Ghost Towns of Massachusetts

Ghost Towns Of Massachusetts, United States Ghost Towns

Catamount

County: Franklin
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42° 39′ 10.8  N, 72° 45′ 21.6  W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1800s
Disestablished: 1900s
Comments: Catamount is a former village of Colrain, Massachusetts. In 1812, the schoolhouse that once stood in Catamount was the first schoolhouse to fly the United States Flag.
Remains: From the mid 18th century until the late 19th century, Catamount was mainly a farming community. Nearby Pocumtuck Mountain was often a popular destination for people around the state. In 1880, the Old Home Days festival on Pocumtuck Mountain was visited by Massachusetts Governor John Davis Long.
Current Status: Due in part to the remote, mountainous location, Catamount was abandoned in the early 20th century. Much of the land was acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1967, leading to the creation of the Catamount State Forest. Catamount is currently accessible to hikers and snowmobilers.
Remarks: McLeod Pond is a popular destination for local fishers and canoers. Catamount State Forest is managed by the Mohawk Trail State Forest.

Dana (Submerged to form Quabbin Reservoir)

County: Worcester
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°25′19″N 72°13′39″W / 42.42194°N 72.22750°W / 42.42194
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: February 18, 1801
Disestablished: April 28, 1938
Comments: Dana was a town located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Dana was lost as a result of the formation of the Quabbin Reservoir.
Remains: As with the nearby town of Prescott, after the disincorporation, houses were moved or razed, but cellar holes remained. The public is only allowed to visit the former town of Dana by foot, as the old narrow road is blocked off to cars. In the town center (which is still somewhat maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation), a stone marker has been installed, which reads: “SITE OF DANA COMMON 1801-1938 To all those who sacrificed their homes and way of life (Erected by Dana Reunion, 1996)”. The common and a 68-acre (28 ha) area encompassing the former town center has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Current Status: Formed from parts of Petersham, Greenwich, and Hardwick, it was incorporated in 1801. The town was named for Massachusetts statesman Francis Dana. The town was disincorporated on April 28, 1938, as part of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. Upon disincorporation, all of the town was returned to the adjacent town of Petersham. The majority of the land of the former town is still above water.
Remarks: 

Davis

County: Franklin
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude:  42°41′52″N 72°52′13″W / 42.69778°N 72.87028°W / 42.69778
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1882
Disestablished: 1911
Comments: Davis, Massachusetts is the abandoned location of the Davis Pyrite Mine. located in the town of Rowe, Massachusetts. Once the largest iron pyrite-mine in Massachusetts, Davis grew to be a decent-sized mining village at the beginnings of the Second Industrial Revolution (1870–1915). But, in 1911, a non-fatal collapse of the mine due to “poor mining practices” ended the nearly 30-year run.
Remains: By 1937, the mining camp had faded, and all that remained were a blacksmith shop and about 150 cellar holes.
Current Status: Little remains of the camp today. The area has several cellar holes of defunct houses, and the second-growth forest has staked its claim to much of the land along these unpaved backroads. However, the Davis Mine is a major study area as there are ecological concerns due to a pollution plume exuding from the old workings down into Davis Mine Creek. When the mine collapsed, groundwater seeped into the old workings, and now flows out and downhill into the creek. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has used this as a study site. The remains of the Davis Mine are on private property (it is posted), so access is not available. Other abandoned mines of the Davis Mine period in the Charlemont area within the Hawley “Mineral Belt” stratabound massive sulfide deposits are the Hawks or Mt. Peak Mine and the Mary Louise or Davenport Mine.
Remarks: It was in the wooded hills between the two towns that an iron pyrite outcrop was discovered and a mine developed by H.J. Davis around 1882. The eastern section of Rowe, called Davis, became the center of activity because of the profitable operation of Davis Sulfur Ore Mine for twenty-nine years. The Davis Mine supplied a major economic boost to both Rowe and Charlemont.

