The historical society for the towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott
The Swift River Valley Historical Society is the leading resource in preserving the artifacts, stories and records of the lost towns of the Quabbin Valley; in collaborating with communities, organizations and agencies to provide educational opportunities and programs about the history of this region; and in ensuring appropriate management and protection of those resources and artifacts including the Quabbin watershed to engage public interest and support.
The Swift River Valley Historical Society is located at 40 Elm Street in the village of North New Salem, just west of Rt. 202. For a glimpse into the life of each of the four lost villages, visit the Whitaker-Clary House, Prescott Church Museum, and Carriage Shed at the historical society’s site.
Swift River Valley Historical Society announces that in order to maintain protections against the COVID-19 virus, the museum will remain closed for the 2020 season. All previously scheduled events, including hikes and the October bus trip, have been cancelled. We will remain available to assist families, researchers, genealogists, and all who have need of our services and materials. Those who want information, need archival research, have questions, or have any other matter to address will be able to reach us by telephone at 978-544-6882 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be using all means of outreach at our disposable such as newsletters, Facebook, website, and telephone or electronic communication to keep everyone abreast of developments for a successful 2021 season! The Annual Meeting will remain scheduled for Saturday, September 12th at 2:00 p.m. at the Prescott Church, 40 Elm Street, New Salem. Attendees must wear face masks and observe social distancing.
Carriage Shed and Barn
The Peirce Memorial Carriage Shed was built in 1991 to house a large variety of tools, farming equipment and North Dana’s 1929 Ford fire truck. The truck still operates and can sometimes be seen in front of the property when the museum is open, at the Dana reunion and an occasional fair or festival.
Whitaker Clary House
The main museum building, the Whitaker Clary House was purchased from the Massachusetts District Commission (MDC, now DCR Watershed Division) in 1961 for $1.00 plus $35 for processing the deed. The building was available because the MDC had abandoned the plan to destroy all properties on this westerly side of the road.
The church, built in 1837, spent its first 100 years on the Prescott Peninsula. In the 1930’s, at the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, it was moved to South Main Street in Orange and be-came the Prescott Historical Society. In 1986, it was moved again to the present location. It is, arguably, the best travelled church in the country.
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Archives exist both to preserve historic materials and to make them available for use. Read “A Guide to Effective Research” from the Society of American Archivists.
In September, Swift River Valley Historical Society’s Archivist, Megan O’Loughlin, took a new position as an archivist at Marlboro College in Vermont. At Marlboro, Megan will be working with collections meant to be actively used by students, including historical records of the College itself. We are sad to see Megan leave but grateful for the progress she made in preserving and providing access to our archival collection. The Board of Directors will be working to fill Megan’s position.
We are currently seeking volunteers. If you are interested, please email email@example.com and let us know what area you are interested in helping with.
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