Prescott is a former town in
Hampshire County, Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1822from portions of Pelham and New Salem. It was named in honor of Colonel William Prescott, who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was disincorporated on April 28, 1938as part of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. It was the least populated of the four disincorporated towns, with barely 300 residents by 1900. Upon disincorporation, portions of the town were annexed to the adjacent towns of New Salem and Petersham. The majority of the former town (the New Salem portion) is still above water, and is known as the Prescott Peninsula. The public is not allowed on the peninsula except for a once-a-year tour given by the Swift River Valley Historical Society. None of the land is in Hampshire County anymore; the New Salem portion is in Franklin County and the Petersham portion is in Worcester County.
As with the nearby town of Dana, after the disincorporation, houses were moved or razed, but cellar holes remained.
The former site of Prescott Center is now home to the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory, a 14-meter
radio telescopeoperated by the Five College astronomy department. The telescope will soon be decommissioned, with its scientific work to be continued by the modern Large Millimeter Telescope, which is under construction in Mexico.
Prescott House, an on-campus living facility at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, is named after the former town.
* http://menotomymaps.com/quab_1.html. Map showing the towns buried under Quabbin as they looked in 1912 with original house locations and current reservoir water level.
* Tougias, Michael. "Quabbin: A History And Explorer's Guide". Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts: On Cape Publications, 2002.)
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