BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) - This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of an event that changed the landscape of western Massachusetts.
On April 28, 1938 at 12:01 a.m. four western Massachusetts towns and parts of seven others ceased to exist. The towns of Enfield, Dana, Greenwich and Prescott are now all at the bottom of the Quabbin Reservoir.
More than 2,500 people were displaced after the state decided it needed the land for a Reservoir that would provide water to the Boston area.
All the buildings in all the towns had to be leveled and bodies had to be moved to new cemeteries. After the land was cleared water form the Swift River was released and after seven years, from 1939 to 1946 the four towns were under 150 feet of water.
Today the Quabbin Reservoir holds over 412 billion gallons of water.
"There are 51 communities that are supplied with water from this system. Boston being the largest and best known but there are three communities in Western Mass. Chicopee, Wilbraham and South Hadley and the other 48 are east of here," said DCR Quabbin Program Coordinator Cliff Read.
The Quabbin is the largest body of fresh water in Massachusetts but it's more than just a reservoir.
"It's a great place to take the kids for a walk, enjoy nature... get some exercise," said Ed Young
On April 27th 1938 the night before the four towns ceased to exist a Farewell Ball was held in the town of Enfield.
This weekend a Remembrance Ball is being held Saturday night at the Ware Town Hall to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quabbin Reservoir.