Rockville's Pump House

Rockville's Pump House (HM21O8)

Location: Rockville, MD 20850 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 5.111', W 77° 8.457'

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The Growth of Rockville's Water and Power Services

The Pump House was built in 1897 under the guidance of Mayor Joseph Reading, the town druggist who was elected on the "Water Works Ticket." Known as "Rockville Electric Light and Water Works," it was an important step in the growth and modernization of the town, which was home to approximately 1,300 residents.

The new plant housed one gasoline-powered generator that produced electricity and another engine to run the water pumps. The pumps sent water from two wells to a large water tower up the hill on Grandin Avenue.

With the completion of the Pump House, the town was able to replace gaslights with cleaner, brighter and more efficient electric lights. Public streetlights were replaced and private homes signed up for the new electric service too. In its first year of service the plant provided electricity to the community between 30 minutes before sunset and 1 a.m. There was, however, no public sewer system for waste. Backyard septic tanks or privies continued to be the no public sewer system.

As Rockville grew, secondary wells were added to supplement the water supply. By 1958, 39 different wells were in use and the Pump House continued to pump water from the wells to the water tower. That year, Rockville consolidated its water system and built a new water treatment plant on the
Potomac River. The wells were closed but the pumps continued to operate to maintain water pressure at the water tower. In 1998 the pumps were turned off. The water tower was demolished in 2001 and the pumps were removed in 2008.
HM NumberHM21O8
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 14th, 2017 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 314824 N 4328411
Decimal Degrees39.08518333, -77.14095000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 5.111', W 77° 8.457'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 5' 6.66" N, 77° 8' 27.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)240, 301, 410, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401 S Horners Ln, Rockville MD 20850, US
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