|CHESTNUT HILL RESERVOIR|
|The history of the Boston Water-Works belongs properly in a description of the Brighton District, where the most extensive and costly work is. The original public introduction of water, which dates from October 25, 1848, is mentioned in the description of the Common in preceding pages. The growth of the city has been so rapid that what was originally calculated to be a sufficient supply of water for half a century was, in a few years, found to be inadequate. Again and again have measures been taken to make good the deficiency. In 1872 a comprehensive scheme was entered upon which, it was hoped, would avert for an indefinite period all fears of a water famine. That this hope has been disappointed and that a still more extensive and expensive scheme has been adopted, namely the introduction of the use of. the Sudbury River, is matter of history.
The necessity for building a new reservoir, for the purpose of storing the water that usually ran to waste over the dam at Lake Cochituate during and after the spring and fall freshets, was urged by the Water Board in 1863. In 1865 the Legislature gave the necessary authority to the city; purchases of land were made, and the work begun. More than two hundred acres of land, costing about $120,000, were deeded to the city before the reservoir was finished. Like the Brookline Reservoir, it constituted a natural basin. It is five miles from the Boston City Hall, and one mile from the Brookline Reservoir. It lies wholly in the Brighton District n ear Chestnut Hill, from which it derives its name. It is, in fact, a double reservoir, being divided by a water-tight dam into two basins of irregular shape. The surface of water in both is about one hundred and twenty-five acres, and when filled to their fullest capacity the two basins will hold nearly eight hundred million gallons. As we have said, this addition to the works has been found inadequate, and in 1872 authority was obtained for the city to take water from the Sudbury River. A temporary supply was procured by connecting the river with Lake Cochituate, and the work of bringing the water to the reservoirs by independent mains was promptly carried out.
The Chestnut Hill Reservoir is a great pleasure resort. A beautiful drive-way, varying from sixty to eighty feet in width, surrounds the entire work. In some parts the road runs along close to the embankment, separated from it only by the beautiful graveled walk with the sod ding on either side. Elsewhere it leaves the embankment and rises to a higher level at a little distance, from which an uninterrupted view of the entire reservoir can be had. The scenery in the neighborhood is so varied that it would of itself make this region a delightful one for pleasure driving, without the added attractions of the charming sheet of water, the graceful curvatures of the road, and the neat, trim appearance of the greensward that lines it throughout its entire length.
Today the Chestnut Hill Reservoir is used as an emergency back up water supply for Newton. We get our water from other parts of the State.
Below are four pictures. Two from the 19th Century. The other two have been taken recently.
The first set is of the entrance to the Reservoir. Today the entrance no longer exists. My theory in its place now stands that pile of rocks.
The second set is of the Gateway house. Today the Gateway house is a pump house.
It is sad that our city the thrives in history does not try to preserve the past.
To see before and after pictures of "Chestnut Hill Reservoir Entrance" and "The Gate House" simply lay your cursor on the pictures below. You will see what they looked like in the 1870's and what they look like today. The Entrance no longer stands. From what I can tell in its place stands a rock and wood structure. "The Gate House" in now a pump house.
|Chestnut Hill Reservoir Entrance|
|The Gate House|