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

 

beforetherewasadam.com

 

 

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5.11.24

The Shortest Road

The towns of Boylston and West Boylston were asked to sacrifice much when the Wachusett Reservoir was built. That included almost all of the roads connecting the two closely associated towns.

After years of struggle with the “Metropolitans” the final issue was the location of a direct replacement main road that would connect the two town centers.

Here is the story of the spirited discussions and legal battles that rose from this vital question.

The text is taken from newspaper articles of Mary A. Cook, regular contributor at the time to the Worcester Telegram, and lays out the views and concerns of those most affected…the people.

Thanks,

Paul

The Water Board’s choice – around

The Towns’ choice – through

3.24.24

Stripping Soil from the Basin Floor

The Transfer Yard below Sandy Pond

The Wachusett Reservoir was created from 7 square miles of farmland, all of it covered with millions of cubic yards of rich, organic topsoil, great for crops but very bad at keeping water clean. It all had to stripped from the reservoir basin and moved, up to five miles, to the great North Dike.

This is the story of how men with shovels managed to move a mountain of dirt from an area twice the size of Lower Manhattan.

Truly the “largest hand dug reservoir in the world”.

 

 

Thanks,

Paul

2.19.24

The North Dike

If you have ever walked along the North Dike in Clinton you will surely have been mightily impressed by its sheer size.

Here is the story, first in a new series,  of how it was built.

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 a good wage.

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3

The Wachusett Aqueduct delivered water, by tunnel and open stream, to the Sudbury Reservoir in Framingham 12 miles away. Since replaced, it still functions as a backup water supply.

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4

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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5

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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6

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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7

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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8

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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9

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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10

UFOs over the Dam

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

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See for Yourself!

Source Documents for this site   –   8,000+ Images

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

All rights reserved  Before There Was A Dam

email: paul@pmarrone.com

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