In 1915, the general assembly appointed the Providence Water Supply Board to condemn 14,800 acres of land in rural Scituate. The hardworking people of the five villages were devastated.
By December 1916, notices were delivered to the villagers stating that the homes and land they had owned for generations were to be taken and destroyed. Construction was well under way by 1921, and water was being stored by November 10, 1925. On September 30, 1926, the treatment plant began operation. It now serves more than 60 percent of Rhode Islanders. The $21 million project was the largest ever undertaken in the state at the time. The dam that annihilated the villages is 3,200 feet long and 100 feet high and holds back more than 40 billion gallons of water. Today these quiet villages lie up to 87 feet beneath the cold, dark waters of the Scituate Reservoir.