History Of North Adams, Massachusetts

Reminiscences Of Early Settlers.
-Extracts From Old Town Records.-
Its Public Institutions, Industries And Prominent Citizens,
Together With A Roster Of Commissioned Officers In The War Of The Rebellion.
By W. P. Spear.
North Adams, Mass.: Hoosac Valley News Printing House. 1885.


[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]


THESE works were built in 1861 by Oliver Harvey and John F. Arnold. The firm was known as Harvey Arnold & Co. July 2S, 1873, John F. Arnold sold to Edward H. Arnold his interest of one-quarter in the works. July 1, 1874, Harvey Arnold sold to Albert C. Houghton one-third of his interest of three-quarters in the Print Works. The business was still being conducted under the name of Harvey Arnold & Co. During the panic of 1874 and '75 this firm went down with many others.

October 10, 1876, the Arnold Print Works Company was organized with David A. Brayton of Fall River, president, and Albert C. Houghton, treasurer. In December of 1882 Mr. Bravton's interests were purchased, A. C. Houghton becoming president and William Arthur Gallup treasurer.Under the present management the works have been greatly enlarged, and a new industry, the "Blue Dip," added. They are running eight printing machines, which turn out 20,000 pieces of prints per week, giving employment to 500 hands in the printing and dying establishment alone. In December, 1872, the works were destroyed by fire. Work of reconstruction, however, immediately begun, and the works were started again with the latest improved machinery in the spring of 1874.


The old Brick Factory, so called, stood between Marshall street and the Hoosac river, about on the site of the building known as the Marshall street rink. It was erected in 1811, by an incorporated joint stock company of twenty persons, each investing $1,000. The water privilege and about six acres of land were purchased of Jerre Colgrove. The deed was dated March 7, 1811.

The close of the war and the opening of our ports to European goods in 1815, caused the stoppage of this mill. It lay idle till 1819, when it was leased by David Estes and Oliver Parker, who run it for three years. It again lay idle until about 1825, when Thomas Higginbotham & Co. purchased the entire property, carrying on business for several years.

Joseph Marshall was the next owner of this property, then James E. Marshall, Wells, White & Co., and Joseph L. White. A. P. Butler & Co. purchased it at auction, and in 1858 sold to Jackson, Ray & Co. The old brick was not used for manufacturing after 1857, and the building being in such a worn condition it was soon after this pulled down.


This was the second cotton mill in town and was built in 1813, by Giles Tinker, W. E. Brayton, Benjamin Sibley, Wm. Bradford and Henry Remmington. It was located on the site of the present Eagle mill on Eagle street. Owing to the dullness of business after the war of 1812, the factory did not pay. The four first named proprietors sold out, and tile mill lay idle for years, or until it was hired in 1820 by Caleb B. Turner. He afterwards leased it to Brown, Jenks & Tyler, who for about three years operated that and another mill near by.

The next lessee was Dr. Isaac Hodges, who ran the mill two years. About 1838, it was purchased by James E. Marshall, rented to and run by John H. Orr and John N. Chase. The entire mill and its contents were destroyed by fire in 1845, Messrs. Orr and Chase losing about $3.000 in machinery and stock.

Messrs. A. W. Richardson. Joseph L. White, R. H. Wells and Jerome B. Jackson purchased the site of their mill of the Marshal's in 1849. The three last named gentlemen sold to Messrs. Richardson and Samuel Gaylord about 1859. Mr. Gaylord soon died, and in 1862 Mr. Richardson had completed the erection of the present Eagle mill, and ordered machinery for fitting it up. Early in 1863 Messrs. W. W. Freeman, L. L. Brown and Wm. S. Blackinton became partners with Mr. Richardson, and it was in this year the mill was furnished and put in running order. It has since that time constituted a part of the property of the Freeman Manufacturing Company.


Messrs. Wells, Blackinton & White commenced business in March, 1822. Their first factory stood near the road in front of the present mill; the same building, removed a few rods west of its former position is now used for storing wool. The price paid for sufficient water power for their mill was $300. The first mill cost about $800. The mill was run part of the time on custom work, and part in manufacturing satinet for pantaloon ware, worth about 75 cents per yard. The average quantity produced was about 50 yards per day. The first satinet power looms were used in their mill in 1825 or '26: they were manufactured by Giles Tinker.

