Skip to content

1875 Town Ordinances of Waterford, Virginia

Waterford Town Government in the 19th Century »
The burning cow question, tales of Waterford governance in the late 1800s

Probably the most interesting "legislation" about the town of Waterford was the Ordinance of July 3, 1875. It contained fifteen ordinances regulating practically every phase of life; an interesting commentary on the complaints we now hear about governmental regulation and control. These ordinances were found printed on a linen dish towel and transcribed by John M. Souders from a Waterford Foundation photocopy. They are an excellent example of values and issues of the day.

Town Ordinances
-of-
Waterford, Loudoun County, Va.

No. 1
An Ordinance providing for a survey and plot of the town of Waterford, and defining the boundaries thereof.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That the boundaries of said town shall be as follows, viz: Beginning at a stone in Joseph Brown's field near the Public road leading from Waterford to Chas. E. Paxson's; thence to a point on the east side of the mill race opposite Wm. B. Steer's Stable; thence up said race, following the east side thereof, to where the tail race from Milton Schooley's Saw Mill empties therein; thence to a stone on the bank of said Schooley's head race near Silas Corbin's Black Smith Shop; thence up said race to a stone opposite Reuben Schooley's lot; then crossing said lot with a straight line to a double locust tree in E.A. Atlee's lot near the road, opposite L.V. Shuey's land; then with a straight line to a post at the N.E. Corner of Joseph Brown's orchard, thence with a straight line to the beginning.

Sec. 2. That the power of said Corporation as defined in Chapter 54, of the Code of 1873, and in the Act of incorporation approved by the General Assembly, Mar. 11, 1875, shall be in full force within said boundaries.

Sec. 3. That the Council shall and do hereby authorize the Mayor to employ, upon such terms as the Council may approve, a competent Surveyor to survey and make a plot of the lots, streets and alleys of the town to be recorded as provided by law.

Sec. 4. That this Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 2.
An Ordinance prescribing the mode of appointing and the duties of certain corporation officers.

Sec 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That in addition to the Mayor, Recorder, Council and Sergeant there shall be appointed by the Council an Assessor to assess all the property within the Corporation, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. The duties of the Sergeant shall be the same in all cases when the offense is against the Commonwealth as are now prescribed by law for Constables in similar cases.

Sec. 3. That he shall collect all taxes levied by the Corporation, all fines imposed for violations of the ordinances of the town and shall pay them over to the Treasurer.

Sec. 4. That he shall be entitled to the same fees as Constable and shall be entitled to collect them as prescribed by law, for the same, and shall have such further fees as the Council may allow.

Sec. 5. That he shall give bond in such sum as required by the Council, the bond to be executed by the Mayor and kept in custody by the same.

Sec. 6. That the Recorder shall be ex-officio Treasurer and shall receive all moneys due the Corporation from taxes, fines and other sources, and shall disburse the same in such manner as may be prescribed by law. He shall also be required to keep a record of all proceeding of the Council in a book to be provided by them for the purpose.

Sec. 7. That he shall give bond in such penalty as the Council may require to the Mayor, the bond to be kept by the Mayor so long as he shall remain Recorder and until he shall have complied with all the requirements of the law in relation to his office.

Sec. 8. That this Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 3.
An Ordinance prescribing the duties of the Treasurer.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That the Treasurer shall be the custodian of all moneys received for taxes, fines and from any other source.

Sec. 2. That he shall be required to pay all warrants drawn upon the Treasurer by order of the Council when presented duly signed by the Mayor, and countersigned by the Recorder and not otherwise.

Sec. 3. That he shall be required annually, at such times, and in such manner, as directed by the Council to make an exhibit of moneys received, from what source, and to whom paid and to what purpose applied.

Sec. 4. That this ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 4
An Ordinance for keeping the peace in Waterford.

Sec. 1. That for every offence by which by the Code of this state, a person may be bound over to keep the peace, when such an offence is committed within the Corporation limits, in addition a fine not exceeding Ten Dollars nor less than One Dollar, be imposed on said offender.

Sec. 2. This ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 5.
An Ordinance to prevent obscene language or conduct, profane cursing or swearing, drunkenness, &c., in the town of Waterford.

Sec. 1. That if any person or persons arrived at the age of discretion shall be guilty of the offence of using obscene language or obscene conduct, or profanely curse or swear, or get drunk, or engage in fisticuffs, or of making loud noise, such person or persons shall be fined not less than One Dollar nor more than Eight Dollars for each offense.

