“The Hartland Water Company was founded in 1911 and began delivering water to the Village in 1913. There were men of foresight and imagination for the main lines laid were more than ample to take care of the towns needs then and for the next 90 years.”
(Wayne Libby – History of Hartland – 1970)
Approved March 30, 1911
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine, as follows:
Section 1. J. Howard Haley, Fred S. Burrill and Edward G. Varney, all of Hartland, in the County of Somerset, John S. Williams and Henry A. Elliott, both of Guilford, Piscataquis County and Charles N. Taylor of Wellesley, in the State of Massachusetts, with their associates and successors, are hereby made a body corporate by the name of the Hartland Water Company, for the purposes of conveying to and supplying the purposes, inhabitants of Hartland, Palmyra and Saint Albans, all in said county of Somerset, with water for all domestic, sanitary, municipal and commercial purposes, and also for sewering said towns of Hartland, Palmyra and Saint Albans, with all the rights and privileges, and subject to the liabilities and obligations incident to similar corporations.
Section 2. Said corporation may take and hold by purchase or otherwise, real and personal estate, necessary and convenient, for the purposes aforesaid, not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars.
Section 3. For any of the purposes aforesaid, or for the preservation and purity of said water, said corporation is hereby authorized to take and use water from Moose Pond, so called, in said town of Hartland, or from any of its tributary waters, to conduct and distribute the same into and through the said towns of Hartland, Palmyra and Saint Albans, to survey for, locate, lay, erect, and maintain suitable dams, reservoirs, and maintain dams, machinery, pipes, aqueducts, and fixtures, to carry its pipes reservoirs, or aqueducts over or under any watercourse, bridge, street, railroad, highway, or other way, and also to lay and maintain lay and maintain pipes, conduits, and other equipment for carrying, collecting pipes. and disposing of sewerage, sewerage matter, waste, and waters, in said towns, and to enter upon and excavate any way in such manner as least to obstruct the same, to enter upon, pass over, and excavate any lands, and to take and hold by purchase or enter and otherwise any real estate, rights of way, or of water, and to do any acts necessary, convenient, or proper for carrying out the purposes hereinbefore specified. And said corporation is further authorized for the purposes hereinbefore specified, and for the making of all needed repairs or connections, to lay its pipes, through or over any lands, public or private, and through, across, under, or along any way, public or private, with the right to enter thereon and dig therein; said corporation may establish written regulations for the use of said water, or sewerage services, and change the same from time to time, shall file.
Section 4. Said corporation shall file in the Registry of Deeds in the County of Somerset, plans of the location of all land and water rights taken under the provisions of this act; and no entry shall be made upon any lands except to make surveys until the expiration of ten days from said filing; and with such plan said corporation may file a statement of the damages it is willing to pay to any person for any property thus taken, and if the amount finally awarded does not exceed that sum, the corporation shall recover costs against said person, otherwise such person shall recover costs against said corporation.
Section 5. Said corporation shall be held to pay all damages that shall be sustained by any person or persons, to themselves use of streets or their property, occasioned by the use of said streets or highways, and shall pay to said towns, or either of them, all sums of money recovered against them, or either of them, from obstruction occasioned by said corporation, and for all expenses including reasonable counsel fees, incurred defending such suits, with interest on the same, but said corporation may assume the defense in such suits brought to recover damages and for as aforesaid; and also for all damages sustained by any person lands taken, or persons by the taking of land, water, rights of way, or other property, or by excavating through any land for the purpose of surveying, locating, laying, or building dams, reservoirs, pipes, aqueducts, and from any other injuries resulting from said acts and if any person or persons sustaining damage as if parties aforesaid shall not agree with said corporation upon the sum cannot agree to be paid therefor, either party upon petition to the county commissioners of Somerset County, within twelve months after said plans arc filed, may have said damages assessed by them, and subsequent proceedings and right of appeal thereon, shall be had in the same manner and under the same conditions, restrictions and limitations as are by law prescribed in the case of damages by the laying out of highways, waiver. Failure to apply for damages within said twelve months shall be held to be a waiver of the same. Said corporation shall have the right to begin to occupy such lands or rights for its corporate purposes before the rendition of final judgment.
Section 6. Said corporation is hereby authorized to make contracts with any other corporations, individuals, the towns of Hartland, Palmyra and Saint Albans, and any village corporation in any or all of said towns, and with any fire or water district in said towns, or with any town or towns adjoining any of said towns of Hartland, Palmyra and Saint Albans, for the purpose of supplying water as contemplated by the purposes of this act and organization.
Section 7. The capital stock of said corporation shall not capital stock exceed one hundred thousand dollars.
Section 8. Said corporation is hereby authorized to issue May issue bonds. bonds not exceeding in amount one-half of its capital stock, the same to be a first lien upon its franchises and property.
Section 9. The first meeting of said corporation may be called by written notice thereof, signed by any two corporators called, named therein, served upon each corporator by giving him in hand the same, or by leaving the same at his last or usual place of abode, seven days at least before the time of meeting.
In 1913, construction of a new water main pipeline was completed by the recently formed Hartland Water Company from Starbird Pond in North Hartland into Hartland Village. The 6 mile pipeline was made with 10 inch pipe at a cost of about $60,000. With an elevation at the pond of 192 feet above the Village, the new pipeline was able to develop 80-95 pounds of water pressure.
Once again, most of the labor for the new pipeline was provided by Italian Immigrants, many of whom had laboriously toiled the decade before on the Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad line extension to Main Stream in Harmony on Great Moose Lake.
The main water line crossed under the Athens Road from the Starbird Pond Pump House and went through the woods and crossed the Commodore Road before heading parallel along the Great Moose Lake shoreline (several hundred feet inland). It crossed the Cianchette Road then back across the Athens Road to the Withee Stream Pump House before following along the western side of the Athens Road into town.
The main line then fed into secondary underground lines of 8 inch pipes which were run throughout the Village initially servicing 190 patrons. The new water lines also put every house within 500 feet of a fire hydrant lowing existing home insurance costs by a third. The system was approved at the time by the State Insurance Commission as well as tested and approved by state chemists to meet existing purity standards.
The existing Village fire hydrant system which had been jointly constructed by the Linn Woolen Mill and the town were purchased by the Water Company in 1912 to tie into the new line. Things got a little tough for the young company in 1915 when the Linn Woolen Mill closed and before the new American Woolen Company Mill achieved full production. In an open letter to its customers, the Water Company explained the situation and the reasons for a needed rate increase for 1917. At the time, rates were $8 for a first faucet and $5 for a bathtub…annually.
Harry Randlett, who also owned and operated the Hartland Hardware Store on Main Street, would later become Manager of the Hartland Water Company serving in the position for some 40 years before his retirement.