Jump forward to 1987 and the mayor back then came up with a plan to give everyone new trash cans. Thirty years later, the new mayor did the same thing, at a cost of $10,000,000.00! I wonder what happened to the ones of 1987??
Jump forward to 1987 and the mayor back then came up with a plan to give everyone new trash cans. Thirty years later, the new mayor did the same thing, at a cost of $10,000,000.00! I wonder what happened to the ones of 1987??
Now the good stuff! In yesterday’s post I shared about our hike along the Little Gunpowder Falls, from Jerusalem Mill to the old iron bridge at Franklinville. On the way we stopped and explored an abandoned mill race and structure that appeared to be for valving or damming up the water flow. Back at my office on Monday I found a report from 1933 concerning the mill and property.
The 1933 report gives this description of the mill – Wm. Barton Mill in Franklinville, Little Gunpowder Falls. Several mill buildings used for the manufacturing of cotton duck. Mill race and dam have been broken thru since about 1926. Mill was built in 1883. All manufacturing equipment has been removed except for turbine. Barton purchased property from Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Mills on August 5, 1930. Information is sketchy on ownership. 1899 sold to Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Mills, yet they sold it twice. Once to Oak Tire and Rubber in 1925 and to Barton, but notes ownership to Marvin Merryman in 1929. No info on size of mill pond since dam was broken through. Supplementary water reservoir of 20,000 gallons in center of square in tenement section to furnish water for automatic sprinkler system in mills. Dam, made of timber, was about 800’ from mill. There was a water wheel at one time, with 140hp capacity.
Buildings at mill included: the main mill, waste house, store house, boiler house, and wheel house. There were also 3, two family two story houses on property. And more, according to tax records at Baltimore county. Records mention a mill adjacent to this one, to the north, known as Jericho mill. no traces of mill could be found.
Along with the report is this plat which shows the layout of the buildings:
What does this have to do with Baltimore’s Water Supply History?
Typhoid cases, which had decreased by the mid-1920s, would re-emerge by the early 1930s along with a long period of drought. In 1932, the City Government hires consultants to review the status of its water supply. These consultants would form a board of engineers known as The Advisory Engineers on Water Supply. The engineers were Messrs. John H. Gregory, Gustav J. Requardt and Abel Wolman9. On December 19, 1934, the Advisory Engineers released their report:
1) Immediate construction of a new Gunpowder Falls Montebello Tunnel.
2) Immediately following the completion of the new Gunpowder Falls – Montebello Tunnel, the existing Loch Raven – Montebello Tunnel should be strengthened.
3) Conduct surveys, land purchases, sub-surface explorations and preparation of plans and specifications for the development of an additional water supply should be undertaken at once. (Areas of development looked at by the Board were the Patapsco River; the Little Gunpowder Falls, Winters Run and Deer Creek, and the Susquehanna River).
They were going to dam up the Little Gunpowder Falls and all the mills and property along the Falls would need to be bought (or taken). It was decided to go with Item #1 above.
Sometimes the requests I receive for historical information have nothing to do with Water and Sewage. A friend from the Pratt Library and then one from the Baltimore City Archives both sent me request for information on a 1990 article in the Maryland Historical Society Magazine. The article concerned rye whiskey made in Maryland. Accompanying the article was this photograph.
The caption underneath states: “At Wolfe and Aliceanna streets, about 1910 (Actual 1907), a Phillip Lobe Co. vehicle speeds barrels of Ram’s Horn whiskey to saloons. Photograph courtesy Baltimore Public Works Museum.” The person seeking the information wrote me this: I am a relative of Phillip Lobe and am writing an article about his business for a national bottle collector’s magazine. I would love to use this photo in my article as well as getting a nice, clean version of the photo if possible.
Could you help me with that pursuit?
Susan Adler Davis
Since the photo came from the DPW Museum, of which I have been documenting, I was able to find a much clearer photograph. On the side of the wagon to the right, Rams Horn, it has written; Lobe and Son W. Pratt Street. The caption in my notes states: SWC 2. Wolf and Aliceanna Sts. showing gutter plates and openings.
