BOOK, QUABBIN VALLEY LIFE AS IT WAS, Arcadia Publishing - 128 pages, 194 images

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Author: Elizabeth Peirce.

"Quaben," the Nipmuc Indian word for "many waters," was the name originally given to the area of central Massachusetts that is now known as the Quabbin Valley. The abundance of ponds, lakes, and streams in the region made it an obvious target for those seeking new water sources to supply the escalating population of Boston in the late 19th century. However, the little towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott stood in the way. Following a 1926 legislative act, these towns were disincorporated, and the 2,500 inhabitants were given modest compensation and ordered to leave. By 1938, the towns were flooded and stood at the floor of the reservoir, which held the potential of 420 billion gallons of water to be outsourced eastward. Never to be forgotten, the story of the lost towns and their former residents are displayed through artifacts housed at the Swift River Valley Historical Society in North New Salem.

Marrying into a displaced family from Prescott, Elizabeth Peirce is the author of a trilogy of books on the Quabbin Valley, including "Images of America: The Lost Towns of the Quabbin Valley," and "Quabbin Valley: People and Places."