Basin Pond in Lee, we hiked the high trail long loop to the old dam and took the short loop back this trail has amazing stone work, bridge crossings and history of the dam approx. 3 miles which took 3 hours with the ice. Best views here are definitely in winter. Ice was everywhere, tis the season to hike with spikes! #hikethehilltowns with the #westernmasshilltownhikers #BNRC

Dam history from our friends at BNRC: In 1873 East Lee mill owners built a dam at the pond outlet to provide a steady water supply for their manufacturing. Thirteen years later on April 20, 1886 the dam let go, destroying 25 mills and many homes and killing seven people. Described in one history book published shortly after the incident as the “Complete and Terrible Disaster at East Lee,” the deaths led to an inquest, but in the end no one could figure out which manufacturer had contributed to the dam’s construction.

Fast forward almost 100 years. The second dam was built in 1965 by two developers who formed the Cromwell-Wright Company to create a resort community that was heavily marketed in the 1960s as the “Lee Colony on the Lake.” This lake (now called LakeLee) was to be the magnet for a 100-lot leisure home development. Three years later, on March 24, 1968, the middle of the 25 foot earthen dam suddenly collapsed, cascading 12 million gallons of water down Greenwater Brook, killing two people in their Cape Street homes, and causing millions of dollars of damage. In the three years before the disaster, 15 lots were sold, and ten residences now border the south side of the wetland.