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"Reservoir Disaster" article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Nine days after the Mill River flood of 1874, newspapers such as the Greenfield Gazette & Courier, continued their coverage of the disaster by detailing the property losses and the costs of rebuilding. Survivors had acted quickly to rebuild the valley. The day after the disaster, they petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature to pay to rebuild roads and bridges (the Legislature paid most of it) and beseeched their local mill owners to rebuild at once; most did. The flood was caused by a reservoir dam failure after which a giant floodwave washed out a narrow western Massachusetts valley lined with factories and farms. In 1874 the Mill River flood was the most deadly dam failure on record in the U.S.; 139 died.
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