From the same time period, you can see the obstacles that the water department faced in the installation of mains and drains. Caption in notes for the above: SWC 3. Charles and Saratoga Sts. Obstructions in trench. (Storm Water Contract #3)
More pipes to work around: SWC 3. Double 50”x69” storm water drain in Market Place at Baltimore, looking towards outlet.
So my mind wanders more times than not, but it is always fun and a pleasure to research these sort of things! I look forward to reading Ms Davis’ article.
I was recently called over to the contractor’s worksite because they hit another pipe underground. Another one not on their drawings but included in other drawings (Why the engineers don’t look at other record drawings is beyond me). This is a special pipe that I was looking forward to them hitting. I knew it was just a matter of time.
Here it is – a 4″ lead pipe inside an 8″ Terra Cotta pipe. Why is it special? Because I always wanted to see how the alum, manufactured at Plant II was piped across the street to Plant I.
The water engineers boiled up their own alum in lead lined vats and it was then pumped across the street through the lead pipes. Below is one of the vats right after the lead was replaced. Over the years there were many contracts to recoat the insides of the vats. When the vats were no longer used, city workers climbed down into them to remove the lead sheeting.
Lead pipes have been in use since the early Roman days. It was also used as a seal on pipes as shown below. In 1974 a lot of the old gate valves were replaced with butterfly valves. They did not replace the pipe. You can see where brackets hold the pipe together where lead is in the joints. These joints being made 1912-1915.
You have to feel kind of sorry for the contractors (and the city) for all the antiquated piping underground. Here is a site on Montebello property showing the obstacles of past contractors. Unfortunately, these abandoned lines were and are never removed. This photo shows a 5” conduit, 8” raw water, 10” water supply, 4” alum, 4” lead alum and 6” sanitary all in one pit. Under the very top conduit is the 13,000 volt, cement encased, electrical duct bank.
For your further historical pleasures – here is a history of lead in Baltimore:
1923 – Leadite Use: Bureau adopts leadite as a jointing compound and as a substitute for lead on water main installations. Leadite eliminates the use of caulking and can withstand the enormous pressure that the water mains are subjected.
Contract No. 84: Lead Lining Tanks: The Specification was dated July 21, 1926. Contract was awarded to the Joseph G. Graydon & Sons of Baltimore on July 21, 1926.
1930 – The Hampden Reservoir was drained. The outlet gates were closed permanently where possible by welding and then sealed with lead.
1931 – The liquid alum being made at Montebello is more acidic and corrosive than the lump alum. The cast iron pipes and valves can not stand up to this type of corrosion. They were replaced by pure chemical lead for the pipes and hard lead for the valves. Maintenance also had problems with the lead lining in the alum boiling tanks cracking.
A 1934 article appeared in several technical journals, which had given a general survey of the mineral contents, as determined by means of a spectrograph of the water used by 50 cities throughout the country. Baltimore was 1 of the 50 cities used in the survey, and the article indicated that the drinking water as delivered to its citizens contained lead as high as 0.3 parts per million, which was an amount generally accepted as detrimental to the health of people continuously drinking such water. The Water Department being stunned by this article, since this value was higher than any that had ever been noted, decided to ascertain the exact truth of the matter. The Montebello laboratory carried on a series of careful determinations extending through the year 1935. The City Health Department laboratory, not knowing the tests being conducted by the Montebello laboratory, conducted their own investigation for the lead count in the water. The City Health Department tests confirmed the test values conducted at Montebello. The results indicated that the lead content in the raw water never exceeded 0.2 parts per million and after treatment and filtration at Montebello, the content of lead did not exceed 0.02 parts per million. The normal lead count of the water was 0.01 parts per million. The tests proved conclusively that there was no danger whatsoever from lead poisoning due to the drinking of filtered Gunpowder River water.
