Straight from the Tap

Cleveland Water Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Historic Rescue by Garrett Morgan


On behalf of the City of Cleveland, Mayor Frank G. Jackson offers a Proclamation today, July 25, 2016, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of a Historic Rescue by Garrett Morgan and volunteers during the construction of Crib number 5 on this day in 1916. The proclamation also highlights the tunnelers who laid the groundwork for our water service today.

An excerpt from today’s commemoration event at the Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant:

The Cleveland Water System was birthed right here in 1856, at a facility known for most of its years as the Division Avenue Plant, later to be renamed The Garrett Morgan Water Treatment Plant. Lake Erie was picked as our source of water, with intakes built into the lake. The intake itself is subject to potential damage, from storms, ice action, boats, debris, and anchors.  So a structure is built around it to protect it, and it is called a crib.

The Five Mile Crib, which can easily be seen in the lake, was supplying the city with water. To help meet demands of a growing city, construction of a water treatment plant began at the Division Avenue Plant in 1914, with hopes to have the plant come on line in a few years. A new 10 foot tunnel was planned to extend the existing Division intake farther away from the pollution of the shoreline. The accident of 100 years ago was at this Five Mile Crib worksite.

Join us today to hear the details of that tragic day and the heroic rescue by Garrett Morgan and countless volunteers who helped save the miners, and propelled us into a time where safer work precautions began to be used and safe water was delivered to Clevelanders.