SCUA

Quabbin Towns

Quabbin Towns Annual Reports Collection, 1864-1937.

4 boxes (2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 368

During the 1920s and 1930s, the populations of four towns in the Swift River Valley, Mass., were relocated to make way for completion of the Quabbin Reservoir. Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were formally disincorporated in 1938, marking an end to nearly a century of small town government in the region.

The annual reports of the four towns of the Quabbin region provide important documentation of the activities of the local officials and the lives of residents in Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott. Issued under various titles and with variable content, these reports include information on the activities of town officials, including the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, School Committee, and Library. In most years, the reports also include town expenditures and a list of residents with a valuation of property and taxes paid. Although substantial, this collection is not complete, particularly prior to 1880.

Background

In 1895, the General Court of Massachusetts established a Metropolitan Water District to provide ample water supplies for the growing metropolis of Boston by constructing two large reservoirs, the first along the Nashua River northeast of Worcester (the Wachusett Reservoir) and the second along the Swift River Valley.

Met with local resistance from the outset, the damming of the Swift River Valley required the disincorporation of four towns, Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, and the alienation of land in several others. The greatest impact of the Quabbin Reservoir was borne by the residents of these relatively small, isolated, and predominantly rural towns, all of whom were forced to relocate. Construction of the Quabbin Reservoir began in 1926 and was completed ten years later, with formal dissolution of the towns following in 1938.

Contents of Collection

The annual reports of the four towns of the Quabbin region provide important documentation of the lives of the residents of the former towns Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott. Issued under various titles and with somewhat variable content, the annual reports include more or less detailed information of the activities of town officials and offices, including the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, the School Committee, and Town Library. In most years, the reports also document town expenditures and include a list of the residents with a valuation of property and taxes paid.

Published annual Reports for the Quabbin towns did not appear until 1857, when Enfield, the largest town, printed its first, followed by Prescott (1862), Dana (1869), and Greenwich (1873). Titles varied, sometimes dramatically, depending on which committees were reporting, and some committees occasionally issued separate reports (e.g., the School Committee for Enfield). While extensive, the SCUA collection is not complete and is much sparser in the early years of issuance of town reports.

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Inventory of Collection
1890-1937 39 items
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1890 1 item
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1897 1 item
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1898-1900 3 items
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1902-1912 11 items
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1914-1925 12 items
Annual Report of the Selectmen of the Expenses of the Town of Dana 1927-1937 11 items
1864-1938 58 items
Report of the Selectmen and Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Enfield 1864 1 item
Report of the School Committee of the Town of Enfield 1879-1880 2 items
Report of the Selectmen and Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Enfield 1880 1 item
Report of the Selectmen and Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Enfield 1882-1886 5 items
Report of the Selectmen and Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Enfield 1889-1898 10 items
Report of the Selectmen and Overseers of the Poor of the Town of Enfield 1900-1938 39 items
1876-1938 41 items
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1876 1 item
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1878 1 item
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1886 1 item
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1896-1900 5 items
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1903-1904 2 items
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1906-1908 3 items
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1910-1920 11 items
Annual Reports of the Selectmen, Overseers of the Poor, and Treasurer of the Town of Greenwich 1922-1938 17 items
1882-1937 44 items
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1882 1 item
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1884-1885 2 items
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1888-1891 4 items
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1897 1 item
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1900-1919 20 items
Reports of the Selectmen and School Committee of the Town of Prescott 1922-1937 16 items
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Provenance

Provenance varied.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2013.

Alternative Formats

Nearly all of the annual reports for Quabbin towns have been digitized and made available online through the Internet Archive.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Quabbin Towns Annual Reports Collection (MS 368). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

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