SCUA

Quabbin Reservoir

Quabbin Clipping Collection, 1888-1983.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 040

To meet the growing needs for potable water in the Boston metropolitan region, the Massachusetts state legislature ordered the evacuation of the relatively sparsely populated towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, as well as portions of other adjoining towns such as New Salem, to make way for the construction of a massive reservoir. Over the course of almost two decades, the population of the towns was systematically relocated, the houses moved or razed, and bed of the future reservoir was stripped of trees and brush. The last remaining residents of the region were removed in 1938 and the four primary towns were officially disincorporated as the dam was completed and the waters began to rise.

A collection of newspaper clippings documenting the Swift River Valley towns that were evacuated to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir, including Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, Millington (New Salem), and Prescott. The clippings are concentrated on the towns’ final days and include an incomplete run of The Springfield Union series, “Letters from Quabbin,” series, which recorded the history of the Quabbin Reservoir from site selection to the relocation of houses and people and the disbanding of local organizations and communities.

Background

The evacuation of four towns in the Swift River Valley during the 1920s and 1930s was a traumatic event in the history of western Massachusetts. To meet the growing needs for potable water in the Boston metropolitan region, the state legislature ordered that the relatively sparsely populated towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, as well as portions of other adjoining towns such as New Salem, were to be removed to make way for the construction of a massive reservoir. Over the course of almost two decades, the towns’ residents were systematically relocated, the houses moved or razed, and the bed of the future reservoir was stripped of trees and brush. The last remaining residents of the region were removed in 1938 and the four primary towns were officially disincorporated as the dam was completed and the waters began to rise.

Contents of Collection

A collection of newspaper clippings documenting the Swift River Valley towns that were evacuated to make way for the Quabbin Reservoir, including Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, Millington (New Salem), and Prescott. The clippings are concentrated on the towns’ final days and include an incomplete run of the The Springfield Union series, “Letters from Quabbin,” series, which recorded the history of the Quabbin Reservoir from site selection to the relocation of houses and people and the disbanding of local organizations and communities.

Collection inventory
Dana (including North Dana)
1897-1964
Box 1: 1

Enfield
1888-1947
Box 1: 2

Greenwich
1904-1938
Box 1: 3

Letters from Quabbin
1938
Box 1: 4

Early history of reservoir
1938
Folder No. 1
Extent of the reservoir
1938
Folder No. 2
Reservoir named for Indian
1938
Folder No. 3
The exodus
1938
Folder No. 4
The industries
1938
Folder No. 5
Spring in Quabbin
1938
Folder No. 6
The last town meeting
1938
Folder No. 7
The Quabbin Club
1938
Folder No. 10
The nurseries
1938
Folder No. 11
The churches of Dana
1938
Folder No. 13
Quabbin Park Cemetery
1938
Folder No. 15
Old houses, new homes
1938
Folder No. 16
Hillside School
1938
Folder No. 17
Greenwich and Enfield churches
1938
Folder No. 18
The granges
1938
Folder No. 19
The wild flowers
1938
Folder No. 22
The camps
1938
Folder No. 23
Distinguished people
1938
Folder No. 24
The last graduation
1938
Folder No. 25
The postmaster
1938
Folder No. 26
The doctor: Willard B. Segur
1938
Folder No. 27
The old families
1938
Folder No. 28
The great dam
1938
Folder No. 29
Millington
1938
Box 1: 5

Packardville
1949
Box 1: 5a

Prescott
1922
Box 1: 6

Quabbin reservoir
1920-1983
Box 1: 7

Quabbin towns (general)
1908-1982
Box 1: 8

Ware
1926-1941
Box 1: 9

Administrative information
Provenance

Gift of Donald Howe, 1960.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2015.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Quabbin Clippings Collection (MS 874). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Enfield (Mass.)--History
  • Greenwich (Mass.)--History
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Prescott (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
Special Collections and University Archives logo