The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Boarding House (Swift River Valley, Mass.?)

Boarding House Register

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 098

Twenty-four page register kept by unnamed person, possibly from a Quabbin town, listing boarders by name, payment received, and employee accounts. Payments noted in detail from February to October, 1850. Boarders included several doctors and L.S. Hills, possibly Leonard S. Hills of the Amherst, Massachusetts hat factory. Employee accounts list many women with Irish surnames, including Ellen O’Leary, Ellen Callahan, and Margaret Murphy.

Biographical Note

The boarding house may have been located among one of the Western Massachusetts town abolished in 1938 to allow the Swift River Valley to be flooded, thereby creating the Quabbin Reservoir to provide Boston with water.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This twenty-four page booklet was printed in 1848 by a New York firm specifically as a time book for laborers or as a boarding house register by the week or month. It contains tables to figure accounts. Payments were kept very carefully for Feb.-Oct., 1850, but there are few clues as to the name of the boarding house owner or the town. A comparison of the list of boarders and workers (final page) to census lists for 1850 might help. It may have been a Quabbin town as the book came from Donald W. Howe, donor of many Quabbin-towns materials. The list of workers includes Irish surnames–Ellen O’Leary, Ellen Callahan and Margaret Murphy, for example, though 1850 is fairly early for finding Irish in the Quabbin region, if that is where it is. The list of boarders includes a few doctors and L.S. Hills, possibly Leonard S. Hills of the Amherst, Massachusetts hat factory.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Boarding House Register (MS 98). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Donald C. Howe, 1960.

Processing Information

Processed by Ruth Owen Jones, October 1985.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



Boardinghouses--Massachusetts--19th centuryIrish American women--History--19th century

Types of material

Account books