In 1825 Wells, Blackinton & Co. bought out Aaron Foot, who owned a woolen mill near theirs, of about the same size and character. They paid him $6,000, all in manufactured cloth, he furnishing wool. It proved an unfortunate bargain to Mr. Foot, but a correspondingly advantageous one for the "boys." In 1838, Wells & Blackinton bought out Joseph L. White. The old Foot mill burned in March, 1842; loss $10,000 above the insurance. A stone mill was erected in 1842, the building, waterwheel and shafting costing about $15,000.

The firm of S. Blackinton & Co. was formed in 1850. It then consisted of Sanford, John R., and Wm. S. Blackinton, John B. Tyler and Charles Atkinson. In 1855, Mr. Atkinson retired from the firm, which still continued the name of S. Blackinton & Co. On the 2d of April, 1857, a fire broke out which caused great damage to the interior of the stone mill, the machinery, stock, etc. In 1800, Wm. S. Blackinton purchased of John R. Blackinton and John B. Tyler their interest in the firm, and became an equal partner with his father. The firms's name was changed to S. Blackinton & Son.

The breaking out of the war in 1861, gave a great impetus to the company, and they commenced to enlarge their plans, extending their buildings and adding machinery. Their last important addition was made in 1872, when a large building was erected and considerable machinery brought from England, making the mill an eighteen-set plant, or double its capacity at commencement of the civil war. During the war the company had large contracts for army goods, finding them quite profitable.

On the 4th of September, 1875, Mr. Wm. Blackinton died suddenly. His death made it necessary to withdraw his interest from the concern, and in 1870 a stock company was formed by Sanford Blackinton, Lemuel Pornerov, E. S. Wilkinson and 0. A. Archar as incorporators, under the firm name of the S. Blackinton Woolen Co., with a paid up capital of $250,000, whose property covered substantially the mill property of the late firm of S. Blackinton & Son.


This locality doubtless gained its name from traditions handed down by descendants of the early settlers, more especially those of Clarksburg. It seems there was a beaver dam of great strength and duarability, erected by these little animals on the Hudson brook, at the narrow gorge just below the Natural Bridge. That the constant toil of these creatures, topther with the floodwood, etc., raised the dam to a great height, and caused the water to flow back, so as to obliterate the falls. There are plain evidences that the water must at some period have washed the whole surface and worn out the fissuers, chasms and basins. Captain Shippee, who resided above the falls some 90 years ago, has been heard to say that he saw the remains of the beaver dam. Several other families, descendents of the early settlers, confirmed his statements.

The now thriving settlement, known as the Beaver, was in its original state a wild, romantic, and sequestered locality. In fact it was scarcely approachable on foot by the fisherman and hunter, owing to the steep and almost perpendicular rocky bluff, just above the Eclipse mill.

In 1832, Major Lorenzo Rice, a carpenter by trade, and George W. Bly, a practical machinist, formed a copartnership under the firm name of Rice & Bly, leasing the basement story of the Slater mill in order to manufacture cotton machinery for their own use. In the same year they purchased of Silas Shippee the "town lot," containing 26 acres of land, and all the water power (Beaver mill site), for $500. In 1833 they erected a stone mill 40 x 80 feet and three stories high, also several dwellings.The first set of machinery consisted of some 20 looms and preparations for making print goods. The same year, after much effort, the town of Adams was induced to lay out the road from the Union to Clarksburg line, Rice & Bly rendering important aid in building the highway and bridge. A committee of survey had previously declared it impracticable to construct this road.

In 1835, Edmund Burk, an extensive manufacturer of Conway, became a resident partner in the concern. The sweeping financial panic of 1837, was weathered in safety by this firm of only five years growth, which had begun to build its mill with scarcely means enough to lay the foundation. In 1845 Thomas P. Goodrich became an active partner in the concern and business was done as the firm of Rice, Bly & Co. During the preceding year, the firm had manufactured on their own premises more or less machinery, and with what they had purchased they had at the time mentioned sixty looms in operation. In 1845. an L part of fifty feet was added to the mill, and thirty looms and preparation put therein, making a total of ninety looms. A commodious store had also been built.

