FOQ was organized in late 1984 and early 1985, due mostly to the efforts of Les and Terry Campbell and some of their friends who saw a growing desire for information on the area from the thousands of visitors that flocked to Quabbin annually. Their efforts resulted in the establishment and dedication of the Visitor Center by the MDC on December 7, 1984. Housed on the first floor of the Administration Building in Quabbin Park, the Visitor Center is located in the most scenic area of the reservation, offering the best views of the reservoir, Winsor Dam, Goodnough Dike, and the great wilderness that forms the watershed.
Soon hundreds of visitors were coming in for information on the Swift River Valley towns that were eliminated to make way for the reservoir, on current environmental issues, on wildlife and to find out about the best hiking trails and where to see eagles.
Lois Barnes, a former resident of the Quabbin area, was put in charge of an oral history project begun by FOQ to help research and preserve the history of Quabbin and to record the memories of people who once lived in the Swift River Valley. A weekly event called Tuesday Tea, which brings together former residents who share their memories and memorabilia, has become an institution at the Visitor Center.
A full-time Interpretive Services Staff is on hand to interpret current issues, such as wildlife management, including re-establishment of the bald eagle, increased use of the watershed for recreation, forestry regeneration, increase in deer herds, conservation of water resources and many others.