1936 – December 7, 1936 letter from Engineer Small to the Chief of Police concerning the theft of pig lead.
1939 – Minute cracks started to appear in the lead lining of the tanks used in the manufacturing of alum. Tanks lasted ten years and produced 20,000 tons of alum.
1941 – The alum steel tanks were relined with lead. Tank #9 was relined with 20# tellurium lead and placed back into service on June 16. Tanks #5 and #7 are planned to be relined using St. Joe lead. Tank #7 is expected to be placed back into service by January 30, 1942; and Tank #5 is expected in service by March 15, 1942.
1942 – Because of the decision by the War Production Board regarding critical materials, the use of copper tubing for new installations was prohibited starting in August. Copper tubing installation was replaced by Type K lead alloy tubing. The replacement of the lead lining of the alum steel tanks was completed on February 7, 1942.
1949 – Pig lead test (checking for radioactivity). Leadite joints on water pipes are failing due to a high content of Sulphur and carbon in the surrounding soil.
1951 – A contract was awarded on December 26 to lead line the three steel alum storage tanks at Montebello Plant No. 2.
1952 – The lead pipe alum line between Montebello Plant No. 1 and Plant No. 2 had several leaks and was replaced.
1953 – Replaced Sulphuric acid pumps for Alum manufacturing. Also renewed was the lead line transporting the acid from the basement storage tanks to the manufacturing room.
1957 – 4 page Sunday Sun article on Weights and Measures. George Leithauser. Mentions chicken sellers using lead weights in birds.
In the late 1920’s a plasticized sulfur cement compound was developed as an alternate to lead for sealing the pipe joints in the field. This compound is referred to as “leadite”. Leadite was commercially produced up until the early 1970’s, and was used extensively from 1941 to 1945 when lead was scarce as a result of raw material needs associated with World War II. Ultimately, leadite was found to be an inferior product to lead for two reasons. First, leadite has a different coefficient of thermal expansion than cast iron and results in additional internal stresses that can ultimately lead to longitudinal splits in the pipe bell. Secondly, the sulfur in the leadite can facilitate pitting corrosion resulting in circumferential breaks on the spigot end of the pipe near the leadite joint. The failure rate in the industry for leadite joint pipe is significantly higher than for lead joint pipe even though the pipe may not be as old.
Finishing up documenting a Water Board Minutes of Meetings Journal, I came across a couple of interesting tidbits concerning the connection between Baltimore and San Francisco. In 2015 we both celebrated a 100 year anniversary. Them celebrating the 1915 World’s Fair and us the building and opening of the Montebello Filtration Plant. The connection being this – February 11, 1915 It was resolved by the Water Board to send the Filtration and Dam models to the Panama-Pacific Exposition. According to the model itself, it was completed in December, 1914.
The waste lake dam and outfall structure being built. Notice the date – October 1914. This means that the model was built conceptually, like an artist’s rendition of something before it is there.
Of course, one research item always leads to more.
In 1884 models of the substructures were built and placed in each gatehouse, Loch Raven and Lake Montebello, to give visitors a better understanding as to how each works. (What happened to them?)
February 6, 1893 the Water Board resolved to send a display to the Columbian Exposition. This was 21 years before the Howell Microcosms were built. so what did they send?
November 18, 1935 letter from M.P. McNulty, he has just completed creating a model of the Loch Raven dams and inquires as to the dates the real dams were built. Small replies that the lower dam was built between 1875 and 1881 by Fenton and Jones, Contractor. The upper dam was constructed by King-Ganey starting in 1912 and finished in 1914 and then raised between 1920 to 1922 by Whiting-Turner. Attached to the letter was a newspaper clipping which shows a picture of the model. (This clipping is at the City Archives)
December 31, 1952 letter from William Eichbaum Scale Models informing Hopkins that they will build a new, Montebello Plant model in the existing case for $1,000.00. This was not done.
