The building and property was purchased some years ago by John Steinert of Kent and fully restored to house an art glass school. At present the building houses a pre-school day care center.
The city of Kent recently implemented a plan to remove the dam that created the reservoir. The reasons for the dam removal was stated by Cori Finney of the City engineering department. "... the changes will result in a “greener” creek. Without the dam impeding movement, fish will be able to migrate upstream and water flow will improve with the restoration of 2,200 feet of the creek upstream of the dam". Councilman Wayne Wilson added, "other benefits include fewer breeding mosquitoes and less flooding".
Some of the above information is from an RC story written by Kelly Petryszyn
A History of the Old Kent Water Works
The Kent Historical Society would like to thank Mr. Muncy and Mr. Hardesty for sharing their research with us.
In 1887, the Water Works was completed on May 13th and water was pumped into the mains on Saturday, May 14, 1887. The pumping station still stands and is located in southwest Kent at the intersection of Mogadore Road and Plum Street and is now a daycare. An interesting sidebar is that the stone mason who built the Marvin Kent home, also built the Water Works building. His name was Isaac Dexter Tuttle and his story is told in Roger Di Paolo’s “Rooted in Kent”. The water supply was a surface supply, namely the dammed up Plum Creek. Also that year, an ornamental fountain and watering trough were built on the square at Main and Water Streets. The fountain was moved to Standing Rock Cemetery but unfortunately was stolen some years ago, probably for scrap. The water contract was then transferred to Kent Water Company, owned by Holly Manufacturing Company of Lockport, New York. We have two of the original gauges at the Kent Water Plant today.
In 1889, the Circuit Court ruled that the Water Company would be mandated to permit 125.7 cubic feet of water per minute to flow out of the Plum Creek Reservoir. This equates to 1.35 million gallons per day. Six shallow wells were drilled just west of the Water Plant that same year.
In 1897, six more wells were drilled in anticipation of the day when Plum Creek would be deemed an unsafe supply. That premonition came true in 1898 when the State Health Department ruled that untreated Plum Creek water was unsafe and ordered Kent to disconnect the suction line from Plum Creek.
In 1917, the Kent Water and Light company was purchased by the Northern Traction and Light Company or the N.O.T.&L.
On February 27, 1923, Kent purchased the Water Works from the N.O.T.&L Company for $135,000.
Bonds were sold to finance the purchase. Three more wells were drilled south of the Water Plant.
In 1930, Mayor Roy Smith and City Council decided to upgrade the Water Plant to produce softened water. A bond issue for $35,000 was passed by Council on March 17th, 1930 and softened water was pumped into Kent the following November.
In the late 1960’s, demand for Kent Water became a huge concern. The existing well field barely kept up with demand. An emergency interconnect with Akron Water was made in the then Ruttan Ford parking lot in west Kent connecting to Kent’s existing 10” water main. In 1968, a well was also drilled along Breakneck Creek just north of where Rt. 261 intersects with Rt. 59. This is the site of our current well field. In 1969 and in 1972 we used water from 3 sources, the Kent Water Plant wells, the Akron tie in, and #9 well at Breakneck Creek. The downtown fire of 1972 pretty much convinced city officials that it was time to look for a new water source and build a new water plant. Two more high producing wells were drilled in the Breakneck Creek area, just east of #9 well and our current Water Plant was built on Hodgeman Lane under Mayor Joseph Sorboro. The first water was pumped from the Hodgeman Lane facility on January 13, 1976. The last drop of water was pumped from the old water plant on February 5, 1976 by myself.