In November, 1849, Mr. Bly sold his interests to Major Rice and retired. The firm was continued as L. Rice & Co. In December, 1850, the mill was wholly consumed by fire, causing a severe loss above the insurance. In the spring of 1851, Maj. Rice purchased the interest of Burke & Goodrich and exchanged the whole remaining property with R. H. Wells for his interest in the firm of Wells. White & Co.

In 1851 Messrs. Rodman H. Wells, Shubael W. Brayton and Henry N. Wells formed a copartnership, with the firm name of Wells, Brayton & Co., and the two latter became joint owners with the former, of the property he had purchased of Major Rice. The new company erected on the site of the burned edifice, a spacious, well constructed stone mill 102 x 40 feet, four stories high for the manufacture of satinets and cashimeres.

In 1862 R. H. and Henry Wells sold their interests to S. W. Brayton & S. Johnson, the firm being changed to S. W. Brayton & Co. In 1870 the inside of the mill was completely destroyed by fire, causing severe loss to the partners. The mill was immediately rebuilt and enlarged, S. W. Brayton buying his partner's interest in the concern, the firm being S. W. Brayton.

In 1871, Mr. Brayton sold all his real estate in the Beaver, including the mill, water privilege, tenements, store, etc., to W. W. Gallup, Chester Baily, A. C. Houghton and Arthur A. Smith. The firm was known as Gallup, Baily & Co. Soon after the other partners bought Mr. Baily's interest, the firm being changed to Gallup, Houghton & Smith.

In 1877 William Arthur Gallup bought the interest of W. W. Gallup, and in the same year Messrs. Gallup and Houghton bought Mr. Smith's interest. The firm was then changed to Gallup & Houghton. The company now are running 210 looms, employ about 150 hands, and turn out 1,500 pieces of print cloth each week.


In the year 1825, David Estes & Son erected a brick mill 46 x 31 feet and four stories high. This afterwards formed a part of the mill near the Eagle street bridge, which was burned in 1845. The machinery at first consisted of 180 spindles and 9 looms. Satinets were manufactured. Connected with the same was a wooden building for cloth dressing, also 150 spindles for making satinet warps.


S. Burlingame, in 1824, commenced the turning business in the lower room of the Eagle factory. Previous to this, temporary lathes were fitted up wherever power could be obtained.

Mr. Fuller commenced the business in Tinker's machine shop, and was succeeded by S. Burlingame. Homer F. Darby succeeded Mr. Burlingame, his shop was on River street.

Ezra and Alvin Leonard, in 1831, commenced the business of general wood turning, bobbin makers, etc., in the building adjoining the saw mill on the west bank of the river near Main street bridge. They afterwards erected a shop on Brooklyn street which they occupied for a number of years.


This important section of our village was originally known as the "Gory lot." This name was probably given it as a burlesque, from the fact of a colored man and his family named Gory living there solitary and alone. He was employed in the flax machine, then standing upon the site of the Slater mill. This flax machine was built in the year 1800, by Bethuel Finney, owner of the land and mill privilege. About 1811 George Whitman purchased of Mr. Finney the whole premises and operated the machine for some years, when the dam and mill were carried away by a heavy freshet.

In 1816, Mr. Whitman disposed of the whole property to Giles Tinker for the sum of $600. This purchase included the whole tract of land and three water privileges from the upper Union street bridge to the top of the hill above the Eclipse mill. Mr. Tinker, in 1826, sold to Artemas Crittenden and Salmon Burlingame the water power and one and a half acres of land, afterwards a part of the Ingalls, Tyler & Co.'s property, for $150.

In 1830 Dr. Isaac Hodges purchased of Giles Tinker all the remaining land and water power described above for $700. Dr. Hodges, A. Sanford and Joshua B. Hodges, erected the Slater mill in 1832. Dr. Hodges sold to O. Arnold & Co. in 1831, a waterpower and three acres of land for $300. In 1830 he also sold to Willard Gould and Gad Smith three acres of land and. water-power for a saw mill, just above the Eclipse mill.


