Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts

The Quabbin Reservoir is the state's largest body of water at 412 billion gallons, and the primary source of water for the Boston area. It began to fill in 1939, after the completion of the Winsor Dam, and by the time it was full in 1946, it was then the world's largest artificial drinking water reservoir. The creation of the Quabbin (a Nipmuck Indian word meaning "a lot of water") required the forced evacuation of four towns: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, and the displacement of 2,500 people. Of those four towns, Enfield, incorporated in 1816, was the largest. On April 27, 1938, the good people of Enfield assembled in the town hall, where a Farewell Ball was then held to commemorate the loss of their town, shortly before its disincorporation and ultimate erasure. In total, over 1,000 buildings were either demolished or moved, and over 7,000 graves were dug up and reinterred in a new graveyard near the shore of the reservoir. Roads, foundations, and railroad roadbeds remain under the 25,000-acre reservoir, visible only to sonar probes and state-sanctioned divers.