From our narrated hike with Alec Gillman, Interpretive Coordinator for the DCR. Middlefield State Forest is located north of Town Hill Road, along Factory Brook, a tributary of the Westfield River. Several dams have been built on this site, dating back to at least 1874. In the late 1930s, the state acquired several hundred acres along Factory Brook with the idea of building a dam to create a large reservoir for fishing and recreation as well as flood control. The state contributed materials and skilled labor while the CCC provided the rest of the labor. The earthen dam, one of the highlights of the Massachusetts CCC program for 1938, was to be 600 feet long and 19 feet high with steel piling and a concrete spillway. Chester CCC Camp S-64 (Company 113) was assigned the task of building it. The land was cleared and dam construction begun, but the project was abandoned the following year when CCC funding was reduced. In the 1960s there were proposals to build a dam and recreation area at this site but they were never implemented. Middlefield State Forest consists of 1,849 acres of land, mostly low lying areas along Factory Brook. All that remains of the uncompleted dam are piles of rocks which are on the overgrown site. Courtesy DCR.

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