This establishment was commenced in 1826 by Artemas Crittenden and Salmon Burlingame. The reader is referred to the sketch on Mr. Crittenden for the early history of this mill. After the property passed into the hands of W. E. Brayton, he sold his two-thirds of the property to Samuel Ingalls, Edward Burke and Rodman H. Wells. The entire capital of Wells, Ingalls and Burke amounted to about $1,000. At this time Mr. Wells was not quite twenty-one years of age.

In the same year, 1829, this firm purchased more land and built an addition to the south end of their factory, renting a part to Arnold, Blinn & Co., for the manufacture of cotton goods. In 1831 Ingalls and Wells purchased the interest of Mr. Burke and became sole proprietors. In 1836 a further addition was made to the length of the building, and the machinery increased to eighteen looms. In 1845 Mr. Wells retired from the firm and Duty S. Tyler became his sucessor.

On the 5th of May, 1852, the factory building, and most of the machinery, with a considerable quantity of stock, was destroyed by fire. The loss was heavy above the insurance. The flames had scarcely ceased to smoulder, however, before a new mill was started which was finished the same year. The mill was filled with new and the latest improved machinery.

In 1854, Sanford Blackinton purchased an interest in the concern, the firm being known as Ingalls, Tyler & Co. In 1857 Deacon Tyler died, after which for three years the mill was run by Messrs. Ingalls and Blackinton with the heirs of Mr. Tyler. In 1860, the company was reorganized, Mr. Ingalls retaining his interest, John. B. Tyler buying his father's interest of the heirs, and H. Clay Bliss purchasing Mr. Blackinton's interest, the firm retaining the name of Ingalls, Tyler & Co. Upon the death of Mr. Ingalls, in 1863, Messrs. Tyler and Bliss purchased the entire property, under the firm name of Tyler & Bliss, doing business until 1869, when the financial crash of that year carried them down. The mill was never run after this, the property falling into the hands of their creditors.

In 1882 Messrs. A. C. Houghton and William A. Gallup purchased the property, and the building was sold to the town to be converted into a schoolhouse.


In 1831, Stephen B. Brown formed a partnership with Duty S. Tyler, under the firm name of Brown & Tyler, for the manufactare of print goods. They purchased of George Whitman for the sum of $800, the water power and about nine acres of land adjoining now the site of the mill of the Johnson Manufacturing Company. They built a stone mill, the material of which was drawn from near the summit of the mountain north of the premises. The means of the two partners were comparatively small. Mr. Brown had about $8000 and Mr. Tyler $4000. The new establishment commenced printing goods in the spring of 1832, and carried on an extensive and prosperous business for about eight years, during which time the plant was increased by the purchase of about 300 acres of land adjoining the print works.

In 1839, Mr. Brown bought out Mr. Tyler's interest and received as partners Elisha Harris of Providence, R.I., and Arthur F. Wilmarth. The new firm was Brown Harris & Co. An immediate heavy outlay was incurred for new machinery, etc. Mr. Brown went to Europe and engaged a large force of hands, paying their expenses here and giving them high wages for the time. From this cause, in part, and from the importation of low-priced delaines in competition to the high-priced prints they were making, the company met with indifferent success, and in 1846 were obliged to suspend operations.

From this time until 1850 the mill remained idle. In this year, however, Sylvander Johnson returned from Copake, N.Y., and established a concern for the manufacture of cotton warps, which business he carried on sucessfully up to 1872, when his mill was burned to the ground. In the following year the main part of the mill now standing was completed and a stock company formed with Mr. Johnson at the head. Here he continued until his death, in May, 1882. At the annual meeting of the directors in the fall of that year his son, William S. Johnson, was elected president of the concern, which office he held in connection with the treasurership. This arrangement continued for one year, when he resigned the office of treasurer, but continued the presidency of the concern. In 1884 Mr. D. D. Parmlee was elected treasurer.


