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Village of Altamont
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This article appeared in the Altamont Enterprise on Thursday, March 24, 2005 and was written by former Village Historian Alice Begley


The first major project in the new Village of Altamont after it was incorporated in 1890 was the construction of a water supply both for fire protection and domestic use.

Property was purchased during the summer of 1892, in the Town of Knox, on the mountain to the west of Altamont.  A dam was constructed, forming a large storage basin for a reservoir.

It was to be fed by springs and a watershed of more than 1,500 acres.  A six-inch pipe ran from the reservoir to a smaller reservoir located directly above the Village proper. This reservoir distrubuted the water to the different street mains.   

In the center of the smaller reservoir was placed a nozzle where the surplus water, backing up from the Village, was thrown high into the air to purify it.

IceMountone.jpg         icemounttwo.jpg

This displayed a lovely fountain in the summer, and in the winter, formed a steep pinnacle of ice which attracted the young people of the village with their sleds and toboggans.

It became a tradition in the village to have one's picture taken standing on the hugh ice mound.

Notes from the Altamont Archives and Museum related that, in 1894, "Seventy-five yearling gold fish were secured and placed in the distributing reservoir."  It is also noted that the Village made proceeds of $ 50.00 from the sale of ice there.

The reservoir created in 1892-93 served the Village residents until 1994.  Along the decades, the original wooden pipes have been replaced with iron or steel.

Today, on a rare occasion, a homeowner digging on his property will unearth a section of a strange-looking hollowed tree trunk, a century-old reminder of Altamont's early development.