Sec. 2. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 6
An Ordinance to prevent the explosion of Gunpowder, of use of fire works, fire arms, ball playing, stone throwing, &c.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford:—That it is unlawful for any person idly or unnecessarily to cause the explosion of gunpowder, or to use any kind of fire works artificial or otherwise such as fire balls, rockets, squibs, fire crackers, and like within the Corporation limits, and for each offence of this character the person or persons so offending or the person responsible for the one so offending shall be fined not less that Fifty Cents nor more than Five Dollars.

Sec. 2. That it shall be unlawful to shoot birds, or in any other way to use fire arms for sport within the limits of this Corporation, and for each offence of this character, the parties offending or the person responsible for the one so offending, shall be fined not less than Fifty Cents nor more than Five Dollars.

Sec. 3. That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to play ball or unnecessarily throw stones or other missiles in the Streets, and for each offence of this character the person or persons so offending or those responsible for such offender, shall be fined not less than Twenty Five Cents nor more than One Dollar.

Sec. 4. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 7.
An Ordinance relating to chimneys and stove or furnace pipes.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford. That it shall be unlawful for any person within the Corporation to allow his or her chimney to burn out through neglect; and for each offence of this kind a fine shall be imposed, or not less than Fifty Cents nor more than Five Dollars.

Sec. 2. That it shall be unlawful for any householder or tenant to allow in his or her dwelling or other buildings, any pipe or pipes from any stove or furnace to pass through the partition, ceiling, floor, roof or side of such dwelling or other building in such manner as shall subject the same to danger from burning from said pipe or pipes, or shall endanger from like cause, surrounding buildings; and for each offence of this character the offending party or parties shall be fined not less than Five Dollars nor more than Ten Dollars.

Sec. 3. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 8.
An Ordinance to prevent fast riding or driving through the streets and riding or driving on the side walk.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That any riding or driving at an unusual rate of speed through the streets shall subject the person or persons so offending to a fine not less than Fifty Cents nor more than Three Dollars for each offense.

Sec. 2. That it shall be unlawful to ride or drive on the sidewalk and any person or persons so offending shall be subject to a fine of not less than Fifty Cents nor more than Three Dollars for each offense.

Sec. 3. That any person or persons obstructing the sidewalks in any way whatever, shall on neglect or refusal to remove the same after due notice from authorized officer, be subject to a fine of not less than Twenty-five Cents nor more than One Dollar for each offense together with the costs that may be incurred in removing such obstruction.

Sec. 4. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 9.
An Ordinance requiring persons to provide racks or other hitching places for horses.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That all persons engaged in business within the Corporation limits of the town of Waterford shall be required to furnish racks or posts or otherwise to make provision for hitching horses on their own premises as may be necessary for the accommodation of the horses of their customers, any person neglecting, or refusing to comply with the provision of this section shall, on complaint being made, be fined not less than One Dollar nor more than Three Dollars for each offense.

Sec. 2. Hitching horses to gates, fences or trees is hereby prohibited and each offender shall be fined not less than Twenty-five Cents nor more than One Dollar for each offence.

Sec. 3. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 10.
An Ordinance to prevent trespass by hogs, cows and other animals.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford:—That in case of trespass by hogs, cows, or other animals, on complaint of the parties so annoyed, the Sergeant shall notify the owner of such animals and in case of their failure to prevent such trespass, they shall be fined not less than Fifty Cents nor more than One Dollar for each offense.

Sec. 2. That hogs shall not be allowed to run at large within Corporation limits, and it shall be the duty of the Sergeant to take possession of, and impound all hogs found upon the streets and notify the owner thereof, and the owner of such hog or hogs shall in addition to the cost of keeping said hogs pay a fine of Fifty Cents; and upon his or her refusal to pay such fine and charges the Sergeant shall at the expiration of ten days sell such hogs and after paying all expenses incurred shall turn over the balance of the money to the owner of said hogs.

Sec. 3. That this Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 11.
An Ordinance regulating the width of the Streets and the grading, paving &c., of sidewalks.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That in laying out streets, twenty feet shall be laid out on each side of the centre, of which five feet on each edge shall be for sidewalks, provided that this Ordinance shall not be construed so as to interfere with houses, shops or porches already constructed that may infringe upon the limits herein prescribed.

