Uncovering History: Stiles Reservoir Dam

Stiles Reservoir Dam is a 500-foot long earthen dam with a structural height of nearly 30 feet located in the Town of Leicester, MA. It was originally built in 1865 to provide a constant source of water to run the local area mills. Since the early 1900’s the dam has been plagued by numerous seepage problems leading to authorities ordering the reservoir levels to be kept low. This has impacted recreation use in and around the reservoir for decades. Charter’s work involves the full removal and replacement of the low level outlet structure and piping thought to be the main contributor to the seepage. Pictured is an original construction photograph taken in 1866 (above left) showing the installation of the original 24” low level outlet pipe. The current day photo (above right) shows Charter crews standing on this same original 24” cast iron pipe. Also pictured (in the background) is the original gate valve from 1866.

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then and now photos of workers on the Stiles Reservoir Dam