Fomer Reservoir

The Fomer Reservoir in Southampton was owned by Holyoke via land deeds.

(Image is courtesy of the Holyoke History Room at the Holyoke Public Library.  It is from a booklet called “Souvenir by the Holyoke Water Works”.)

It is the only one of the four reservoirs that Holyoke owns in Southampton that is not still in existence. This is since it is under the Tighe Carmody Reservoir.

The area is called the Foamer by people in Southampton and called the Fomer by people in Holyoke. It is the western part of Southampton. The Holyoke Water Works slowly bought nearly all the deeds to the land in western part of Southampton. Families lived on farms in those lands. An excellent book was written between 1892 to 1905 about these families. The book forms a part of the Southampton portion of the Corbin Collection.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is record-image_undefined-1-859x1024.jpg

From 1896 to 1897 the Fomer Dam was built at 900 feet long and 20 feet high.

Also in 1896 Holyoke built a home at the juncture of two branches of the Manhan River. It allowed the workers on the Fomer Dam to work at the site. A pipeline was built in 1898 from the Fomer to Ashley and thus their connection could distribute water to Holyoke. The gatehouse seen in the image above was made at the time of this pipeline. Its wooden floor was changed over in 1924 into a concrete floor else all was left the same for decades.

In 1910 there was a typhoid case in the lumberyard at the Fomer Reservoir. This shut down the water distribution from this reservoir for 4 months since there was concern about the water.

The Fomer Reservoir was renamed in 1935 as the Carmody Reservoir. This Carmody lasted until 1957 when it was flooded over by the vast Tighe-Carmody Reservoir.

On March 17 1942 the caretaker’s house at Carmody was destroyed by lightning. It was quickly rebuilt and ready the new year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fires_0001-721x1024.jpg

Holyoke Reservoir System after the 1955 Hurricane