1st Public Water Well


Dug at Ft James (originally, Fort Amsterdam) to supply water for tea. The first public well was dug in New Amsterdam in 1658 in front of the old fort just south of Bowling Green. It was the only public well in the city until 1677, when several more were ordered to be dug. Over the years, many more were sunk at busy street corners. These wells used primitive buckets that were gradually replaced with pumps. As the city`s population increased, the water became brackish and polluted by organic matter and inefficient in supply. A few wells had tapped into underground springs, some of which supplied the water to Collect Pond. This water was reputed to be fresh and of superior quality.

Created, 1677

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