Dogtown

County: Essex
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°38’20 N 70°39’15 W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1693
Disestablished: 1830
Comments: Dogtown (also Dogtown Commons or Dogtown Common or Dogtown Village) is an abandoned inland settlement on Cape Ann in Massachusetts.
Remains: Once known as the Common Settlement, the area later known as Dogtown is divided between the city of Gloucester and the town of Rockport. Dogtown was first settled in 1693, and according to legend the name of the settlement came from dogs that women kept while their husbands were fighting in the American Revolution. The community grew to be 5-square-miles, and was an ideal location as it provided protection from pirates, and enemy natives. By the early 1700s, the land was opened up to individual settlement as previously it had been used as common land for wood and pasturing cattle and sheep. It is estimated that at one point 60 to 80 homes stood in Dogtown at the peak height of its population. In the mid-1700s as many as 100 families inhabited Dogtown which was stable until after the American Revolution.
Current Status: After its abandonment, Dogtown was a mostly cleared open field with abundant boulders around. Nearby residents looked towards this land as a way to graze their farm animals. These animals were kept in private lots into the 1920s when the last of the plots were abandoned. In the decades that followed what was once open land eventually became a dense forest.
Remarks: Various factors led to the demise of Dogtown which included a revived fishing industry from Gloucester Harbor after the American Revolution had ended. The area had become safe again from enemy ships which allowed cargo to move in and out of the new fishing port. The success gave way to International shipping which included timber, and quarried rock. New coastal roads were built that also contributed to the Dog Town’s demise as they ran past the town to Gloucester which at the time was booming. Most of the farmers in the town moved away by the end of the War of 1812 as Dogtown had become a risk for coastal bombardment. Dogtown eventually became an embarrassment with its dwindled reputation, and some of its last occupants were suspected of practicing witchcraft.

Enfield (Submerged to form Quabbin Reservoir)

County: Hampshire
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°19′0″N 72°19′58″W / 42.31667°N 72.33278°W / 42.31667
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: February 15, 1816
Disestablished: April 28, 1938
Comments: The Quabbin Valley is a region of Massachusetts in the United States. The region consists of areas drained by the Quabbin Reservoir and accompanying river systems in Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. The area is sometimes known as the Swift River Valley region, a reference to the Swift River, which was dammed to form the reservoir.
Remains: At its most restrictive, the Quabbin-Swift River Valley includes the towns immediately bordering the reservoir and lower length of the river. These towns include Belchertown, Hardwick, New Salem, Pelham, Petersham, Shutesbury, Palmer, and Ware.
Current Status: Upon the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, four additional towns in the valley were officially disincorporated, their area absorbed by surrounding municipalities. These towns are Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.
Remarks: Many people living in those towns fought unsuccessfully to prevent the construction of the reservoir, arguing that it was unfair to move the Swift River Valley inhabitants to provide drinking water for Boston residents, and the movement has become a part of Western Massachusetts folklore.

Greenwich (Submerged to form Quabbin Reservoir)

County: Franklin
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°21’33 N 72°17’47 W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1739
Disestablished: April 28, 1938
Comments: The Quabbin Valley is a region of Massachusetts in the United States. The region consists of areas drained by the Quabbin Reservoir and accompanying river systems in Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. The area is sometimes known as the Swift River Valley region, a reference to the Swift River, which was dammed to form the reservoir.
Remains: At its most restrictive, the Quabbin-Swift River Valley includes the towns immediately bordering the reservoir and lower length of the river. These towns include Belchertown, Hardwick, New Salem, Pelham, Petersham, Shutesbury, Palmer, and Ware.
Current Status: Upon the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, four additional towns in the valley were officially disincorporated, their area absorbed by surrounding municipalities. These towns are Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.
Remarks: Many people living in those towns fought unsuccessfully to prevent the construction of the reservoir, arguing that it was unfair to move the Swift River Valley inhabitants to provide drinking water for Boston residents, and the movement has become a part of Western Massachusetts folklore.

Hillsboro

County: Franklin
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1899
Disestablished: 1934
Comments: Hillsboro was a former settlement or town in Franklin County, Massachusetts.
Remains: 
Current Status: There was still a post office there until it was disestablished in 1934,  which was established in 1899.
Remarks: 

Long Point

County: Barnstable
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°01′37″N 70°10′19″W / 42.027°N 70.172°W / 42.027
Elevation: 24 ft (7 m)
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1863
Disestablished: 1872
Comments: Long Point is a peninsula located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the extreme tip of Cape Cod, as it curls back in on itself to create Provincetown Harbor. The Long Point Light was built on this point in 1827. The lighthouse once shared this peninsula with a settlement of fishermen that came to be known as Long Point, Massachusetts. This Provincetown village grew and thrived from 1818 until the late 1850s. When the settlers decided to leave Long Point, they took most of their houses with them – about 30 homes in all – by floating them across the harbor.
Remains: During the American Civil War, the military established a defensive coastal artillery post and garrison at this location. The Long Point Battery came to be known as “Fort Useless” and “Fort Ridiculous” among the local residents.
Current Status: Today, Long Point is a ghost village – nothing remains, except for the lighthouse and an earthen mound, the last remnant from the earlier military post.
Remarks: In 1873, a lighthouse inspection revealed that the original wooden light – whose unique architectural design came to be known as a “Cape Cod style lighthouse” – had deteriorated to such a poor condition that it might have been destroyed by a strong storm. In 1875, that light was replaced with the brick tower that stands today.

