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The Tide Has Turned:
20th Century Environmental and Social Changes
on the MHC Waterfront


This image shows the dam on Upper Lake in 1937. The capacity of the dam was increased as a result of flooding three years later. Courtesy MHC Archives (33).

From the 1940s through the 1980s, Mount Holyoke College drastically altered the way in which it used its water resources. Because of both environmental and social reasons, the college was forced both to engage in major projects relating to the lakes, including improving the dam on Upper Lake and dredging both ponds twice, and to restrict access to the lakes.

The spring of 1940 saw Upper Lake dam overflowing. The college worked the following summer to improve the dam's capacity. Click here to read more about dam construction.

Upper and Lower Lakes both have a long history of human involvement. After the water chesnut, an invasive species, was found in both, the college had to take major action. Click here to read more about the college's response to the water chesnut and the dredging of Upper and Lower Lakes.

All of these changes were bound to have a social impact. The lakes, especially Upper Lake, had been viewed by the greater South Hadley community as a local resource. This changed as the college deemed it necessary to restrict access to the lakes. Click here to read more about the social impacts.

Atlas Home Going With the Flow: Main Title

Placing Industry in Eden: 19th Century

Shooting the Rapids: 1920s

The Tide Has Turned: the Modern Era
This page was created by Sandy North '05 in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 -