H! I’m Elena, and I have always loved the history and mystery of old houses.
In 2015 I moved into a 1938 colonial revival in Ware, which my neighbors called the “Quabbin House.” One day in 2018 I found two black and white photos of my house from the 1930’s in an unmarked envelope in my mailbox — no note, no explanation, no stamp. The photos catalyzed my interest in the Quabbin and the woman who built my house: former Enfield resident Marion Andrews Smith, one of the last people to leave the Swift River Valley before it was flooded to build the Quabbin Reservoir.
I feel incredibly lucky to spend my days in my own Quabbin house and I want to tell the stories of the people whose lives were altered by the decision to build the reservoir. I am writing a book, Lost Towns of the Swift River Valley, which will be published with The History Press in fall 2022.
I studied English at Simmons College in Boston and have masters degrees in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University and in higher education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. I currently work in higher education in Western Massachusetts. I sit on the Swift River Valley Historical Society and Friends of Quabbin boards of directors.
I love spending time at the Quabbin. On weekends you can find me hiking, walking or biking there with my husband and two daughters.