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Q. As a matter of sentiment, it is desirable to have that place for the residents of Charlestown?
A. Yes, sir. There has always been a strong feeling in that direction. Q. About how many old couples who formerly resided in Charlestown are there now?
A. I think only one or two
Q. Now, in view of what has occurred recently, are you still in favor of continuing that almshouse there?
A. Well, I think if the almshouse should be continued, there ought to be improvements made in it.
Q. Now, with your improved buildings and facilities at the South End?
A. At Long Island.
Q. At Long Island, rather are you in favor now of abolishing the Charlestown Almshouse, or do you still favor its retention?
A. If all could be accommodated there I might feel inclined to favor its retention. My impression is, Alderman Lomasney, that the increase in the number, even with that large accommodation, would make it necessary to preserve the Charlestown Almshouse.
Q. Well, would you advocate its retention?
A. I should, for the present.
Q. (By Mr. BRANDEIS.) As a matter of fact, Mr. Pilsbury, the Board of Visitors have recommended the retention of the Charlestown. Almshouse?
A. They have recommended it; yes, sir.
Q. And they find or they report that the smallness of the almshouse enables results to be accomplished there that they find desirable?
A. More of a family relation.
Q. And it affords an opportunity for carrying out that principle of the cottage system, to which they and you both agree?
A. Yes, sir. I should like to see the attics vacated.
Q. Yes, sir. They don't say it should be continued in just the condition it is?
A. No, with improvements.
Q. But it would be a misfortune if the Charlestown Almshouse were given up altogether and the paupers sent to Long Island?
A. In my opinion that should be the last place to be given up.
A. I believe that was their view of it.
Q. I think the committee should have, perhaps, before them the remarks of the Board of Visitors, where they said:
The many small rooms, accommodating three or four inmates each, are comparatively home-like, and the protection from the indiscriminate herding of a large ward must relieve almshouse life from some of its worst features. Everything in this institution is exquisitely clean, the floors of dining-room and kitchen being spotless. Both men and women are received. Inmates, who are mostly old or infirm, and a few of them are demented, are occupied probably to the extent of their capacity in keeping the place clean and taking care of each other. On the whole, they are of a somewhat more decent character than make up the population at Long and Rainsford islands. Some of the exceptions to this rule have been discharged for insubordination from one or the other of the almshouses, and sent to Charlestown for peace sake when they applied for readmission. No doubt the smaller number here makes it easier to manage cross-grained inmates, and besides, the matron of the establishment has a kindly manner that must render her rule acceptable. A visit by a member of this Board was paid here on Christmas at noon-time. Every one seemed to enjoy the excellent dinner, and a great appearance of contentment prevailed.
Q. That is, the Board of Visitors found the condition of contentment
and the advantages, on the whole, which are found in small institutions?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. As compared with the large one to which you have referred at length?
A. Yes, sir. I can't help expressing my surprise at the letter furnished by the Grand Jury in relation to the Charlestown Almshouse. It seemed to me it must have been written by a person very strongly biassed.
Q. (By Ald. LOMASNEY.) committee, Mr. Pilsbury?
A. Yes, sir.
Were we not over there one day, the
Q. Didn't we find in the smoking-room men using that smokingroom, sixty or seventy men, the room that men were compelled to sleep in at night?
Q. Now, do you think that to have them compelled to live that way, as it was that day, without ventilation, smoking there or anything else, a desirable thing to be continued?
A. No, sir; only we were in a crowded condition and compelled to use it; that is all. The dormitories were over-crowded, and that statement in the letter is true.
Q. The day we were there, a winter day, there was no ventilation and sixty or seventy men were using the bed-room for a smoking-room, and they were right there?
(Documents put in evidence.)
Àld. LEE. —Mr. Chairman, as a member of the committee appointed by you to look over the requisitions and examine the same, your committee have attended to that duty, have gone along from 1889 to the present, and submit the following as the requisitions which they found that are crossed off, and the reasons why.
The CHAIRMAN. Are these all that are crossed off?
Ald. LEE. — These are all.
Mr. Proctor at this point placed in evidence all the annual reports of the Directors of Public Institutions, commencing with 1858 and ending with 1888, inclusive; the five annual reports of the Commissioners of Public Institutions, from 1889 to 1894, inclusive; the semi-annual reports of the Inspectors of Prisons and Houses of Detention for Suffolk County from June, 1889, to September, 1894; the preliminary report, with the Mayor's Mayor's message transmitting the same to the City Council, of the committee appointed to inspect the institutions of the city, 1892, and the final report of that committee in 1892; the report of the Board of Visitors, 1894; the rules and regulations governing houses of industry and reformation adopted by the Directors for Public Institutions; the rules and regulations governing the Houses of Correction adopted by the Board of Directors; the rules for Jails and Houses of Correction adopted by the Prison Commissioners; rules and regulations to be observed by convicts; messages of the Mayor concerning the disturbances at Deer Island, February 5, 1892, one to the City Council and one to the Commissioners; letter of the Commissioners of Public Institutions to Edward Kendall Sons, dated December 4, 1891, asking for bids for steam drums for Long and Rainsford islands and their bid, dated December 9, for the same; memorandums from Collector's office showing the coal, etc., sold to contractors, the amounts paid and unpaid, the unpaid amounts having been placed in the hands of the City Solicitor to enforce payment.
(The hearing was declared adjourned at 6.45 o'clock P.M., to Wednesday, December 26, at 3 o'clock P.M.)
WEDNESDAY, December 26, 1894.
The hearing was resumed at 3 o'clock P.M., Chairman HALLSTRAM presiding.