This mill occupied a site just north of Union street, near the first bridge from Eagle street. The main building was erected and owned by Caleb B. Turner in 1826, and filled with machinery for the manufacture of cotton goods. From 1831 to 1834 it was used by C. B. Turner and Turner & Laflin. In 1835 they built an addition to the south end of the mill and rented it to S. Burlingame & Co., who furnished it with machinery for the manufacture of satinets. About 1840, Willard and Samuel Gould rented the building and furnished it with cotton machinery.

The building and water power were afterwards owned by James E, Marshall, who made print cloths. The building was afterwards owned by A. W. Richardson S Co., and was leased to George W. Bly for the manufacture of cotton batting. In 1862, a greater water power being needed for mills down the stream, the dam of this mill was removed and the building demolished.


This mill was erected in 1831 by Edward Richmond and Gen. Jabez Hall. The water power and three acres of land cost $300. The factory building and three dwelling houses cost $7000. At first twenty looms were put in with a complement of machinery. Print cloths were manufactured. Loring Darby was for a time one of the partners of the concern. Since 1842, when the property was sold to Joseph Marshall, it has passed through the same hands and constituted a part of the same property as that now owned by the Freeman Manufacturing Company.


That portion of our village lying north of River street, and known as Brooklyn, was until 1833 a dense forest of valuable pine and oak timber, being a reserve lot of about seventy acres retained by the heirs of the original owner, Elisha Brown, of North Providence, R.I. It was the only pine lot left in this section. About the year mentioned above Joel P. Cada purchased, in connection with his brother, the entire seventy acres of timber land for the low price of $2000. Mr. Cada eventually became sole owner, cut and sawed the timber, and sold the same for building shafts, etc., of water wheels.

About 1846 Mr. Cada began selling building lots at from $50 to $100 or more per acre. Messrs. Leonards erected the first house and also a turning shop. Liberty street was laid out about the year 1852. Some portions of the land along the line of this street were sold to a Mr. Myers at $42 per acre.

In 1868 Mr. A. C. Houghton purchased the entire property of what is now Houghtonville proper, there then being only a few houses on the hill north of North street. He immediately commenced clearing off brush and laying out the streets. The building of houses was soon after begun by Mr. Houghton, and were sold at considerable profit to the owner. Although he has sold a large share of the land and houses, he still retains quite a farm and a number of dwellings in this district.


The manufacturing establishment known as Braytonville is located one mile west of this village on the road to Williamstown. The water power is one of the most extensive and valuable in town, comprising both branches of the Hoosac. In 1831 William E. and Thomas A. Brayton formed a partnership under the firm name of T. A. Brayton & Co., and purchased of Luke Brown the water power and two and a half acres of land for the sum of $520. The building of a dam and the excavation of a canal for bringing water to the wheels were expensive.

In 1832 this company erected a stone mill, 40 x 74 feet, three stories high, with an attic. The stone for building was drawn from near the summit of the mountain north of the premises. The first set of machinery was built by Captain Giles Tinker, consisting of twenty looms and preparation. Print cloths were manufactured, 52 by 52. Most other mills made 44 by 44 at that time. The firm added more land to their first purchase soon after starting. In 1853 William E. sold his interest to Thomas A. Brayton.

In 1851 an addition of wood, 46 feet long, was built at the west end of the mill, and in 1859 a further addition of 24 feet. About 1863 a stock company was formed, with S. Blackinton as president and Daniel Dewey treasurer. The large brick mill was built by this company. Mr. Dewey was the prime mover in the forming of this company, and for a time the name of the factory village was changed to Deweyville. After his retirement from the concern, however, the name was changed back to Braytonville.

Upon the retirement of Mr. Dewey, in 1868, Mr. William Blackinton became the active business manager, and held it until his death in 1870. After this Mr. O. A. Archer was appointed treasurer, Mr. Sanford Blackinton still continuing as president of the concern. In 1878 the company was reorganized, with H. G. B. Fisher president and E. B. Penniman treasurer and agent. The works now have fifty looms, employ 275 hands, and turn out about 20,000 yards of six-quarter fancy cassimeres per month.


