By Normand Corbin, Vice-Chairman, Northborough Historic District Commission
Part 9 of a series of articles on the history of the Daniel B. Wesson “White Cliffs” mansion in Northborough, Mass.
Northborough – Daniel Wesson’s mansion required a significant quantity of water for the indoor plumbing, gardens, ponds and fountains. When the building was built there was no central water distribution in the town of Northborough. As a result, Mr. Wesson had to build his own water system, using Bartlett Pond as his water source. The water level was raised about three feet and a pumping station was built just beyond the dam on Stirrup Brook. The water was pumped into a cistern located on a nearby hill that allowed the water to be gravity-fed to the mansion. Remnants of the water system still remain today; the original dam and spillway are just off Bartlett Street near the Lyman Street intersection, the pump house ruins exist on private land off Bartlett Street, and the cistern is located on private land near Wesson Terrace. This was quite an engineering project, requiring approximately 1.5 miles of pipe to move the water from the pump house to the cistern and finally to the mansion grounds. Imagine all the construction required for the installation of his water system back in 1886.
Thank you to Brian Smith for the information on the water system.