October 25, 1848

Boston Celebrates Opening of Aqueduct

Region:
Greater Boston

On this day in 1848, 300,000 people from all over New England gathered on Boston Common. They came to celebrate the completion of the city's first municipal water system. With the construction of an aqueduct that brought fresh water 15 miles from Lake Cochituate in Natick to Boston, the city for the first time had a pure supply of water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and cleaning. As the sun set, the gates to the fountain in Frog Pond were opened and a stream of clean water shot 80 feet in the air. People cheered and wept with joy. The celebration continued the next day, when the mayor announced that schools would close so that the city's children could play in the Frog Pond fountain.

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