And for what appears to be a wonderful book – San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 by Laura Ackley
Started planning back in 1854. Elevation of 160’ would supply seven-eighths of population (according to contour lines). Supplying others outside that elevation would be a matter of mechanical detail (pumping stations). The need to keep Lake Roland and the Gunpowder as two distinct and separate supplies, as Lake Roland becomes muddied during rainy season (this was why Druid Lake was constructed). It was first suggested to tap the river as far up as the Warren Factory but concurred by a host of engineers that the proper volume of water could not be obtained by damming at any point above Raven’s Rock and most agreed to a point further downstream about where Mr. Martin has located it. The dam will be erected on the Gunpowder river, at a point admirably adapted for the purpose, a short distance above Mine Bank Run, and the lake thus formed, will extend up the river as far as Meredith’s Ford Bridge at the Dulaney Valley Turnpike, where the pump house connected with the ‘Temporary Supply’ is now located…will flow by natural gravity through a twelve foot pipe to a lake at Montebello, between Hillen and Harford roads, located in a natural basin formed by one of the tributaries of Herring Run (Tiffany Run). The lake will have a water area of about eighty acres and a storage capacity of 700,000,000 gallons. The twelve foot pipe (conduit) will continue to a point on the Harford road opposite Homestead, whence pipes will be laid to connect with the city pipe system at North Boundary Ave. and Washington St. Lake Clifton.
This photo has me baffled. It is showing two 12′ conduits, whereas all the drawings only show one. On the left you can see where the laborers are building the brick lined conduit. On the right, nothing going on. Wondering if it was built in error or was it for a bypass as the dam was being built?
City workers lounging and the job is almost completed.
I was asked the other day if I knew who the architect of the Clifton Gate House was? I could not find any information after a couple hours of research. Of course, an internet search took me to the Maryland Historical Trust, where it is noted the architect is unknown, so I decided to look through all the Engineers Annual Reports here in my office. I also looked through a lot of drawings.
With all that said, looking at the three structures: Gate House, Pumping Station and Penitentiary, I would take a long shot guess and say that Jackson C. Gott designed the gate house. Most prints and photos are from the DPW collection except for the recent Pen photo and the EPS print, which is mine.
1888 – Eastern High Service Reservoir at Guilford: On June 5th, 12 acres, 3 roods and 29 perches of land was purchased on Cold Spring Lane, west of York Road, for an Eastern High Service Reservoir at Guilford. The Guilford estate was purchased from the heirs of the late A. S. Abell. A contract was awarded on July 30th to Messrs. Jones & Thorne for the construction of the Guilford Reservoir. The reservoir will have an elevation of 350 feet and a capacity of 40 million gallons of water. The water will be supplied to this reservoir from Lake Clifton via the Eastern Pumping Station. All the area between Huntingdon Avenue and Cold Spring Lane will be supplied with water from this reservoir. The 36-inch pipes temporarily used to supply Gunpowder water to Roland’s Run will be re-laid under York Road, forming a line through which water will be forced from Lake Clifton to Guilford Reservoir. The construction of the Guilford Reservoir commenced on August 1, 1888.
A later drawing for construction purposes, showing the date. The connection of this reservoir to the water system is documented in the Early Water History: 1889 – Eastern High Service Pumping Station: A contract was awarded to Henry R. Worthington Company for the erection of the Eastern High Service Pumping Station at the corner of Oliver and Ann streets. The pumping station will have a heavy duty pump with a capacity of 5 million gallons per day for the Guilford Reservoir and ultimately for increasing the water supply in Druid Lake. Supplying Druid Lake is a result of decreasing flows of the tributaries supplying Lake Roland; and of the increase in water demand to the higher elevations. The pipeline installation connecting the Eastern Pumping Station to the Guilford Reservoir was nearly completed during the year. The construction of the Guilford Reservoir was proceeding at a good pace. The excavation was completed, the vault chamber was constructed, the puddle trenches in the embankment surrounding the reservoir were sunk to the requisite depths, and the mains to the reservoir were installed.