Sec. 2. That the sidewalks of all streets which are or shall be graded, shall be paved or planked with such material as the Council may direct.

Sec. 3. The owners of all lots having sidewalks shall be required to keep such sidewalks in good repair.

Sec. 4. The Council may from time to time require that good and substantial sidewalks shall be laid down or constructed in any street or part of a street whether graded or not.

Sec. 5. The cost of grading, paving and keeping in good repair of sidewalks shall be borne by the owners of the lots to which such sidewalks may belong.

Sec. 6. Each lot owner shall be required to keep the sidewalks fronting his or her property in good repair, and should any lot owner neglect or refuse to make his or her share of said sidewalk repairs, or construct new sidewalks when required, after due notice from the Sergeant, then the Sergeant shall under instructions from the Council, proceed to make such repairs or construct new walks, and the expense incurred shall be assessed against the lot owner or owners.

Sec. 7. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 12.
An Ordinance to provide for the erection of buildings other than dwelling houses in the town of Waterford.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That any persons wishing to erect any building for any purpose, other than a dwelling house, upon their premises, or to remove any such building, shall apply to the Council for such privilege, and the Council before granting such application, shall notify all parties interested or likely to be aggrieved thereby; and shall only grant such privilege when the proposed erection or removal shall not endanger the property or health of objecting parties.

Sec. 2. That this Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 13.
An Ordinance providing for the cleaning of the streets of the town.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That each householder or tenant who occupies property within the limits of the town, shall be required to remove all weeds, grass or debris from the sidewalks and streets in front of their property.

Sec. 2. That in case of parties disregarding this Ordinance, it shall be the duty of the Sergeant to notify them in person, and after ten days he shall remove or cause to be removed the same, and charge the cost to the offending party.

Sec. 3. This ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 14.
An Ordinance relating to nuisances in the town of Waterford.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: No person or persons within the town shall permit or suffer on his, her or their premises, or any premises of which he, she or they may be occupants, any nuisances, nor shall he, she or they exercise any calling or trade which is unwholesome or offensive by which a nuisance shall be created, or offensive and nauseous stench or otherwise, which shall or may become offensive or dangerous to the neighborhood.

Sec. 2. No person shall himself or by another throw, place, deposit or leave in any street, highway, lane alley, space or square, any animal or vegetable substance, dead animal, fish, shells, shavings, dirt, rubbish, excrement, filth, odor, slops, unclean or nauseous water or liquor, hay, straw, ashes, cinders, soot, offal, garbage, swill or any other article or substance whatever, which may cause any noisome, offensive, or unwholesome smell.

Sec. 3. No person shall keep, place or have on or in any private house, lot or premises in this town, any dead carcass, putrid, offensive or unsound beef, pork, fish, hide, skins, bones, horns, stinking or rotten soap, grease, tallow, offal, garbage or other animal or vegetable substances, which may cause any unwholesome, noisome or offensive smell.

Sec. 4. No owner or occupant of any grocery, cellar, tannery, butcher shop, slaughter house, stable, barn, privy, sewer or other building or place, shall allow any nuisance to exist or remain on his or her premises.

Sec. 5. The keeper of any livery or other stable, the manure from which is thrown on the street, shall not permit, between the first day of June and the first day of November, more than one cart load of manure to accumulate at any one time.

Sec. 6. No person shall collect or confine hogs in pens or otherwise, so as to become offensive to his or their neighbors; nor shall such person keep or use any hog pen, privy or barnyard adjoining to and abutting on any lot, upon which any person resides, or so near or in a position thereto, that the contents thereof are discharged upon such lot.

Sec. 7. Any violation of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Cents nor more than One Dollar.

Sec. 8. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

No. 15.
An Ordinance providing for the employment of prisoners on the streets and public property.

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the Council of Water-ford: That all male persons above the age of sixteen years convicted of misdemeanor or for non-payment of any fine or penalty which may have been imposed upon or assessed against them may be compelled to work on the streets and public property.

Sec. 2. All persons held to labor under this Ordinance shall be required to work out the full amount of all such fines or assessments including the legal costs.

Sec. 3. The Council shall establish rules and regulations for the care, safekeeping and government of such persons while so employed.

Sec. 4. This Ordinance shall be in force from its passage.

 

Approved July 3rd, 1875.

Joseph C. James, Mayor
F.J. Beans, Recorder

 
Scroll To Top