The late poet W.H. Auden once said this: “Water is the soul of the Earth.”

And I am sure that those who work for Pennichuck Corporation, one of the premier water suppliers in the Granite State, would certainly agree.

The company has been around for quite some time now, having been established in 1852. And these days, not only does Pennichuck Water Works keep the H2O flowing into the Gate City but also serves 10 area municipalities located in southern New Hampshire.

Pennichuck is a big deal if you consider that 10% of the state’s population is relying on the company for its water supply. By the way, I enjoy drinking our city water; it tastes better than most water I have drunk in other states.

I grew up in the south end, near two Pennichuck members of royalty, so to speak. Donald Calderwood and his family resided on Zellwood Street in a large home with a big yard where they generously allowed the neighborhood kids to gather and play. Mr. Calderwood was a former president of Pennichuck Water Works. He and Mrs. Florence Calderwood (a Nashua school teacher) always had fun with us at trick-or-treating time.

I also lived two blocks away from Moe Arel and his family. Mr. Arel not only went on to become president of Pennichuck Corporation but also the mayor of Nashua and a dedicated public servant for decades. Moe and his wife, Joyce, are fine people who have always given back to their community.

If you haven’t been by the Walnut Street Oval lately, I recommend a quick drive there. Pennichuck Corp. has nicely settled back into the downtown, occupying the former Nashua District Courthouse for its headquarters. The large, black building has been renovated and expanded and makes an impressive presence in the neighborhood. In addition, the building is right at the foot of the Broad Street Parkway and brings a lot to the area.

The way I remember it, Pennichuck’s original location was on High Street not far from the Oval. Later, Pennichuck moved its headquarters to Water Street and eventually moved out to its Merrimack facility.

Mayor Donchess has always been a proponent of a strong downtown business climate and strengthening the tax base in the heart of the city.

At the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pennichuck relocation project in late 2019, he was already on board.

”It fills up a block that has been kind of in a blighted condition ever since the courthouse left some years ago, and when we work on a downtown, it’s block by block, housing unit by housing unit, project by project, and this is a very important location in downtown,” Donchess said at the time.

I happen to agree, and I’ll drink to that.

Joan Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column appears every other Thursday. She can be reached at