Blog written by: Sam Nunlist, Southern Rover Interpreter
Everyone knows about Atlantis, the city that was plunged into the depths of the ocean after their defeat to the Greeks. That story is most likely made up by the philosopher Plato, but there is a closer city that is resting under the murky waters of Everett Lake (home of Clough State Park). This was the old city of East Weare, New Hampshire and it has an interesting backstory relating to the dams built by the Army Corps of Engineers not much further downstream.
Now for a bit of history on the matter:
1927 – Most of New England’s rivers, including the Merrimack and all of its tributaries flood out of control. A few people lose their lives and many homes and businesses are destroyed.
1936 – The worst flood in 300 years strikes the New England, ending 24 lives as well as causing 700,000 people to be homeless. There was also water damage in the tens of millions of dollars (hundreds of millions if it happened today)
1938 – Plans for New Hampshire are set in place to set up a two-dam system to help prevent anything like the last flood from happening again.
1959 – Due to some roadblocks, especially the location of East Weare right up stream, the construction of the dams were held off until this year.
1962 – Everett dam was completed
1963 – The second dam, Hopkinton, was completed
Since its construction, the reservoirs for flood water have only needed to be utilized 7 times, but there is still an estimated $200 million saved from flooding of the Contoocook River and possibly saved lives as well.
During this timeline, the city of East Weare was bought out and the people relocated all throughout the New Hampshire and Massachusetts area. There are still building foundations under the water, from what I’ve been told by the excellent staff of Clough State Park which is upstream of the dam. From Clough you have an amazing view of Everett Dam as well as a beach that is accessible through the day use park, where fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and family outings are all commonplace.
Come down to Clough on Saturdays and take part in some interactive and educational programs such as ponding (the catching of small critters that live in the waters of Everett Lake,) history of furbears (where I will have animal pelts and will tell you New Hampshire’s trapping history,) or even my Everett Dam tabling where I recap the information here as well as give a demonstration on how the dam works! See you then!
For more information about the Hopkington Everett Reservoir visit The US Army Corps of Engineers website.