Join us at the Quabbin Visitor Center for a presentation on Sunday, March 2nd at 2 pm, “Something of the Character Within—19th- and Early 20th-Century Portraits of Swift River Valley Children.”
Thanks to everyone who attended the opening reception at the Great Falls Discovery Center. If you missed it, the exhibit will remain on view on Fridays and Saturdays, 10am–4pm through March 29th. Call 413-863-3221 to confirm the hall is not closed for another event.
Over fifty 19th- and early 20th-century photographs reproduced from the Swift River Valley Historical Society remind us of life before the Quabbin Reservoir was built. The exhibit will also feature a simulated 19th-century photography studio with backdrops painted by Althea Dabrowski’s Northfield Elementary School students. This program is supported in part by grants from the Gill, Bernardston, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield and Montague Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Sincere thanks to all the Valley Gives donors who made 12/12/13 such a success, as well as those who have responded to our annual appeal by mail. If you missed Valley Gives Day you may still donate electronically here or send a check to the Swift River Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 22, New Salem, MA 01355. Thank you for helping raise the matching $25,000 needed to build a new climate-controlled structure. Your donation will help create an online database of the manuscripts and photographs in the collection and help protect these irreplaceable items from New England’s temperature extremes for another 75 years.
Learn more here.
For 75 years the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem, Massachusetts, has kept alive the story of the four “lost towns” of the Swift River Valley. In 1938 the people of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott were forced to leave their homes, farms and businesses to allow the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir to provide clean water for the growing city of Boston to the east. No more straw hats would be made here, no sledding parties, celebrations on the town common, or worship at the churches built by the early settlers. The lives of 2500 people and their descendants were forever changed by this event.
Their towns are lost, but their stories are not. By caring for the objects and reminiscences once owned or told by farmers, shopkeepers, housewives, and children, the Swift River Valley Historical Society provides a look at life in the Swift River Valley before the Quabbin—and honors the sacrifice and sorrow of the many who once called it home.
Photo Credit: Quabbin Reservoir, courtesy of Dale Monette, DCR Vistitor Center