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New Salem



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People interested in the history, culture, natural resources, and recreational opportunities of the North Quabbin can find more detail in the books listed below. Many are available through local sources (such as the Millers River Environmental Center, Bruce’s Browser, Trail Head Store, New Salem General Store, and Petersham Country Store). Out-of-print books may be available through libraries, used book stores, or web services.

AMC River Guide: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, 4th Edition (Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club, 2006). Comprehensive information about boating and exploring the Millers River - and many others!

Around the Quabbin: Where Nature Flourishes and History Comes to Life, by David McLaughlin (Scottsdale, AZ: Pentacle, 2006). A guided driving tour around the south end of the Quabbin, from New Salem to Petersham, with wonderful photographs.

Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to Sea, 3rd Edition (Guilford, CT: Falcon Guide, 2007). The authoritative guide for boaters, canoeists and kayakers, complete with maps, photos, practical information, and informative mini-essays, distributed by the Connecticut River Watershed Council. One of the authors is North Quabbin resident Elizabeth Farnsworth, an outstanding botanist and avid kayaker.

Creation of the Quabbin Reservoir: Death of the Swift River Valley, by J.R. Greene (Privately printed, 2001). The definitive history, by a local expert who also presents slide shows.

Cutting a Bond with the Long Trail, by Clare Green (Privately printed, 2006). A remarkable tribute to Ned Green, a collection of journals and poetry he wrote during treks along Vermont's Long Trail. Compiled by his mother, a North Quabbin guide.

Hiking The Pioneer Valley, by Bruce Scofield (North Amherst, MA: New England Cartographics, 2003) A brief overview of the geology and cultural history of the Massachusetts section of the Connecticut River valley and a detailed description of 30 loop hikes, six in the North Quabbin.

Historic Quabbin Hikes, by J.R. Greene (Athol, MA: Highland Press, 1994) A brief introduction to the history of the Quabbin Reservoir and the Lost Towns it inundated, plus detailed cultural history descriptions of hikes through numerous gates.

Hometown Chronicles, by Dick Chaisson (Athol, MA: Millers River Publishing Co., 1985). Collection of newspaper articles about the North Quabbin area.

Local Wood: From Forest to Finished Product in the North Quabbin Region, MA (DVD, running time 40 minutes) (Produced by North Quabbin Woods, 2006).  Viewers tour the North Quabbin region to meet foresters, loggers, sawmill operators, and woodworkers who demonstrate the process of developing an end product from standing timber and the benefits of using local wood.

Lost Towns of the Quabbin Valley, by Elizabeth Peirce (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2003). Part of the "Images of America" series - a collection of annotated photographs that record some of what was lost when the Swift River was dammed to create the Quabbin Reservoir.

Massachusetts Trail Guide, 10th Edition, edited by W.G. Smith (Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club, 2004). Thorough descriptions of 350 hiking trails, including many in the North Quabbin region, with comprehensive maps - great for planning day trips, overnight outings, and major-league hikes.

Metacomet-Monadnock Trail Guide, 10th Edition (North Amherst, MA: Berkshire Chapter AMC, 2005; available through New England Cartographics). A comprehensive guide to the M&M Trail, from the Massachusetts/Connecticut border to Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire, including Sections 15-19, which run through the North Quabbin.

Nature Walks in Central Massachusetts, by Michael Tougias and René Laubach (Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club, 1996). Detailed, natural-history-rich descriptions of 42 hikes in Middlesex, Worcester, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, including 11 in the North Quabbin.

New England Forestry Foundation: Foundation Forests (Littleton, MA: New England Forestry Foundation, 1998). A detailed description of the role of NEFF in conservation and forestry and of a number of its many properties throughout New England, including five in the North Quabbin. (Available with membership.)

New England Forests Through Time: Insights from the Harvard Forest Dioramas, by David R. Foster and John F. O’Keefe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000). The landscape history of New England, told through concise text and the renowned dioramas of the Fisher Museum.

North of Quabbin Revisited, by Allen Young (Athol, MA.: Haley’s, 2003). A fascinating A-to-Z compendium of the people, places, and things in the North Quabbin.

Property Guide for Members of The Trustees of Reservations (Beverly, MA: The Trustees of Reservations, 2001). A detailed description of the role of TTOR in conservation and of its many properties, including eight in the North Quabbin. (Available with membership.)

Quabbin: A History and Explorers’ Guide, by Michael Tougias (Yarmouth Port, MA: On Cape Publications, 2002) Fascinating collection of historical data, stories, natural history, recreational opportunities, and photographs of the Quabbin area.

Quabbin Reservation Guide (North Amherst, MA: New England Cartographics) Marvelous paper or waterproof map of the Quabbin identifying gate and boating locations and a summary of regulations on recreational use.

Quabbin: The Accidental Wilderness, by Thomas Conuel (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1990). A naturalist’s perspective on the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir and the ecological wonder it created.

Quiet Water: Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island Canoe and Kayak Guide, 2nd Edition, by Alex Wilson and John Hayes (Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club, 2004). A description of 100 canoe and kayak voyages in Southern New England, five in the North Quabbin, each providing practical information and natural history notes, plus six essays on quiet water ecology.

Stepping Back to Look Forward: A History of the Massachusetts Forest, edited by Charles H.W. Foster (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1998). A beautiful series of essays on the ecological and economic history of Massachusetts forests, private and professional forestry practices, and town, state and national forests.

Strange Tales from Old Quabbin, by J.R. Greene (Privately printed, 1993) True stories of unusual people and places from the towns in the old Swift River Valley, the valley that became the Quabbin Reservoir in the 1930s.

The Day Four Quabbin Towns Died, by J.R. Greene (Privately printed, 1985) Stirring account of the day in 1938 when the Lost Towns inundated by the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir legally went out of existence.

Walks of New England, by Gary Ferguson (New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1989) Detailed descriptions of 75 short hikes in New England, two in the North Quabbin, concentrating on natural history.

Waterfalls of Massachusetts: An Explorer’s Guide to 55 Natural Scenic Wonders, by Joseph Bushee, Jr. (North Amherst, MA: New England Cartographics, 2004). Photographs and detailed descriptions of the state’s most viewable waterfalls, including four in the North Quabbin.