National Geographic : 1897 Dec
THE National Geographic Magazine VOL. VIII DECEMBER, 1897 No. 12 THE WASHINGTON AQUEDUCT AND CABIN JOHN BRIDGE * By D. D. GAILLARD, Captain, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army The idea of supplying the city of Washington with water at some day was contemporaneous with the planning of the city, and numerous examinations and surveys were made by Major L'Enfant, the engineer and architect of the Government, under the direction of General Washington, of the Potomac river, the Eastern branch, Rock creek, and numerous springs and small streams, as possible sources of future supply. The first definite plan to be found among the records of the Washington Aqueduct Office is given in a report made in Janu ary, 1851, by Brevet Lieut. Col. George W. Hughes, Corps of Topographical Engineers, to Colonel J. J. Abert, Chief of Topo graphical Engineers, in compliance with an act of Congress, ap proved September 30, 1850, appropriating $500 " to enable the War Department to make such examinations and surveys as may be necessary to determine the best and most available mode of supplying the city of Washington with pure water and to prepare a plan and estimate of the probable cost of the same, to be reported to Congress at its next session." After an investigation of the subject Colonel Hughes proposed to obtain the necessary supply from Rock creek by damming the stream about six miles above the city and bringing the water into a receiving reservoir through a conduit of oval cross section having an estimated capacity of 8,000,000 gallons in 24 hours. * Read before the National Geographic Society, October 2, 1897.