Reservoir & WatershedWinsor DamSpillwayGoodnough DikeWater Supply
CostsQuabbin ParkHistoricalForestryWildlife

Reservoir and Watershed

Reservoir length 18 miles
Reservoir depth (max) 151 feet
Reservoir depth (avg) 45 feet
Shoreline (without islands) 118 miles
Island shoreline 63 miles
Reservoir capacity 412 billion gallons
Reservoir surface area 25,000 acres
Top one inch when full 750 million gallons
Area of watershed 120,000 acres
Area of Prescott Peninsula 12,300 acres
Area of islands 3,500 acres
Highest watershed elevation (Prospect Hill, Phillipston) 1,383 feet
Reservoir elevation when full, Boston City Base (BCB) 530 feet
Towns in watershed Athol, Barre, Belchertown, Hardwick, New Salem, Orange, Pelham, Petersham, Phillipston, Shutesbury, Ware, Wendell
Swift River release (legal requirement) 20 million gallons/day
Average annual precipitation 44 inches
Average precipitation yield to reservoir 50%
Average reservoir gain from 1 inch precipitation 1.6 billion gallons

Winsor Dam

Built 1935-1939
Length 2,640 feet
Maximum height above bedrock 295 feet
Height above Swift River 170 feet
Fill used 4 million cubic yards
Width at top / bottom 35 feet / 724 feet
Number of caissons 40

Winsor Dam Spillway

Length 400 feet
Height 4-15 feet
Width 7-12 feet
Height above riverbed 155 feet

Goodnough Dike

Built 1933-38
Length 2,140 feet
Width top / bottom 35 feet / 878 feet
Height above bedrock 264 feet
Height above Beaver Brook 135 feet
Fill used 2.5 million cubic yards
Number of caissons 31

Water Supply

Lowest safe level -40' (38% capacity)
Lowest historic level (3/5/67) -34.3' (45% capacity)
Highest historic level (6/1/84) +1.8' (103% capacity)
Number of years over spillway 16
Daily safe yield (entire MDC system) 300 million gallons
Population served
  • 1946
  • 1963
  • 1990

  • 1.5 million
  • 2.1 million
  • 2.2 million
Per capita use (includes industrial)
  • 1950
  • 1963
  • 1980
  • 1990

  • 104 gallons/day
  • 138 gallons/day
  • 177 gallons/day
  • 151 gallons/day

Costs

Acquisition of real estate $9.6 million
Construction of Winsor Dam $5.85 million
Construction of Goodnough Dike $2.9 million
Relocation work $1.39 million
Reforestation work $135,000
1936 Clearing Project $1.84 million
Quabbin Park Cemetery $266,000
Total Project Costs $53 million
Lives lost during construction 26

Quabbin Park

Opened to public July 1945
Administration Building built 1938-39
Visitor Center opened 1984
Size 3,200 acres
Public roads 12 miles
Trails 22 miles
Quabbin Hill Lookout Tower
  • Built
  • Height
  • Elevation at base
  • States seen
  • Sight distance (Mt. Greylock)

  • 1940-41
  • 84 feet
  • 1,033 feet
  • MA, NH, CT
  • 62 miles
Quabbin Park Cemetery
  • Built
  • Remains transferred
  • Total grave sites (1990)
  • Size
  • Developed area

  • 1931-32
  • 6,601
  • 7,971
  • 82 acres
  • 22 acres
Winsor Memorial
  • Dedicated
  • Rededicated

  • 6/17/41
  • 6/16/88

Historical

Date towns discontinued April 28, 1938
Number of structures removed 1,100
Number of homes removed 650
Population displaced 2,500
Highways abandoned 242 miles
Highways relocated 36 miles
Railroad tracks removed 31.5 miles
Number of cemeteries removed 34
Grave sites removed 7,613
Size of original taking 80,443 acres
Average cost per acre $108

Forestry

Seedlings planted 1936-46 8.2 million
Number of native-tree species 70+
Hardwood forest cover 67%
Softwood forest cover 33%
Forest cover types
  • Timber - 60-100+ years old
  • Poles - 40-60 years old
  • Seedling & sapling
  • Fields

  • 66%
  • 33%
  • <1%
  • <1%
Gravel roads in Quabbin Reservation 250 miles
Annual seedling plantings 40,000 trees

Wildlife

Bird species total / confirmed nesting 250+ / 120+
First recorded Loon nesting 1975
Bald Eagle
  • First recorded
  • Introduction Program
  • Number of birds released
  • First successful nest
  • Maximum recorded in a season
  • Cost of program

  • 1948
  • 1982-88
  • 41
  • 1989
  • 42
  • $210,000
Mammal species 50
Fish species 27
First Coyote seen 1971
Amphibian species 19
Reptil species 15

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