These works dates from the year 1828 and are probably the oldest works of the kind in this section. In that year Caleb B. Turner purchased the land of Otis Hodge, Jr., erected a small building, and in the next year commenced the printing of cotton goods. In 1830, part of his works and a large lot of goods were destroyed by fire, causing him a serious loss. In 1831 he took in as a partner Walter Laflin, and this firm erected the main brick building of the present works and a part of the outbuildings.

In the general suspension and crash of financial matters in 1837 the firm failed. From this time until 1843 the works remained idle and became considerably dilapidated. In that year, however, the property was purchased by Joseph and James E. Marshall, who repaired and rebuilt in part, leasing the establishment for a term of years to Harvy Arnold and Jerome B. Jackson. In 1847, and before the lease with these gentlemen expired, a print works owned by Messrs. Marshall, in Hudson, N.Y., was burned, and this led to an arrangement with Arnold and Jackson, whereby they printed Marshall's goods on joint account.

This arrangement was continued about eighteen months, until December 31, 1848, when James E. Marshall became sole owner of all the property of Joseph and James E. Marshall. On the first of January, 1849, he sold his entire manufacturing interest, including the Stone, Estes, Eagle and Gould mills, also the print works, to R. H. Wells, Joseph L. White, Amasa W. Richardson and Jerome B. Jackson. About 1860 Messrs. A. W. Richardson and Samuel Gaylord purchased the interest of all the other partners and did business together until Mr. Gaylord's death in 1862. Mr. Richardson became sole owner of the entire concern.

In 1863 W. W. Freeman, L. L. Brown and William S. Blackinton„ purchased an interest in the entire property of A. W. Richardson under the firm name of Richardson, Freeman & Co. In 1864 Mr. Richardson sold his entire interest in the concern, and the name was changed to W. W. Freeman & Co. The Eagle mill had just been completed and the machinery placed in which had previously been ordered by Mr. Richardson. The print works was running with two machines. Improvements in the property were constantly made from that time until it reached a capacity of seven machines. In 1874 the name was again changed to the Freeman Manufacturing Company.

Upon the death of Mr. Blackinton in 1876, L. L. Brown purchased his interest from the heirs. In 1881 Mr. Freeman, being of ill health, was obliged to retire from business, and on the eighth of February of that year, the interest of V. W. and Wallace Freeman, about one-half the concern, was purchased by L. L. Brown and John Bracewell, who changed the firm name to Freeman Manufacturing Co. The plant now includes all the water privilege, buildings and machinery of Freeman P. W. Eagle, Estes and Stone mills on Union and River streets, together with all the tenements connected with this property. The company run eleven machines, employ 600 hands, paying them about $20,000 every four weeks.


In 1846, Messrs. McLellan, Hunter & Co., purchased of Deacon David Temple, the water-power and ten acres of land for $1,000. They erected a wooden building, put in machinery for cotton manufacturing and built two dwelling-houses at a cost of about $12,000. The goods made were yard wide sheetings.

In 1848 the proprietors sold the whole premises to Ansel B. Kain, who failed to meke proper payments, and the property reverted to the original owners: November 1, 1851, James Hunter sold his interest to his partners. They soon after disposed of one-half the entire property to Mason B. Green, who only remained about six months. In 1851 the entire property was sold to Messrs. Pitt and Snow, the latter soon retiring but the former continuing the business until 1856, when he became insolvent. In 1857 R. R. Andrews purchased the entire property of the assignees. He made some improvements in the mill and tenements, and manufactured yard wide sheetings.

In the financial crash succeeding the war, Mr. Andrews made an assignment, although he continued to run for three years after. About 1872 a stock company was formed who built an elegant brick mill, but the company did not exist long enough to finish and furnish it. In 1880 the present company was formed with Theodore Pomeroy, of Pittsfield, as president. The company was formed for the manufacture of ginghams, having a capital stock of $250,000. In 1882, William C. Plunkett became president of the company, which position he held until his death. William B. Plunkett is at present the business manager. The mills have 325 looms, giving employment to about 400 hands, and turn out about 250,000 yards of goods per month. They have greatly enlarged the works, built new tenements and greatly improved the grounds at the expense of many thousands of dollars. It will be hard to find a more complete factory village in this section of the country than Greylock.


