense 373 84

825 General Expense 86.75

825A Interest on Debt 4,800.00

827 Insurance 255.00

Cash Balance December 31, 1978

$13,121.19

6,489.41

$19,610.60

Source: Andover: The First 175 Years, Prepared by the Andover Friday Club, Andover, ME (1979), pp 199 - 202, Reprinted with permission of current owner, The Andover Educational Fund, Inc.

Copyright 1998 by Robert A. Spidell, All Rights Reserved

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