Q. What are your duties in connection with the Water Board? A. I am the engineer of the city, and as such, of course, act as the engineer of the Boston Water Board.
Q. Then, Mr. Jackson, if I understand you, as engineer of the city, you were called on by the Water Board to make all plans for reservoirs or anything of that kind?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. When were you first called upon to make plans for the reservoir at Long Island?
A. I don't remember exactly the date I was called upon to make plans for the reservoir at Long Island, but in 1888 contracts were made for laying a main to the island, and at about that time a plan of the reservoir was made I don't know the exact date, whether 1888, 1889, or 1890.
Q. Well, that is a very important thing. I want to find out if the old Board of Directors for Public Institutions made the contract which resulted in fresh water being purchased at Long Island?
A. The contract for laying the mains, the work was commenced in 1888, in consequence of the contract made with the Board of Directors at that time. I don't remember which Board was in. Q. That was 1888?
Q. Well, did that contemplate having the reservoir, those plans for the introduction of water?
The contract of the The question of a resI don't know whether
A. Well, not as far as I remember now. Board was to lay a main to Long Island. ervoir was under discussion at that time. it was settled to build it or not. The building of the basin there was a thing that would be settled by the directors, and not by the Water Board.
Q. Well, were you in your official capacity called upon to make any plans for a reservoir at that time?
A. I made a plan at that time. I don't know the exact date
Q. Well, was that reservoir ever completed?
A. No, sir; because the site was afterwards abandoned. site was in a low place near the old barn, as I remember it, and I thought it more desirable to put the reservoir higher up on the hill where the water could flow by its own weight to the buildings. The idea of the reservoir was to have a supply of water there in case of a fire or anything of that kind, as the present pipe would not deliver but about 175 gallons a minute on high service or 120 on low service, and that was insufficient.
Q. Well, the old Board started in to construct a reservoir, is that right?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And upon your recommendation they abandoned the site. Is that right?
A. I don't know whether they or some other people.
Q. Well, it was abandoned on your recommendation?
4. Yes, sir; on my recommendation.
Q. And it was the old Board of Directors who made the contract for the introduction of the water there?
A. The contract was made in 1888, between the Board of Directors of Public Institutions and the Boston Water Board for laying the pipe to Long Island.
Q. Well, who was it that selected that first site for the reservoir?
A. I don't know. I don't know anything about that
a different matter. The contract between the Water Board and the directors, as I understood it at the time, was for the laying of a pipe, and didn't include the contract for the reservoir, or anything of the kind.
Q. Well, certainly they intended to have a reservoir, didn't they, in connection with the water?
A. Well, I don't know what they did intend.
Q. Well, they started to build one, didn't they?
A. I think the Board of Directors started to build a reservoir, because I saw a site where they commenced to dig a hole.
Q. That is what I was coming at. Who selected that site for a reservoir, did you?
Q. Did you approve it?
A. Well, I always recommended the reservoir being placed higher on the hill.
Q. You say you went and saw where they started the hole did you disapprove of it?
A. I don't know whether I was asked to approve or disapprove. I am sure if I was asked I should have said "Put your reservoir up higher on the hill."
Q. Well, when was the reservoir abandoned that they started to dig?
A. That I couldn't tell you.
Q. When did they start the new reservoir?
A. The last reservoir was started, I think, in 1893.
Q. That is, a year ago?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, since the time the old reservoir was abandoned, did you ever suggest to the Board of Commissioners the necessity of constructing a reservoir up to 1893?
A. Well, I can't tell you whether I ever did or not. I believe I did, because I have always recommended the Water Board to build a storage basin on Long Island. I can't say whether I ever recommended the Board of Directors of Public Institutions to or not. I don't think I did, because I shouldn't unless they asked me. Q. Well, as City Engineer, if you felt that it was necessary for proper service there you would have notified them?
A. No, not necessarily.
Q. Not unless they asked you?
A. Unless they asked my advice.
Q. I would like to ask you to look over your department records, Mr. Jackson, and see if there are not some communications to you either from the Water Board or the Directors of Public Institutions, calling attention to the necessity of the reservoir on Long Island.
A. I don't know that there is, because I wouldn't naturally write a communication on a matter of that kind, because it was simply a question of how a thing should be done, my ideas and somebody's else ideas of how a thing should be done.
Q. But you made the plans of the present reservoir?
A. Yes, sir; at the request of the Board of Commissioners. Q. What was the cost of it?
A. I don't know. I don't think I made an estimate of the cost of it, as the work was done by the inmates, and of course the only cost was really for the tools, cement, and bricks.
Q. When was that completed ?
A. Completed, so as to be used, I think, about a month ago. Q. Well, in your opinion, isn't it necessary for an institution like Long Island to have a reservoir?
A. For an institution like Long Island, or any other place, it is necessary to have some means of protection against fire, and that is the main thing that reservoir is built for.
Q. Then for three years, from the time they filled the old one to the time they started this one, the Commissioners, in not proceeding to construct a reservoir, did not take proper notice of what was needed there in the way of fire protection, did they?
A. Oh, I shouldn't say that, by any means, because they were getting ahead all the time, as far as I could see. If I thought there was very great danger I should have said so, but I didn't. As a precaution, I should say that a thing like a reservoir ought to be built as an insurance against a chance of fire.
Q. Yes, and they, not building it for three years, did not take proper precautions against fire, did they?
A. Oh, I shouldn't say anything of the kind.
Q. Well, that is the fact, isn't it?
A. No, it is not the fact.
Q. Well, if the reservoir is necessary to-day it was necessary three years ago, wasn't it?