@PuddledockPress Anniversary Year- Remembering The #History Of #FarmingtonNH Electric Lights & Power

Electric Power and Lighting Plant on Central
In keeping with posting a monthly celebration of the Puddledock Press’ anniversary year , the following post is an offering from the June 1998 edition of the Puddledock Press detailing electrification of the town of Farmington.

This is reprinted in the April 2019 edition of the Puddledock Press  and like the other pieces meant to celebrate the anniversary of the Puddledock Press the Historical Society wanted to help the information reach as wide an audience as possible.

Information for the original piece was pulled from several sources and most likely written and or edited by several past Puddledock Press volunteers in that year.

Kyle Leach, Curator
Farmington Historical Society
Museum of Farmington History


On September 11, 1908 the Farmington News reported big news for the town. "W.D. Allen, who owns the gas plant, announces that no gas will be manufactured in this village
after Nov. 1. It is expected that the electric lights will be ready to turn on in about two weeks."

Oct. 8. 1909 Farmington News W.D. Allen is preparing to make an addition to his electric power and lighting plant which will make it modern and thoroughly up-to-date in
every particular. A Curtis turbine generator and dynamo connected will be placed in the power house occupied by the Fitchburg engine, which is to be removed.

The capacity of this new equipment is 225 horsepower and will enable Mr. Allen to furnish all the light and power needed for years to come, whatever the demand. The new
machinery is expected the first of October."

A bold headline NEW STREET LIGHTS appeared shortly later. "The electric lights in
our streets were all turned on for the first time Wednesday night. October 13,. 1909. and our
village is well lighted fur the first time in history.

Commencing at Central Square the lights extend toward Rochester as far as Peavev Hill,
as far west as B.F. Perkins', and the depot, up the Valley Road to the YV.M. Foss place;
North Main Street to the reservoir, including all side streets, while the east side of the village.taking in Lone Star Avenue and Nebraska is well provided for.

Three hundred and eighty poles are used, which carry about 13 miles of wire giving, 135
lights. 15 of which are 60 candle power used in the business section of town, while 240 40
candle power are used in other parts. Ibis makes a total of 5,740 candle power used for
street lighting.

Beginning Nov. 1, lights will be run until 12 o'clock, dark nights and from 5 o'clock in the
morning until daylight.

W.D, Allen. who owns the power plant, has been working for several months, putting in
extra dynamos and getting all in condition to take on this added load, so that today
Farmington has as good an electric power plant as can be found in New England.

The poles in the streets are large and symmetrical and Mr. Allen plans on doing an
extensive amount of house lighting as many homes already have been or are being, wired
for the lights.

Mr. Allen also has purchased a new pump that will be installed at once, after which all
pumping of water for the village will be done by electricity.

Cloutman Gas and Electric Company
This innovation in the town, in the way of lights, cannot fail of being appreciated by every resident."

August 12. 1910 News reported." W.D. Allen has been cleaning out the bed at the river below the Central Street Bridge so as to give the water freer passage after leaving the electric station, thereby giving greater power to the water wheels which operate the

In 1946 Mr. Allen died. His obituary noted "that he was one of New England's most prominent industrialists."

"Mr. Allen was born in Farmington and for many years figured in this town's commercial, industrial and civic affairs. His school life was concluded with graduation from Farmington High School class of 1892 and soon after he was identified with the tailoring business and was proprietor of a location here for about 12 years. Meanwhile he became
interested in the Cloutman Gas and Electric Company and in 1905. became its owner. He
expanded the scope of the company until he disposed of its interests to the Twin Stale Gas
and Electric Co.

He was a pioneer electrician in this locality and it was through his efforts and bv his
supervision that electric service was first installed in this town."

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