In eighteenth-century Baltimore, water came from wells, creeks, and natural springs, which were found throughout the city. Beginning in 1804, the Baltimore Water Company, a private corporation, supplied water for fire emergencies and household use west of the Jones Falls.
East of Jones Falls where the Carroll Mansion is located, water from shallow wells was unpleasant tasting and often contaminated from surface drainage and privies. The water was also hard, and left laundry still gray, and dingy. Nineteenth-century architectural guides advised the installation of two separate cisterns, one for drinking water and the other for wash water. Archaeologists do not know if a second cistern exists on this site. This is a question to be answered by future excavations.
(Inscription at the bottom)
Diagram of a typical cistern system:
1. Roof Gutter collects water for drainpipe.
2. Drainpipe carries water to cistern.
3. Barrel mechanism cleans fouled rainwater.
4. Overflow pipe
5. Barrel contains more filter elements to clean rainwater.
6. Storage well holds water until needed.
7. Pump retrieves water.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Charity & Public Work • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1804.
Location. 39° 17.323′ N, 76° 36.272′ W. Marker is in Jonestown in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on Front Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Carroll Mansion (here, next to this marker); Small Brick Building (a few steps from this marker); Cast-Iron Façade (within shouting distance of this marker); Home of Edward Johnson (within shouting distance of this marker); Brewer’s Park (within shouting distance of this marker); The Star Spangled Banner Flag was Born Here (within shouting distance of this marker); Flag House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Baltimore Slave Trade (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jonestown.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 19, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 360 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 19, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.