City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958. West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.
Bruce Roberts explains: “My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958. There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken. The first picture has the most identified individuals. One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”
HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 – (Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)
Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901” Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White
Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown
Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program. DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.
Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018 progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)
Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City’s active water supply system, and more (A prior $175,000 grant from the state’s Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support “engineering, permitting and the development of construction documents” which established scope for Phase 1)
Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting, Status: largely completed Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken DPW Director: Mike Hale City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E. Project start (historic): 1902 Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017 Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000
from State:$1,925,000 – The City has done very well with Grants and Loans from the MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and its Dam and Seawall Program, Mike Hale and Larry Durkin concur. “They are fabulous to work with.”
Design & permitting grant FY 2016
Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017
Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed
Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018
Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders)
Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3
to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019
EEA Total to date
Phase 3: Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include “a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state” and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.
Location(s): West Gloucester Priority: Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city’s water
Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018. The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here’s a short list: the financial condition of the city (“revaluation”), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations, sustainability, access and oodles of local politics- Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.
The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access. Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.
January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners
Topics Include: Guests Melissa Cox, Donna Ardizzoni, Nichole Schrafft, Bill Cox, Mr Effervescent Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro, Cape Ann Museum Favorite Parts, Mark Ring, Lobstermen Are Fishermen Too Dammit!, GMG Electricity Series, Poop In Burnham Field, Who Picks Up Poop?, RIP BINGO, Upcoming Political Season Means You Need To Subscribe To The Gloucester Daily Times, Good Luck To Sefathia, Getting Behind Whoever Is In The Mayor’s Seat, Chamber Cape Ann Chamber License Plate, Congratulations To Catherine Schlichte New Chamber Board of Directors President, Nichole’s Experience At The Car Show, No Shame In Driving A Minivan, David Black Sculpture, Controversey Over Public Art Installations, Phyllis A Annual Meeting, 525 Now Delivering, Walt Kolenda, Donna’s TBT Post Hat, Passports, Gloucester Breakfasts, Sugar Mag’s, Willow Rest, Fort Square Cafe, George’s, Two Sisters, Charlie’s Place, Foriegn Affairs, Doug Pappows to Come In, Tacos Lupita, Jalepenos, Melissa Cox Loses the Vegan Vote, Regina Razabonni Ardizzoni, Donna Is Going To Take Elocution Lessons, The Farm Bar and Grille Bikini Speedo Dodgeball Tourney, Art Haven Buoy Auction , Winner of Last Week’s Podcast Subscriber Contest Who Won A Fish City Gloucester T Shirt From Fred Bodin and A Copy Of Carol Perry’s Book “Caught Dead Handed” Is Chuck Cook -Prize Must be Picked Up At The Dock
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Wanna go for a walk in Burnham Field, this is what you get (see poop shoe pic below). I want to thank all the lazy inconsiderate people who let their dogs take dumps all along the new paths and don’t bother picking it up. The walkways are literally littered with dog feces. This is a disgrace and makes one wonder if people don’t respect the places where they live do they respect anything. Upset resident, Alex
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Joey, You and GoodMorningGloucester have been super supportive of the clean-up of Burnham’s Field in central Gloucester (Thanks!) Now that the City has won a big grant-
#BOOM! Gloucester wins big grant to fix up Burnham’s Field to renovate the field, the fun part begins – deciding the new walkways and play equipment and other improvements that will go there. The first meeting is Monday, Jan. 14. Details are below. All are welcome. If you care about Burnham’s Field, you need to be at this meeting! Thanks, John McElhenny
All are invited to a Community Meeting on Monday, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.
The City of Gloucester has secured grants to improve and beautify Burnham’s Field, the largest green space in central Gloucester. Work is about to begin. Do you want to have a say in how the new Burnham’s Field will look? Join us!
Mayor Kirk and Ward 2 City Councillor Melissa Cox invite you to the first community meeting to plan the future of Burnham’s Field. Landscape architects from Weston & Sampson will present their assessment of the current conditions of Burnham’s Field and ask for your input on its future. Ideas under consideration include new walking paths, swings and playground equipment, better lighting and even a water play area for children. Burnham’s Field is a wonderful park in downtown Gloucester that is becoming more beautiful and welcoming. Help us keep the momentum going and make Burnham’s Field a place we can all be proud of. Hope to see you on Monday, Jan. 14!
When: Monday, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. Where: The Hive, 11 Pleasant Street (next to Pleasant Street Tea) Who: Parents, children, neighbors, athletes, nature-lovers, dog-walkers – anyone interested in Burnham’s Field!
Questions? Call Stephen Winslow, Gloucester Community Development Department, (978) 282-8007
In this episode- Patty Knaggs on WBUR, Abby Ytzen/Captain Joe and Sons seARTS Partner With An Artist Exhibit May 21st, Kenny’s Strange Footwear, community garden at Burnham field, tomato release day is coming up at Goose Cove, Gloucester reads poetry and Sawyer Free Library, Khan Studio/ Good Morning Gloucester Gallery on Rocky Neck, Kenny’s Real Estate Segment