A Guide to the Virginia American Water Company Collection, 1866-1988 Virginia American Water Company 103

A Guide to the Virginia American Water Company Collection, 1866-1988

A Collection in
Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections
Accession Number 103


Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections

Alexandria Library
Local History/Special Collections
717 Queen Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2420
(703) 838-4577 (voice)
(703) 706-3912 (fax)
Email: lhsc@alexandria.lib.va.us
URL: http://www.alexandria.lib.va.us/branches/lhsc.html

© 2008 Alexandria Library. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Angie Rickwalt, 1996

Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections
Accession Number
Virginia American Water Company Collection 1866-1988
Physical Characteristics
13 boxes, 103-103J (7 linear feet)

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia American Water Company Collection, Accession #103, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.

Acquisition Information

This collection is on deposit by the Virginia American Water Company.

Biographical/Historical Information

The Virginia American Water Company was originally founded in 1852 as the Alexandria Water Company. The idea for a supply of clean water can be attributed to Benjamin Hallowell, who after losing three children to disease, may have realized the importance of clean water. The Alexandria Water Company was chartered by the Virginia Legislature on March 22, 1850 and Hallowell served as its first President. The company expanded in the early 1900s and again in the 1950s. In 1972, the company merged with the Old Dominion Water Corporation and the Prince William Water Company to become the Virginia American Water Company.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of financial records, such as account books from the 1800s; dividend payments; income tax returns from 1919-1928; company records and reports; an employee records book from the 1920s-1940; letters of correspondence; company histories; franchise map; and newsclippings from various newspapers in 1956-1957. Of particular interest are the 1867 property book and the book containing the "Copies of Deeds, Agreements, & Contracts" from 1853-1892. Both contain drawings and diagrams of where water pipes had been laid in Old Town.


The collection is arranged in six series as follows:

Series I: Correspondence, 1866-1980
Series II: Company Records, 1859-1960
Series III: Financial Records, 1852-1929 and Annual Reports, 1851-1879
Series IV: Legal Documents, 1924-1948
Series V: Company History/Photographs and Miscellaneous Items
Series VI: Drawings and Sketches

Related Material

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Box 202; Alexandria City Records, Box 19MM, Box 19UU (Water and gas pipes, 1855); Boothe Family Papers, Box 164 (Annual Reports, 1851-1879); Box 195.

Erickson, Philip M., Cdr. Alexandria Water Company Permits: The First 1000 'Pipers.' Alexandria, VA: City of Alexandria Archaeology, 1988.
Hallowell, Benjamin. Autobiography of Benjamin Hallowell. Philadelphia: Friends Book Association, 1884.
Swain, Perry Carpenter. "Robert Hartshorne Miller, 1798-1874, A Quaker Presence in Alexandria." Graduate Thesis, George Washington University, 1988.

Index Terms

  • Alexandria (Va.) - Economic conditions
  • Alexandria (Va.) - History
  • Municipal water supply - Virginia - Alexandria

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Erickson, Philip M., Cdr.
  • Hallowell, Benjamin.
  • Swain, Perry Carpenter.

Contents List

Series I: Correspondence, 1866-1980
Box 103 - 103A

This series includes business letters, letters to employees, and other various correspondences pertaining to the early years of the Alexandria Water Company.

  • Box-folder 103:1
    Outgoing and incoming letters to the State Corporation Commission, September 1919, December 1920, Decmeber 1922-January 1923.
  • Box-folder 103:2
    Circular letter to Cameron Run Pump House employees, December 1921.
  • Box-folder 103:3
    Worker compensation claim by Alan Cogan, October 1919.
  • Box-folder 103:4
    Letter of complaint by Mrs. Kate N. Taylor, November 1922.
  • Box-folder 103:5
    Letter regarding the company audit, December 1922.
  • Box-folder 103:6
    Note for D.J. Howell.
  • Box-folder 103:7
    Letters to and from War Department regarding soldiers bathing at Edsall Station, June 1911.
  • Box-folder 103:8
    Pipe distribution in Rosemont (see also blueprint collection).
  • Box-folder 103:9
    Letter to Chief Engineer from National Board of Fire Underwriters regarding cleaning of water mains (includes drawings), 1917, 1922.
  • Box-folder 103:10
    Letter regarding high water pressure, April 1929.
  • Box-folder 103:11
    Letter regarding water main on Duncan Avenue, April 1921.
  • Box-folder 103:12
    Letter to Fairfax County regarding Belle Haven Golf Club, March 1927.
  • Box-folder 103:13
    Letters regarding assessment of American Water Company properties by Commonwealth of Virginia, June 1929.
  • Box-folder 103:14
    Letters of Gardner L. Boothe, company attorney, October - November 1948.
  • Box-folder 103:15
    Copy of letter to Robert H. Miller taken from the Autobiography of Benjamin Hallowell,April 1873.
  • Box-folder 103:16
    Alexandria Water Company Centennial Story, 1980.
  • Box-folder 103:17
    Miscellaneous letters and correspondence, 1920s.
  • Box 103A
    Correspondence book, 1866-1899.
Series II: Company Records, 1859-1960
Box 103B - 103C-1

