Humarock Water Co.

During the Great Depression, 1929 to 1939, our home only had the basic conveniences……a big black cast-iron kerosene stove that Mom cooked on,  which also helped heat the kitchen in the cold months….and a coal furnace heated the house.  We had running water, but cold only,  and that old kitchen stove also heated our water in a kettle or two.    A big ice chest was located in the hall entrance off the kitchen. The only electric appliance was a toaster.  The one radio was in the living room and there was no telephone.

My curiosity  led to question my Dad as to where  the water in the faucet came from and why we didn’t  have a hot water faucet like the neighbors.  Dad had explained to me that our water came from a big  storage tank located on a near-by hill.  The water was pumped into the tank from deep wells…. then piped to the homes lucky enough to be on the main line. He explained our furnace didn’t have the piping to heat water for the sink.

The water companies were privately owned and were  located in various parts of town.  One of these pump houses was located in the thicket between Ferry Hill Rd. and  off Ireland Rd. This supplied parts of Seaview and Humarock.

Crosby/Humarock Water Co. pump house….c. 1926-1946

A big stone tank was at the top of Ireland Rd.

As I remember the Humarock Water Company’s
storage tank was on Ireland Rd., opposite Carlton Rd.
This  tank  was screened all around under the roof.                                                  About 1945 or ’46, a number of screens were broken  and there was little water in the tank.  Dad explained to me that it was no longer in use.

The water was piped from the pump house to the storage tank on Ireland Rd. and then distributed to Seaview and Humarock. The pipe to Humarock ran across the Sea St. Bridge.
This was a serious problem in the winter because the pipes could freeze up. To prevent this, the system had to be bled-off to prevent damage to the supply pipe.

The Humarock side was bled-off to keep the water running….. therefore, not freezing.   This would create a huge ice mountain in the marsh area near the high tide line.

The ice mountain would last well into the spring.

Uprooting of the water pipe to Humarock

During the dismantling of the Humarock bridge in 1952, the old water pipe was exposed, it’s difficult to see here.

The tank roof  collapsed about 1949. However, the stonework lasted for many years.


”Water is being depleted many, many times faster than nature can replenish it. ”      Maude Barlow

W. Ray Freden, Seaview, 70 years.

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