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IMPROVING A WATER SUPPLY.

"During the interval of leisure, before they (the Company) were at liberty to commence their improvement on the Shawangunk Ridge," wrote ex-President Eleazar Lord in 1855, in his "Historical Review," "their attention was called to an important improvement in respect to the arrangement for supplying water to their engines at Middletown, near Goshen. The story as currently told, comprised the following particulars: When the road was opened to that place some years before, a convenient and ample supply of water was furnished by means of a pump at the side of the track. About that time some unfortunate speculations in land took place. One of the purchasers of an elevated piece of land nearby gave a mortgage on his purchase for an amount greater than could afterward be obtained for the premises. Being threatened with a foreclosure, he conceived the idea of forming an artificial pond on the, side hill at an elevation somewhat above that of the top of an engine, filling it with rain water from the surface of the higher grounds, and selling it at a round price to the Railroad Company for a living spring, whence the water required for the engines might be conveyed in pipes, and a saving made of the expense of pumping. He formed his plan and carried it into effect. Having excavated a basin of considerable capacity, and lined it with clay to prevent a loss of surface water conducted into it, and having by means of slight ditches filled it to the brim with water, he hurried off to the city to have an interview with the officers of the Company. No sooner had he explained the economical advantages to be gained by purchasing his spring, and announced that if paid immediately he would take the moderate price of $2,500 for it, than it was perceived that the purchase would be a great improvement, as it would be a change from the use of a pump, and therefore an improvement on what had been done before. The subject was of the greatest importance, since, without water, the engines could not move, and if they stood still the road would not be worth the cost of construction. The Major (Chief Engineer Brown), the President (Mr. Loder), and others repaired to Middletown to examine the spring, which was about 200 rods from the railroad. They were satisfied by the inspection of the spring. The bargain was closed, and a deed of the spring was taken. The $2,500 was paid; iron pipes, at the expense of about the same amount, were laid from the spring to the railway, an elevated tank was prepared; the valves were opened. The contents of the basin were exhausted in a few minutes. No further supply appeared, and the use of the original wooden pump was necessarily resumed. But the end was not yet. Some good-natured citizen shortly after in formed the Company that the land they had bought with the dry spring was covered by a mortgage on the whole lot; that the part which they had bought for $2,500 had not been released, and would soon be sold, together with the iron pipes, in case the latter were not instantly removed. The responsible officers of the Company, having relied on the friendly feelings and good faith of the mortgagor, and having forgotten to inquire whether or not any incumbrance existed on the premises, and the affair having become somewhat notorious, sent up a competent force and had the pipes exhumed and placed beyond the reach of the sheriff."


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