Prescott, Massachusetts

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Prescott, Massachusetts
"Old Prescott Town Hall"
"Old Prescott Town Hall"
Coordinates: 42°26′00″N 72°19′30″W / 42.43333°N 72.32500°W / 42.43333; -72.32500Coordinates: 42°26′00″N 72°19′30″W / 42.43333°N 72.32500°W / 42.43333; -72.32500
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Hampshire
Incorporated 1822
Disincorporated April 28, 1938
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC)

Prescott was a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1822 from portions of Pelham and New Salem, and was partially built on Equivalent Lands. It was named in honor of Colonel William Prescott, who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was unincorporated on April 28, 1938, as part of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir. It was the least populous of the four unincorporated towns, with barely 300 residents by 1900. Upon dissolution, 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 an annual tour given by the Swift River Valley Historical Society. None of the land is in Hampshire County any longer; 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 dissolution of incorporation, houses were moved or razed, but cellar holes remained. The Prescott First Congregational Church was moved to South Hadley.

The former site of Prescott Center was home to the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory from 1969 to 2011.[1] Scientific work conducted on the 14-meter radio telescope will be continued on the modern 50-meter Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico.[2]

Prescott House, an on-campus living facility at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, is named after the former town.

Old town line sign between New Salem and Prescott

Quabbin towns[edit]


  1. ^ "MWRA Historic Observatory at Quabbin Decommissioned". Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  2. ^ "FCRAO General Information". Astronomy Department at the University of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  • Tougias, Michael. Quabbin: A History and Explorer's Guide. Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts: On Cape Publications, 2002.

External links[edit]