“Realization That Day of Doom Has Dawned on the Town”–a headline which accurately summed up 1897 in West Boylston. For two years, the townspeople suspected the reservoir would soon flood the town. However, there was always that feeling that things could change for the town.
Then, once 1897 rolled around, the truth was undeniable: buildings would be destroyed or moved. People whose families had lived in town for generations may be required to relocate. Farmers would lose their land. The population of mill workers–largely immigrants–would lose their livelihood. Though some hoped for change, nothing would change. People would need to pack up their homes and plug up their plumbing. As Mary Cook puts it in the newspaper clipping below, “When the order comes to tie knots in their sink drains there is nothing to do but tie.”
Want to know more about the construction of the reservoir? Take a look at one of our books: “Wachusett: How Boston’s 19th Century Quest for Water Changed Four Towns and A Way of Life” by Eamon McCarthy Earls