The Story That Ought To Be Told
In 1895, the Massachusetts state legislature established the Metropolitan Water Board and for the first time approached the Boston water supply problems from a metropolitan viewpoint. The project sought to combine the water needs of towns within a ten mile radius of the State House into a single system with collection in west and distribution in a wide arc ranging from Peabody to Framingham and on to Quincy. Suffice it to say that this world class project has been well documented and is readily accessible to the general public.
This focus of this study will be on the collection system (the Wachusett Dam and Reservoir) and how exactly this massive undertaking was accomplished in the age of steam and horse.
There will be lots of engineering and logistics discussed as well as the environmental and the human interest resulting from the displacement of such large numbers of people and businesses.
The archived records resembled nothing so much as a deck of shuffled cards but after diligence and effort the vast pile was ultimately collated and the stories began to emerge.
-The great dam at Clinton, were it to be built today, would be constructed in an exactly similar fashion, just the tools have changed.
-The people appear ready to step right out of the images. Imagine what they would think of us.
So, browse the content, feel free to submit questions on the things you see and on the things you might wish to see and subscribe to the quarterly newsletter to see added or updated material. There will always be room for more research.
Editor’s Note: Some articles have been generously contributed by the engineering students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
The primary source of material for this work is derived from the public domain listed below with contributions from local historical societies and supplemented by online research
Our supporters and contributors…
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Massachusetts Department of Conservation a& Recreation
Beaman Public Library
West Boylston Historical Society
Boylston Historical Society
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Editor and Author…
The editor, Paul Marrone, a retired engineer and construction project manager, grew up in the shadow of the Wachusett Dam. In his retirement he is applying extensive knowledge and experience gained from years spent on major construction projects to forensically reconstruct the project as it might have unfolded.
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