The Wachusett Dam & Reservoir

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Before There Was A Dam

How they built it and what became of the people who lived there

 

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3/29/2023

The Stonemasons

As might be expected, for such a massive stone project as the Wachusett Dam a significant portion of the labor force would have been the stonemasons and their related tradesmen the stonecutters. Their skills would be put good use not only to get all that masonry into proper alignment but to make certain it was waterproof as well.

The granite blocks, called rubbles, were huge and weighed up to six tons each. The rubbles were placed by teams of 10 or more stonemasons, tenders and laborers working with small cranes (derricks).

There was quite a bit more to this process, of course, as will be seen in the close analysis presented below.

Thanks,

Paul

2/23/23

The Carpenters

In this start to a new series dedicated to contributions of skilled labor at the dam the work of the carpenters will be examined.

Everywhere you look in the archives examples of their skills will be found. Unfortunately most of it was only temporary and ceased to exist when the project ended.

 

Thanks,

Paul

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Most Popular Articles

1

Coach & Sandy – the area around the submerged/buried ponds, South Main Street and South Meadow Road cutoffs

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2

Diversity at the Dam – Strong men came from all over to the huge project where there was opportunity for all who were willing to work hard for ga good wage.

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6126

3

Scar Bridge – This bridge once carried Scar Hill Road traffic across the Nashua River in Boylston but today remains submerged in place

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3796

4

One Man, One Shovel – rarely had so much dirt been moved by hand, a task completed with the most basic of tools…the shovel.

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3699

5

Clinton Catholic Cemetery – The largest of the cemeteries which had to moved because of the rising waters, its colorful story is retold here.

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3663

6

Channel Velocity Control – it was imperative to slow the water down in the spillway before it could erode the banks of the millpond and, perhaps, topple the railroad bridge.

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7

Get a Horse! – The horse had been around for centuries but was far from obsolete. Here is the story of the horse and its contribution to the Wachusett Dam & Reservoir.

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3507

8

The Villages at West Boylston – Four separate villages surrounding the Old Church were submerged. Here is their story presented by students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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9

UFOs over the Dam

What is that strange object floating over the top of the dam??

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10

Oakdale Station: Anatomy of a Rail Yard – A look at the inner workings of the busy rail yard that operated in Oakdale before it was disrupted by the coming of the Wachusett Reservoir.

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See for Yourself!

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Explore the wide array of  contemporary photographs, available in the public domain, that were used for the articles presented here.

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