Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley: Drowned by the Quabbin

Wednesday, March 22 at 6:00 pm

Book cover

Presentation and book signing with author Elena Palladino

When Elena Palladino moved into her new home in Ware in 2015, she learned of her house’s history and its original owner, Marion Andrews Smith. This in turn would lead her to Enfield, one of the four towns lost in the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir and the writing of her first book, Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley: Drowned by the Quabbin.

At the time of its completion in 1946, the Quabbin Reservoir was the largest man-made reservoir in the world and was heralded as an engineering marvel. Today, the Quabbin Reservoir quietly provides 412 billion gallons of high-quality water to more than three million people in Boston and its surrounding towns.

The story of the Quabbin is an important piece of Massachusetts history. Simply put, the reservoir exists because the towns do not. But what was the human cost of the Quabbin?

More than 2,000 people were forced to leave their lifelong homes. Their land, houses and businesses were taken, razed and burned. The bodies of 7,500 former residents were exhumed and reinterred. Families and communities were uprooted, their homeland flooded. And yet, the people of the Swift River Valley lived on; their shared histories, relationships, and communities endured beyond the valley, beyond 1938, and in spite of the pain and loss inflicted by the construction of the Quabbin.

Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley: Drowned by the Quabbin was published by History Press, a division of Arcadia Press, in the Fall of 2022. Palladino's website is https://quabbinhouse.com and her Instagram is QuabbinHouse.

Free and open to the public.
Please register by calling 978-249-9515 or via our online calendar: https://athol.librarycalendar.com/event/elena-palladino-presentation-lost-towns-swift-river-valley-drowned-quabbin