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On May 16, 1874, in the hills of western Massachusetts, the Williamsburg reservoir dam broke, devastating a narrow valley lined with factories and farms and leaving 139 dead. At the time, it was the most deadly dam failure on record in the U.S. Amasa Jones, a Deerfield farmer, recorded the event in his diary, among the other entries of local deaths, accidents, and illness. His diary demonstrates that death and sickness among young people was much more prevalent in 1874 than today, but that the losses of individuals were no less mourned.


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Page from Amasa Jones diary regarding Mill River Disaster Flood

author   Amasa Jones (1813-1877)
date   May 16, 1874
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   4.75"
height   7.0"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Diary
accession #   #L05.004

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See Also...

Page from Josiah Allen diary regarding Mill River Disaster Flood

"The Mill River Disaster" article from the Journal of Industry newspaper

"Daily Graphic" newspaper illustration- 'Birdseye View of the Williamsburgh Reservior with the Ruined Dam'

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