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 removes excess water.
5. Barrel contains more filter elements to clean rainwater.
6. Storage well holds water until needed.
7. Pump retrieves water.
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 Baltimore.
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 19, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.