Prescott (Submerged to form Quabbin Reservoir)

County: Hampshire
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°23’30 N 72°20’41 W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1822
Disestablished: April 28, 1938
Comments: The Quabbin Valley is a region of Massachusetts in the United States. The region consists of areas drained by the Quabbin Reservoir and accompanying river systems in Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. The area is sometimes known as the Swift River Valley region, a reference to the Swift River, which was dammed to form the reservoir.
Remains: At its most restrictive, the Quabbin-Swift River Valley includes the towns immediately bordering the reservoir and lower length of the river. These towns include Belchertown, Hardwick, New Salem, Pelham, Petersham, Shutesbury, Palmer, and Ware.
Current Status: Upon the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, four additional towns in the valley were officially disincorporated, their area absorbed by surrounding municipalities. These towns are Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.
Remarks: Many people living in those towns fought unsuccessfully to prevent the construction of the reservoir, arguing that it was unfair to move the Swift River Valley inhabitants to provide drinking water for Boston residents, and the movement has become a part of Western Massachusetts folklore.

Questing

County: Berkshire
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 42°07′19″N 73°15′06″W / 42.1219°N 73.2518°W / 42.1219
Elevation: 
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1996
Disestablished: 
Comments: Questing is a 438-acre (177 ha) open space preserve and colonial-era historic site located in New Marlborough, Massachusetts within The Berkshires. The property, acquired in 1996 by the land conservation non-profit organization The Trustees of Reservations, is named for a mythical beast from Arthurian Mythology called the Questing Beast.
Remains: Questing Reservation is on a hill where the first fort was built in the original New Marlborough settlement, and where the first non-Native American children were born, the Brookins twins. The precise location of this site is no longer known. Later this site was also the location of the settlement of the Leffingwell family, abandoned in the Great Depression. The only remains of the Leffingwell farmstead are cellar holes and stone walls.
Current Status: The reservation includes hiking trails, open meadows and hayfields, vernal pools, and streams. It is open to hiking, picnicking, cross country skiing, and hunting (in season). A trailhead is located on New Marlborough Hill Road in New Marlborough. Bikes, snowmobiles, and motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Remarks: The property was acquired in 1992 and 1996 through land gifts by Robert A. Lehman and Richard W. Sellew.

Whitewash Village

County: Barnstable
Zip Code: 
Latitude / Longitude: 
41° 33′ 33.5  N, 69° 59′ 37.1  W
Elevation: 
Time Zone: 
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1710
Disestablished: 1860
Comments: Whitewash Village was a village settlement on Monomoy Island in Massachusetts, established sometime around 1710. The village received its name from the belief that the settlement contained vestiges of a strong economic framework that had lasted for many years, and had been “bestowed upon it.” A tavern for sailors was opened up in the location of today’s Hospital Pond, known then as Wreck Cove.
Remains: During the early 19th century, a deep natural harbor at Monomoy’s inner shore known as the Powder Hole attracted a sizable fishing settlement. In its prime, Whitewash Village housed about 200 residents, a tavern inn called Monomoit House, and Public School #13, which boasted 16 students at one time. Cod and mackerel brought in to the Monomoy port were dried and packed for markets in Boston and New York. Lobsters were also plentiful, providing both food and income for the villagers, who peddled them to mainlanders at about two cents apiece. There were residents of the village known as “wreckers,” because they would oftentimes pray for, and sometimes even cause shipwrecks, which they would subsequently strip of any valuable items.
Current Status: Abandoned after being washed away by a hurricane in 1860.
Remarks: The village was abandoned after its harbor was washed away by a hurricane around 1860. Monomoy Island on which the village was located has ever-changing geography, with many storms in the past disconnecting and reconnecting the island to the mainland. As of today, the only reminder that Monomoy Island was once inhabited is the Monomoy Point Light.

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