Tannery Reservoir was envisioned for a long time. There were many years of thought and discussions.
The Tannery Dam was at last built in 1881 at the northwest corner of Homestead Avenue and Westfield Road. It was designed to block both the Tannery Brook and its tributary the Riley Brook. The reservoir behind the dam impounded enough water such that the useable water in Holyoke increase by one eighth of the amount that it had the year before. Not only was the dam built that year but also the pipeline and the gatehouse and thus by early in 1882 the Tannery Brook was added to the water supply of Holyoke.
In 1893 improvements to the Tannery Dam were made raising it by 15 feet and widening it by 6 feet. In 1914 the Tannery got a new gatehouse.
In 1930 the West Heights district was created. Pumping equipment was put into place at the foot of the old Tannery Dam. This was to serve Cherry, Jarvis, and Homestead Streets. 2 miles of pipelines were lain to these streets. At last in 1946 the old gatehouse at Tannery Reservoir was razed.