This article appeared in the Altamont Enterprise on Thursday, March 24, 2005 and was written by former Village Historian Alice Begley
FROZEN ASSETS: ALTAMONT'S FIRST WATER SOURCE
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.
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.