Dirt pathway leading to Lake Massasoit (1914)
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This photograph shows a dirt path that leads around Springfield Massachusetts' Lake Massasoit. The photograph is dated July 6, 1914. The photograph was most likely taken on the campus of Springfield College. In 1809, Lake Massasoit was formed by the army by damming the Mill River. The purpose of the dam was to ensure a constant flow of water downstream for the Springfield Armory “Watershops.” The Springfield Armory was America’s first and last National Armory, formed in 1777 and continuing production up until 1968. The formerly named Watershops Pond has 7 miles of shoreline and covers 186 acres. From 1892-1900, the buildings of Springfield College began to come about, and the name was changed to Lake Massasoit by Springfield College officials. The name came from a local hotel, the Massasoit House, owned by Marvin Chapin, a generous benefactor of the college. In 1920, the college purchased a large area of land on the upper end of the pond, and called it the “Freshman Camp.” Since the college was formed, students, faculty and visitors have used the Pond for sailing, swimming, ice skating and fishing. However, the lake was officially closed for swimming in 1984 when the lake was said to be unhealthy.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
International Young Men's Christian Association College
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