Clearing the Basin Zircon Reservoir, Rumford, 1913
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In this image the workmen and horses, hired by local contractor, James M. McGregor, are clearing the “basin” for the Mt. Zircon Reservoir. At the turn of the 20th century, Rumford was a boom town. There was the Oxford Paper Company, the International Paper Company and the Continental Paper Bag Company. The Portland and Rumford Falls Railroad had extended their tracks up into Oquossic and the Rangeley Lakes area and Rumford also had three water companies supplying water to different areas of the town. Because the town was expanding so quickly, the three water companies' sources of supply could not keep up with the expansion. After the consideration of several possible sites, they recommended the construction of the Mt. Zircon Reservoir. The land for the reservoir was purchased and the work was completed in the summer of 1914 and put into service early the next year.