The Plumbing Museum in Watertown has been in operation for over 10 years, opening its doors in 2007. The museum’s home brings a unique look into the past and history of plumbing that dates back several decades.
The museum contains a rare collection of plumbing dating back to the 50s. A unique museum, it’s the only plumbing museum in the world.
“Did you know that all the fixtures and the piping found in your home lead to the most important plumbing system, the main sewer line? ” writes Apollo. This same mindset helped the museum grow from a collector’s habit to a museum that is filled with guests daily.
The museum first opened in Worcester in 1979 as the American Sanitary and Plumbing Museum. Charles Manoog, the head of the Manoog family which started the museum, started collecting plumbing items in the 50s. His collection led directly to the creation of the plumbing museum, but it wasn’t Charles that opened the museum.
Russell, Charle’s son, started the museum using the items that his father collected as the collection for the museum.
The family kept the museum thriving for over 30 years before they decided that it was time to leave it behind. Family members began reaching out to other museums to find a home for the plumbing collection, but none of the museums wanted the entire collection.
The family insisted that the entire collection be kept together.
A local plumbing company purchased the museum and relocated it to its current location in Watertown. The museum is now proudly housed in a building built in the 1880s. The building was a former ice house and is a fitting location for the one-of-a-kind attraction.
Local schools and vocational students tour the plumbing museum often. Kids that come into the museum get a unique look at the past, and students that want to become plumbers are encouraged to visit the museum. The museum estimates that 1,000 people visit the museum annually.
The build is also home to artists in residence. The tradition was envisioned by J.C. Cannistraro, the current owners of the museum. A program called the “Manoog Artists,” is a residency program that receives a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation.
Artists that are accepted into the program are given a small stipend and can exhibit their work in the workspace. Local community members come out to the studio space to celebrate local artists and are encouraged to visit the museum.
The residency program has been a great success, with spring and fall residency programs inviting new artists to apply.
Artists from every specialization are encouraged to apply to the program. Painters, designers, photographers and sculptors – as well as any other form of artistry – can apply.
The Plumbing Museum’s space is meant to be a workspace only and not housing. The space includes a 380 sq. ft. studio, full kitchen, Wi-Fi, professional development opportunities and a three-month residency. Artists accepted into the program will receive $2,000 and access to recycled fabrication materials.