SCUA

Massachusetts. Metropolitan District Commission. Water Division

Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission, Water Division Maps, 1959-1972.

1 drawer (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 100

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.

The numbered blueprint sheets and index that make up this collection offer a detailed depiction of the Swift River Valley towns at the time the state government was seizing land for the Quabbin Reservoir. Apparently surveyed between 1932 and 1938, the maps were prepared by the Metropolitan District Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a Quabbin Reservoir Real Estate Survey in 1959 and then revised in 1972.

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

The numbered blueprint sheets and index that make up this collection offer a detailed geographic depiction of the Swift River Valley at the time of the state seizure of lands for the Quabbin Reservoir. Based on surveys that were apparently made as long ago as the early 1930s, the maps were prepared by the Metropolitan District Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a Quabbin Reservoir Real Estate Survey in 1959 and revised and printed in 1972.

The numbering system for the maps is keyed to a formal grid, reading west to east and south to north, beginning at map 188, just below the southern tip of the present day reservoir, and terminating at map 610, above the northern tip in present-day Orange. Gaps in the numbering correspond to maps that are not part of the Swift River Valley watershed or that represent towns not directly affected by removal. The maps include:

  • Index
  • 148: Ware?
  • 168-169: Ware
  • 188-190: Ware
  • 207-210: Belchertown-Ware
  • 227-231: Belchertown-Ware
  • 246-251: Belchertown-Enfield-Ware
  • 266-271: Belchertown-Enfield
  • 286-291: Belchertown-Prescott-Smiths Village-Enfield
  • 306-312: Pelham-Packardville-Prescott-Greenwich
  • 326-332: Pelham-Prescott-Greenwich
  • 346-353: Pelham-Prescott-Greenwich-Hardwick
  • 366-373: Pelham-Prescott-Greenwich-Hardwick
  • 386-393: Pelham-Prescott-Greenwich-Hardwick
  • 406-414: Pelham-Prescott-Greenwich-Barre
  • 426-434: Shutesbury-Prescott-Dana-Barre
  • 446-447: Shutesbury-New Salem
  • 449-454: Prescott-Dana-Petersham
  • 466-473: Shutesbury-New Salem-Prescott-North Dana-Doubleday Village-Petersham
  • 486-495: Shutesbury-New Salem-Cooleyville-North Dana-Petersham
  • 506-513: Shutesbury-New Salem-Millington-North Dana-Petersham
  • 526-534: Shutesbury-New Salem-Petersham
  • 546-553: Shutesbury-Wendell-New Salem-Petersham
  • 566-573: Wendell-New Salem-Athol-Petersham
  • 587-591: Wendell-New Salem-Athol
  • 608-610: North New Salem-Orange
  • 629: Orange
Administrative information
Provenance

Gift of Audrey Duckert, 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2015.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission, Water Division Maps Collection (MS 100). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

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

Contributors

  • Massachusetts. Metropolitan District Commission. Water Division

Types of material

  • Maps
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