Imagine being asked to leave your land and home for the benefit of others? Even if you were paid? That's what happened to the regular, everyday people of four central Massachusetts towns.

There are 292 towns and 59 cities in Massachusetts. There used to be four more. The towns of Enfield, Dana, Greenwich, and Prescott "drowned" back in 1938 leaving over 2500 people to find a new town to reside in.

Enfield, Dana, Greenwich and Prescott were all once Massachusetts towns


As the population in Massachusetts started to increase in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the eastern part of the state begin to run out of drinking water and land to the west provided an opportunity. It would come at the cost of loss, however.

At midnight on April 28, 1938, as people at the Farewell Ball listened, the Enfield town bell tolled and Dana, Enfield, Prescott and Greenwich officially ceased to exist. The 2,500 people who had once populated the towns and villages no longer had a place to call home.

The Quabbin Reservoir Was Born

The land that occupied the towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott was too viable and perfect to create a reservoir to be ignored.

A modern day Quabbin Reservoir is shown below. Towns that border the Quabbin Reservoir are Pelham, Ware, and Belchertown.

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Their homes were taken down. Farmland stripped. Everything was burned. And from 1938-1946, the area was flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Today, it hosts more than 412 billion gallons of water and supplies 40% of Massachusetts, including Boston with clean, sustainable drinking water.

It was called the Swift River Act, a government intervention took the land of its inhabitants in order to serve the needs of Boston and the surrounding population.

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Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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