The McLean Reservoir of Holyoke is directly west of the Ashley Reservoir system. It was built between 1899 and 1902. It is a high service reservoir since it serves the past of Holyoke that is at higher elevations. Since it is higher up in elevation than Ashley it can deliver higher pressure water. In fact, in the beginning it was called High Service Reservoir.
McLean was built in the sense that it was dug deep down to the bedrocks. In all 12 thousand trees and stumps were removed. The McLean Dam is 35 feet up by 200 feet across.
The need for different services is due to the lie of the land in Holyoke. The land might be low along the Connecticut River but it gradually rises from there to the high points to the west. These high points grew in population through the years and grew in percentage of the total population. In 1937, there were 35,801 people in the Low Service and 20,001 people in the High Service.
In the beginning of the service, the low and high districts were toward the east more but by the modern era the low service was from the Connecticut River to Walnut Street. The high service was from Walnut Street to Northampton Street. Pumps serviced the streets from Northampton Street to the west borders.
There is a roadway around the McLean and it was used by workers and walkers in the beginning. By the 1980s it was closed to walkers. This roadway has been improved through the years. For example, it was widened in 1937 to allow more work.
Hugh McLean died the 1st of June 1944 and his obituary is below. FINDAGRAVE