This series contains various company records, such as personnel records, various reports and lists, all pertaining to the running of the water company.

  • Box-folder 103B:1
    Personnel records, 1920s-1940.
  • Box-folder 103B:2
    List of pipe laid, 1851-1917.
  • Box-folder 103B:3
    Rules, Regulations, and Rates, 1867 and November 1918.
  • Box-folder 103B:4
    Report of Holmes Run Storage Reservoir, 1904.
  • Box-folder 103B:5
    Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, Wheat v. City Council of Alexandria, February 1982.
  • Box-folder 103B:6
    Meter lists, July 1928-July 1929.
  • Box-folder 103B:7
    Personal correspondence, possibly by Robert Miller, 1868.
  • Box-folder 103B:8
    Consumer premises data, 1920s.
  • Box-folder 103B:9
    American Water Works Association, certificate of corporate membership, 1909.
  • Box-folder 103B:10
    American Water Works Association, resolution concerning effect of war conditions upon maintenance and management of water works, April 1918.
  • Box-folder 103B:11
    Report to Virginia Board of Health, November 1923.
  • Box-folder 103B:12
    Test by New York Water Board on mortar with sand.
  • Box-folder 103B:13
    Statistical report on pumping stations, 1933.
  • Box-folder 103B:14
    Inspection report, 1931.
  • Box-folder 103B:15
    Agreement with stockholders, April 1929.
  • Box-folder 103B:16
    Meeting minutes, 1926-1927.
  • Box-folder 103B:17
    Minutes from annual meeting of stockholders and newly elected Board of Directors, November 1927.
  • Box-folder 103B:18
    Location of valves.
  • Box-folder 103B:19
    Meter installation documents.
  • Box-folder 103B:20
    Report to the Honorable J.M. Hill, city council.
  • Box-folder 103B:21
    Report to stockholders, June 1925.
  • Box-folder 103B:22
    Proposed pipe extension, September 1923.
  • Box-folder 103B:23
    Drawings of properties to be plotted and properties completed, 1920s.
  • Box-folder 103B:24
    Fire hydrants, 1920s.
  • Box-folder 103B:25
    Advertising, 1933, 1964.
  • Box-folder 103B:26
    Statement made by P.H. Dowdell at meeting of Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, c. 1960.
  • Box-folder 103B:27
    Materials pertaining to Fairfax County, 1967-1972.
  • Box 103C
    Property Book (contains drawings of pipes laid; photocopy available in vertical file), 1867.
  • Box 103C-1
    Copies of Deeds, Agreements & Controls (photocopy available in vertical file), 1853-1892.
Series III: Financial Records and Annual Reports, 1851-1929
Box 103D - 103F-1

This series contains documents such as income tax returns, account books, a dividend book, and other various financial documents as well as the annual reports from the President and Board of Directors to the stockholders.

