S: Quabbin Reservoir
BC: Made by: Gretchen Lynch
FC: Quabbin Reservoir
1: Boston late 1800's | The population exploded. The need for water increased. There wasn't enough water for people to drink, and not enough water to fight fires. | So, the search began. | 74,800 was the population in Boston at the time.
2: 1919, Metropolitan District Commission was organized, which led to the largest artificial domestic water supply in the world at the time. | The Quabbin Reservoir
3: The Quabbin Reservoir is located in western Massachusetts in what was once, "The Swift River Valley," the valley was a bowl shape with gaps that could be filled in with dams. This made it a perfect area for a reservoir.
4: After the King Philips War, land in the Swift River Valley was granted to the war veterans. Once home to the Nipmuc people who called it, "Qaben," meaning: "Meeting of the Waters," The valley become home to colonial farmers.
5: Before the Quabbin project could be started, four towns and its people had to leave. | The towns were: Dana (incorporated in 1801) Enfield (1816) Greenwich (1754) and Prescott (1822)
6: On April 27, 1938 3,000 people attended a farewell ball (they served ritz crackers) | 7,613 graves had to be moved 1,000+ structures were dismantled, wrecked, or burned 25,000 people left their homes | Trees, plants, and soil were removed. The Sandy Basin was 13 miles long and 6 miles wide.
7: The towns were home to farms, gristmills, and factories. The railroad arrived in 1873. But on April 28, 1938, Governor Charles F. Hurley signed a document declaring the towns officially "discontinued." | 80,443 acres of land were taken by the state, this is called eminent domain.
8: The project took 20 years to complete. Tunnels were constructed to redirect smaller rivers and brooks into the valley. A dike and a dam were built to contain water in the valley. It was the largest man-made reservoir at that time. It took 7 years to fill the valley with water (412 billion gallons of water)
9: The Quabbin Reservoir was built during the Great Depression. It gave people struggling to find work a government funded job. | 5 cents Help the unemployed | The people hired to clear the land in The Swift River Valley were given the name, "Woodpeckers," by the residents.
10: Today the land surrounding the reservoir is a park, with 3200 acres of land and 22 miles of trails. It was open to the public in 1945, there's a lookout tower and the area is protected for wildlife. Eagles ,deer, coyotes, beavers, fox, and moose etc. live in the protected area.
11: My reflections on the lasting historical significance of the Quabbin Reservoir is that it's sad that so many people had to leave their homes because many were there for generations. Homes are gone, businesses are gone, churches and schools too, the sacrifice was great. Because of these sacrifices other people were given jobs and opportunities during the Great Depression. Today, many people have the ability to turn the faucet on and get clean drinking water. Although the Swift River Valley is under water, people can go and enjoy nature's beauty that lies on the edge of the Quabbin Reservoir.
12: Primary Sources
13: Eleanor Griswold Schmidt 1913-1994 | She was involved with the Swift River Valley Historical Society | "Now I have two beauties; one to remember and one to enjoy." (Eleanor Griswold)
14: This is a copy of an eviction letter sent to the Swift River Valley residents in 1938.
15: The Farewell Ball | The towns farewell ball was hosted by the Enfield Fire Department at the Town Hall. McEnelly's Orchestra performed, playing "Auld Lang Syne," at the stroke of midnight. | Invitation
16: Under circumstances as dramatic as any in fiction or in a movie epic, the town of Enfield passed out of existence at the final stroke of the midnight hour. A hush fell over the Town Hall, jammed far beyond its ordinary capacity, as the first note of the clock sounded; a nervous tension growing throughout the evening had been felt by both present and former residents and casual onlookers. | Newspaper 1938
17: Newspaper 1938 Con't. | The orchestra, which had been playing for the firemen's ball throughout the evening, faintly sounded the strain of "Auld Lang Syne" muffled sounds of sobbing were heard, hardened men were not ashamed to take out their handkerchiefs. The Springfield Morning Union quoted in Quabbin: The Accidental Wilderness, by Thomas Conuel (Massachusetts Audubon Society, 1981).
19: The Quabbin Reservoir
20: Bibliography Cosgrove, Ben. "Drowned Towns: Preserving the Lost Communities of the Swift River Valley." The Harvard Advocate. www.theharvardadvocate.com Pierce, Elizabeth. The Lost Towns of the Quabbin Valley. Charleston: Arcadia, 2004. "Quabbin." Friends of the Quabbin. http://www.foquabbin.org/reservoir.html "Quabbin Reservoir." www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/ quabbin.htm
21: Bibliography Con't "Quabbin Reservoir: Filled to the Brim." Mass Moments. http://massmoments.org "Quabbin Reservoir Pictures." http://www.bio. umass.edu/biology/conn.river.quabbinres. htm. Stephanie, Reitz. For 4 Towns. Quabbin is a Reservoir of Grief. April 27,2008. www.SFGate.com Under Quabbin: the Search for the Lost Towns, Edward Klekowski, WGBH Educational Foundation, 2003.