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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rockville's Pump House

The Growth of Rockville's Water and Power Services

 
 
Rockville's Pump House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
1. Rockville's Pump House Marker
Inscription. The Pump House was built in 1897 under the guidance of Mayor Joseph Reading, the town druggist who was elected on the “Water Works Ticket.” Known as “Rockville Electric Light and Water Works,” it was an important step in the growth and modernization of the town, which was home to approximately 1,300 residents.

The new plant housed one gasoline-powered generator that produced electricity and another engine to run the water pumps. The pumps sent water from two wells to a large water tower up the hill on Grandin Avenue.

With the completion of the Pump House, the town was able to replace gaslights with cleaner, brighter and more efficient electric lights. Public streetlights were replaced and private homes signed up for the new electric service too. In its first year of service the plant provided electricity to the community between 30 minutes before sunset and 1 a.m. There was, however, no public sewer system for waste. Backyard septic tanks or privies continued to be the no public sewer system.

As Rockville grew, secondary wells were added to supplement the water supply. By 1958, 39 different wells were in use and the Pump House continued to pump water from the wells to the water tower. That year, Rockville consolidated its water system and built a new water treatment plant on the
Rockville's Pump House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 13, 2017
2. Rockville's Pump House Marker
Potomac River. The wells were closed but the pumps continued to operate to maintain water pressure at the water tower. In 1998 the pumps were turned off. The water tower was demolished in 2001 and the pumps were removed in 2008.
 
Location. 39° 5.111′ N, 77° 8.457′ W. Marker is in Rockville, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on South Horners Lane. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 401 South Horners Lane, Rockville MD 20850, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Typhoid in Rockville (here, next to this marker); Rockville Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Saint Mary's Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Saint Mary’s Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Baseball Field (approx. half a mile away); Rockville Town Square (approx. half a mile away); Court House Square (approx. 0.6 miles away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rockville.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Pump House at Croydon Park. By Mary A. van Balgooy, Spring 2012, Peerless Rockville. (Submitted on September 13, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

2. The Pump House. Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties From. M:26/14 (Submitted on September 13, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkMan-Made Features
 
Rockville Electric Light and Water Works image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
3. Rockville Electric Light and Water Works
The Rockville Electric Light and Water Works housed a Dynamo, a gas-powered generator to run electric lights, and a Deane Pump, to pump water from underground wells to a water tower on Grandin Avenue as seen in this Sanborn-Perris fire insurance map, from July 1897.
Close-up of map on marker
Rates image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
4. Rates
The Mayor and Council meeting minutes from April 6, 1897, listed the water rates the year the Pump House opened. Water rates were set according to the type of building connected to the water supply and amount of water used. businesses affected by the new water rates would have included blacksmiths, horse stable owners and saloon operators.
Close-up of image on marker
The New Water Treatment Plant image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
5. The New Water Treatment Plant
In 1958, Rockville built a new water treatment plant on the Potomac River. The plant pictured in 2008, treats water from the river and pumps it through water main lines to residents and businesses. In 2010 the City provided water to approximately 12,624 customers, ten times more than the 1,261 people living in Rockville in 1896.
Close-up of image on marker
The Pump House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
6. The Pump House
1897 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 12, 2017
7. 1897
City of Rockville
Historic Property
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on September 13, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   2. submitted on September 14, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on September 13, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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