Kayley C. of Barre
Remembering Dana

In the late 1930s, the Swift River Valley was evacuated, destroyed, then flooded to make the Quabbin Reservoir. Located in that valley was the town of Dana, home to Kayley’s grandfather and his family. Today, only the town common remains above water. You can visit the common through Gate 40 in Petersham. Once you reach the common, you will find empty cellar holes where buildings once stood. But the buildings and houses have long since disappeared and, for those who never knew the town, it’s hard to imagine what it once looked like. Kayley’s project aimed to give a voice to the town which her grandfather once called home and to help others remember the lost town of Dana. By collaborating with the DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation), Kayley researched the town’s history and used that knowledge to produce plaques highlighting the town’s buildings. The plaques were secured onto wooden posts and placed at each cellar hole. “Not many people know about the lost town, but now with this project, I wish to continue on the story and hope Dana never gets lost again.” Each fall students at the local middle school visit the Quabbin Reservoir and it is Kayley’s hope that the addition of the memorial plaques will ensure that the Dana town common will become a new, educational part of their trip.

Kayley has been a Girl Scout for many years, including spending the last ten summers at a Girl Scout camp in New Hampshire. She is in multiple performing arts groups, such as the Maplewind Youth Orchestra, Quabbin Drama, and String Theory Fiddlers. While only a sophomore in high school, Kayley recognizes that there are many opportunities available to her in the future. In addition to attending college, settling down and raising a family, Kayley says, “There's a lot of things I love to do and want to pursue later in life… I really want to travel and see the world, so I might even study abroad, or learn a bunch of languages and be a translator, or be a house painter, or even get a job as the principal cellist in the theater pit orchestra.”