Jubilee Water Works
Buffalo, New York
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The waters of Jubilee Spring now flow into Forest Lawn Cemetery not far from Delavan Avenue and Horton Place.

Steps leading to the spring which is found just below the steps at the right.

Spring house. Jubilee Spring water was bottled and sold around the country.

Spring house plaque at Delaware near Auburn.

Crystal Lake was formed by pumping water from Jubilee Spring.


The Jubilee Water Works was one of Buffalo's first water systems. When built in 1830, it replaced the village's "Water John" Kuecherer who for years had gone about the streets on a horse drawn cart, selling water from Lake Erie to homes without wells, in their backyards. When Jubilee came into the picture, Water john bowed to progress and retired.

It was incorporated in 1827 with a capital of $20,000. Peter J. Porter was the President of the Company, and Absalom Bull, its Secretary and Treasurer.

Through miles of wooden pipes (logs with a hole drilled in the middle), the Water Works pumped water from the Jubilee Springs plant, located out Delaware Avenue at Auburn, to Buffalo and Black Rock. Behind houses, there was a spigot that allowed households without wells to have a ready water supply.

By the 1890s, the city had outgrown the Water Works, and adopted a reservoir system which was filled by pump with Lake Erie water. One such reservoir stood on top of Prospect Hill along Niagara Street, where the Connecticut Street Armory stands today. Just before World War I, a new modern water system came into being with the construction of the Colonel Ward Pumping Station at the foot of Porter Avenue, where Lake Erie and the Niagara River join. Sources of text:

Sources of text:

Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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