This photograph shows the action-packed annual rope pull between the freshman and sophomore classes at Springfield College. The teams are on standing on either side of the lake, with spectators lining the shore.
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From the 1920s through the 1960s, freshmen united against the sophomore class in a series of friendly rivalries. According to a 1968 Freshman Handbook, if the freshman won they were no longer required to wear their beanies. Lake Massasoit, also known as Watershops Pond, formed when the Armory dammed Mill River to generate energy. As the City of Springfield’s second largest body of water, it features seven miles of shorelines. During the 19th century, the city built two bathhouses along the lake’s shore, but these were destroyed in 1920. Long a major site for fishing, Lake Massasoit features species such as the black crappie, bluegill, brown trout, chain pickerel, channel catfish, common carp, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, and yellow bass. At different points in Springfield College's history, the students used the lake for rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.