In 1843 Edwin Childs and David C. Rogers commenced manufacturing boots and shoes in Penniman's row. In 1845, the business extending, they leased and occupied the building now occupied by Tower & Porter, on Eagle street, and Harvey Ingraham became a partner. In 1847 Mr. Childs retired from the firm. In 1847 Joshua K. Rogers became a partner in the firm of Rogers, Ingraham & Co.

In 1850 George Millard bought out this firm, taking as partners Harvey Ingraham and W. F. Waterbury. In 1857 Mr. Millard bought out his partners and conducted the business alone.

In 1848 Edwin S. Rogers became connected with the firm which was known by the name of E. Rogers & Co. The scarcity of cash in those days is well illustrated by the following: During Mr. Rogers' connection with the firm the entire product of the factory was sold in adjoining towns within a radious of forty or fifty miles from North Adams, being carted in teams among the farmers and retailers. The pay received for the goods was almest wholly in farmers produce of butter, eggs, etc., while the help in the factory were paid for their labor in the same articles.

After two or three years Mr. Rogers severed his connection with the firm which became George Millard & Sons, Alden and Henry Millard becoming partners with their father. Alden retired and Henry and his father continued the business. Upon the death of George Millard, Henry S., bought of the firm his father's interest and took as a partner, Jerome B. Jackson. The firm of Millard & Jackson only continued for a short time. They, however, built the brick factory on Union street now occupied by N. L. Millard.

In 1867 Wm. H. Whitman purchased of Mr. Jackson his interest in the concern, and the firm became Millard & Whitman. They conducted the business until 1874, when Norman L. Millard purchased the interest of Henry S. Millard, when the firm name was changed to Whitman & Millard. In 1882 Mr. Whitman sold out to his partner, and N. L. Millard became the sole proprietor, the business being conducted alone by him since that to the present time.


Shoe manufactory was established in 1866 by Wm. G. and H. T. Cady, under the firm name of Cady Bros., who continued the business until 1880, when H. T. became sole owner.

W. G. CADY & Co.

Was established in 1883, by W. G. Cady and S. H. Fairfield, under the above name. They manufacture gents' and ladies' fine sewed shoes.


Was established in 1S84, by W. H. Whitman, Monroe Canedy and W. J. Wilkinson. They also manufacture gents' sewed shoes.


The foundations of this company were laid in 1850, were laid in 1850, when George C. Millard bought the odds and ends of a bankrupt manufacturer's stock of boots and brogans, and C. T. Sampson was invited to look it over and undertake to sell it off. He took a load in his wagon, made trips through the adjoining towns and in four days had disposed of the load for cash and butter, making a profit of $25.

He made other trips with similar results until he had disposed of the entire lot. He then sold his farm in Stamford, and in 1850 moved his family to this village with the idea of engaging in business, having now saved about $300. April 24, 1851, he obtained three month's credit of Boston parties on a small stock of goods. He carried his goods from house to house in a valise, and in less than ten days had sold them all out.

On the 18th of the following November he opened a store which he carried on for a retail trade until 1858, passing successfully through the financial crisis of 1857. He then sold out his retail business and began manufacturing in a small way, jobbing his own goods with those of other manufacturers.

Up to the time of the war he had accumulated about $16,000. He lost, however, considerably from Southern debtors and became seriously embarassed, soon, however, regaining a substantial foothold. Between 1868 and 1870, began Mr. Sampson's conflict with the labor organization, known as "Knights of St. Crispin." He discharged some of the members whom he knew to be active in the organization, and sent to North Brookfield for other help. He engaged forty-five men on explicit terms, but they were soon prevailed upon by the Crispins to throw up their contracts.

He therefore resorted to the novel expedient of employing Chinese labor in his factory, procuring a number from San Francisco. Seventy-five were at first hired, and they arrived here on the 13th of June, 1870, amid considerable excitement. The number was afterwards increased to 123, who remained here about ten years. This completely broke up the Crispins society in this section, and in fact in the whole country. The firm now turn out about fifty cases of shoes per week, giving employment to 350 hands.


