Notes from Nancy Ashkar research:
The 1775 map of Wayland names this body of water as Long Pond. In the 1800s, Boston’s water supply was not sufficient for the growing city. It was determined that water would need to be brought in from a surrounding community. Three potential lakes were identified. The Boston people were to choose the source of their water in a contest on the Commons. Three unmarked barrels were set up. People tasted the water and voted for their favorite. The water from Long Pond received the most votes, but officials didn’t think the name “Long Pond” was the best name so they searched for a new name. “Cochituate”, Algonquin for falling water, was chosen and Long Pond’s name was changed in 1848 during a celebration in Boston.
From a news clipping relating the great excitement in Boston when water from Long Pond was first available for the daily use of Boston’s citizens
“...At the close of the program Mayor Quincy turned to the assembly of over 100,000 people and asked ‘if it is the pleasure of the people of the city of Boston that water shall be brought in, let them say “Yea”!’ He was answered by a tremendous shout of Yea from the people. Then at a signal to the waiting Engineer the water gate was slowly opened. At first a rusty colored stream rose from the vent gradually becoming clear until it rose in a sparkling column 80 feet in height. A mighty ovation rose from the people. Cannon boomed, bells rang, everywhere was (great) rejoicing. At last Cochituate had come to Boston.
The mayor informed the children that school would be closed and the fountain would play all the next day. Dazzling fireworks concluded the evening.”