  • Box-folder 103D:1
    Annual Information Return, 1921-1929.
  • Box-folder 103D:2
    Receipts, 1865-1902, 1926.
  • Box-folder 103D:3
    Income Tax Returns, 1919-1928.
  • Box-folder 103D:4
    Dividend Summary, February 1855-January 1929.
  • Box-folder 103D:5
    Appraisal Summary, November 1906.
  • Box-folder 103D:6
    Income Statement, 1923.
  • Box-folder 103D:7
    Income Statement, 1924.
  • Box-folder 103D:8
    Income Statement, 1925.
  • Box-folder 103D:9
    Income Statement, 1926.
  • Box-folder 103D:10
    Income Statement, 1927.
  • Box-folder 103D:11
    Income Statement, 1928.
  • Box-folder 103D:12
    Income Statement, 1929.
  • Box-folder 103D:13
    Prepaid insurance, 1924, 1928.
  • Box-folder 103D:14
    Flat rate delinquents, April 1929.
  • Box-folder 103D:15
    Taxes, January 1928-June 1929.
  • Box-folder 103E:1
    Tax reports to State Corporation Division, 1950s.
  • Box-folder 103E:2
    List of dividend payments on stock of Domestic and Resident Corporation, 1923-1927.
  • Box-folder 103E:3
    Materials in transit, 1927(?).
  • Box-folder 103E:4
    Salaries, Inventory, Certificates and Canceled Certificates, 1929.
  • Box-folder 103E:5
    Miscellaneous financial documents, 1920s.
  • Box-folder 103E:6
    Inventory of filtration plant, July 1928.
  • Box-folder 103E:7
    Annual Reports, 1851-1870.
  • Box-folder 103E:8
    Annual Reports, 1870-1879.
  • Box-folder 103F:1
    Account Book, 1852-1862.
  • Box-folder 103F:2
    Account Book (Abstract of Water Rents Received), 1852-1855.
  • Box-folder 103F:3
    Account Book, 1862-1865.
  • Box-folder 103F:4
    Dividend Payment Book, 1855-1887.
  • Box-folder 103F:5
    Unused account book.
  • Box-folder 103F-1
    Account Books, 1929-1937.
Series IV: Legal Documents, 1924-1948
Box 103G

This series contains copies of contracts, deeds, and other legal agreements involving the water company.

  • Box-folder 103G:1
    Document granting Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company the right to construct and maintain lines, April 1917.
  • Box-folder 103G:2
    Agreement with Washington Railway Company, 1924.
  • Box-folder 103G:3
    Contract towards development of "Wilmar" subdivision, 1924.
  • Box-folder 103G:4
    Contract with St. Agnes School of Arlington, 1926.
  • Box-folder 103G:5
    Contract for payment of meter rentals.
  • Box-folder 103G:6
    Documents regarding Occoquan Company and Washington Railway and Electric Company, 1902, 1946-1947.
  • Box-folder 103G:7
    Deed regarding purchase of Occoquan Company, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:8
    Certificate of Amendment of Charter, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:9
    Agreement with Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:10
    Deeds with Potomac Electric Power Company, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:11
    Documents about dissolution of Occoquan Company, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:12
    Materials regarding Virginia Water Company, 1948.
  • Box-folder 103G:13
    Documents filed with State Corporation Commission regarding Virginia Water Company and Occoquan Company, 1948.
Series V: Company History/Photographs and Miscellaneous Items
Box 103H

This series contains two histories written about the Alexandria Water Company, as well as some photocopied photographs of various reservoirs and pump stations, and miscellaneous materials.

  • Box-folder 103H:1
    History of the Alexandria Water Company, 2 reports, 1959, 1988.
  • Box-folder 103H:2
    Photographs of St. Elmo's Reservoir, Cameron Run Station, and Taylor's Run, 1927-1944.

    Photos are xeroxed copies. To view the originals refer to the photographic collections.

  • Box-folder 103H:3
    Miscellaneous materials pertaining to City of Alexandria.
  • Box-folder 103H:4
    News clippings, January-December 1956.
  • Box-folder 103H:5
    News clippings, January-December 1957.
  • Box-folder 103H:6
    Franchise map, 1966.
  • Box-folder 103H:7
    Miscellaneous Company records and documents.
Series VI: Drawings and Sketches
Box 103I - 103K

This series contains engineer's sketches and drawings of property and pipelines.

  • Box-folder 103I:1
    Engineeer's sketches of streets, pipe layout, and equipment, 1920s.
  • Box-folder 103I:2
    Engineer's sketches.
  • Box-folder 103I:3
    Engineeer's sketches.
  • Box 103J
    Large drawings and blueprints; oversized documents.

    Note: also see blueprint collection case.

  • Box-folder 103K:1
    Virginia American Water Company - xerox of photographs found in photograph collection.
  • Box-folder 103K:2
    Annual Report for Virginia Water Company, 1952.
  • Box-folder 103K:3
    Depreciation of account files, December 1920.
  • Box-folder 103K:4
    Appraisal and depreciation of company plants, November 1906.