Hard to see the date on the top stone in this street view. From the history: 1893 – The Guilford Reservoir was completed on June 29, 1893 and placed into service supplying finished water to the public. By 1895, the water consumption from the Guilford Reservoir averaged 400,000 gallons per day.
This drawing is from 1894. I did not know there even was a fountain in here. The two times I went to the reservoir for work was a few years ago for a CL2 leak and just recently to see the work going on there.
And here is another, showing the construction to cover the reservoir (actually installing new tanks).
From the Water Engineer’s office – drawings and history of Druid Lake. A Google search will give various histories of the lake. This history comes from the actual Water Engineer’s reports to the Mayor at that time:
1863 Druid Lake (Lake Chapman): City authorized construction of lake and reservoirs in Druid Hill Park and the land adjoining. Also authorized to lay pipe from Hampden Reservoir or from the conduit to a reservoir or reservoirs within the park. Heavy rains had caused the Jones Falls water to be muddy, hence the need to construct Druid Lake. Work started on March 7, 1864
Although the writing on this drawing is hard to read, from what I could read it states: 1869, Cross section through [pipes?]. Effluent and Influent [?] Lake Chapman ^ Druid Lake December 2[?] 1869[?] What I like about this is that it is the first drawing that I have seen where Druid Lake was called Lake Chapman.
1867 Druid Lake (Lake Chapman): Completed Lake Chapman, 429,000,000 gallons, capable of holding a supply of water equal to 40 days of consumption. Lake has nominally the same elevation as Hampden Reservoir, but is usually about 5 feet lower.
Another hard to decipher drawing: W. Bollman(?). Balto. Jule(?) 1870. Grating, Gate Stands, Stems and Screen for screen well at Druid Lake Reservoir.
1870 Druid Lake: The inside portion of the Druid Lake dam was completed in 1868 except for the remaining top 30 feet of the required elevation, and had remained unfinished during the year 1869. Work on Druid Lake resumed on May 2, 1870. The Druid Lake Park Reservoir is completed and water is first let. Druid Lake has a storage capacity of 493 million gallons, but only 429 million gallons to be available for City use. This equates to 40 days of water consumption which would allow ample time for Lake Roland to settle after the heaviest rains. The extreme water depth at the foot of the dam is to be 65 feet. The extreme water depth at the upper end of the dam is to be 20 feet.
Druid, Mt. royal and Hampden Reservoir were all connected through various series of pipes. In 1898 (for year ending 1897) it is reported that the water conduit from Lake Roland to Hampden Reservoir is a brick conduit, and the water is then delivered from Hampden Reservoir to Druid Lake by means of four 30-inch cast-iron pipes.
Looking across Druid Lake in 1925.
I know this is not a very good drawing but I appreciate it nonetheless. I love the detail that went into this.
This is the pump house for the High Service Reservoir (HSR) in Druid Park. A lot of times when talking to people, when I mention the HSR, they assume I am talking about Lake Ashburton. Because the City was constantly growing the HSR steadily moved north.
Here is another cut away view.
This early photograph shows the pump room.
Here we have a photo of the exterior of the building. This photo was used by A. Hoen and Company to create the drawing used by the Water Engineer in his Annual Report for 1875. As shown below.
This particular report had many Hoen drawings. (Lithographs).
Some things don’t change – today the deer were hanging out at the Dewatering Pumping Station at Montebello.
This is a drawing of Druid Hill Park in 1871. The HSR is lower left. In 1861 the Hampden Reservoir supplied the High Service Zones in the City. In 1873 the HSR above, was called the Pimlico Reservoir and it held 26 million gallons. In 1874 the City used water from the HSR to supply the fountain in Druid Lake (They are supposed to fix the fountain under the new contract going on now). In 1891 the Guilford Reservoir supplied the High Service and then in 1909 Lake Ashburton was the HSR.