In 1845 the iron interest being very prosperous and rapidly developing, the whole region of the country around North Adams was prospected in search of iron ore. In the spring of 1846, Nelson H. Stevens, of Richmond obtained leases of several ore beds in Adams and vicinity, and purchased at a cost of $6,000 the Hodge and Dean Tannery near Main street bridge in this village, and also leased at an annual rent of $200, a ten horse-power of James E. Marshall, who then owned the Phoenix mill. During the summer and autumn of 1846, Mr. Stevens, in connection with Seneca Peace, erected a blast furnace on the above premises at a cost of about $6,000, for the manufacture of the best quality of charcoal pig iron. The business was commenced in December of that year.

During the session of the general court in the winter of 1847, a charter was obtained, and the stockholders were incorporated under the name of the North Adams Iron Company, Mr. Stevens having previously sold one-fourth of his interest to Rodman H. Wells, one-fourth to J. N. Chapin, and one-eighth to Charles K. Bingham. The valuation of the whole property was $32,000 for the furnace and fixtures, stock of coal, ore on hand, ore bed leases and the Paul wood lot.

Previous to the formation of this company L. C. Thayer, Wm. Hodgkins and J. Q. Robinson, 2d, had purchased the Kingsley ore bed and ten acres of land, situated on the east road, about one mile south of the village, paving for same $500. A lease was executed to the company at twenty-five cents per ton for the privilege of taking out the ore, on condition that the furnace should be built north of said ore bed thus securing the iron manufacture to this vicinity. Owing to the difficulty of smelting the ores, the enterprise did not succeed well for the first year, but afterwards, on procuring different ores, successful blasts were made, averaging from 1,600 to 1,800 pounds per blast, and about five tons of pig iron per day. The iron was sold by the shrewd negotiation of Mr. Wells as high as $35 and $40 per ton.

Abouts 1848 or '49 the original proprietors disposed of their interests and the business passed into other hands, James E. Marshall was for several years interested and its chief manager. The principal ore beds failing in their production, however, the price of iron declining to about $20 per ton, and from other causes, the company suspended, and went into insolvency in 1858. The panic of 1857 delt it a mortal blow and the fires were extinguished the year following. In July, 1858, the furnace and all its fixtures passed by assignee's sale into the hands of Jno. A. Beckley, of Canaan, Ct., a practical iron manufacturer. Under his supervision the furnace yielded from six to eight tons of excellent pig iron per day. Most of the ore being brought from the southern part of the county and from Connecticut.

During the early days of the war this firm secured a government contract to furnish iron for the construction of war ships. The iron clad " Monitor" was made wholly from iron furnished from this furnace. The product gave such splendid satisfaction that they were at once awarded a larger contract. In the spring of 1862, while they were preparing for a fulfillment of the contract, the works caught fire, were burned to the ground and never rebuilt.


The first tannery established in this village was located on the west bank of the south branch of the river nearly opposite Hodge's grist mill. It was first known as the Luther Bartlett, and afterwards as the Hodge and Dean tannery. A large business was done for many years, especially while it was owned by Hodge and Dean. It was discontinued in 1846, when the property passed into the hands of the North Adams Iron Company.

In 1831, Messrs. Merriam, Hatch and W. D. S. Hurlbut, purchased of Turner and Laflin for $200 the lot and water privilege on Union street, and erected a building 30 x 76 feet for a tannery. After carrying on the business for three years, they sold. the property to Captain A. Bixby. It was leased for about three years in part by Captain Hatch for a batting mill, and in part by Elijah Pike, as a stone cutting shop. In 1837, Liberty Bartlett, formerly of Williamstown, rented the premises for two years, carrying on the tannery in connection with the pelt business, pulling some 16,000 skins. In 1839 A. C. Crandall leased the property and carried on the business about one year.

In 1840 Ira Bennett formed a co-partnership with Mr. Crandall, and they continued the business until 1842. Captain Bixby sold the real estate to Charles Taylor, of Hancock, who carried on the business with Mr. Bennett until the fall of 1843, when Alfred Olds purchased all of Mr. Taylor's interest and continued the business with Mr. Bennett for three years. Mr. B. retired in 1846 and Mr. Olds continued the business until his decease in 1851. In that year the premises were leased of the administrators by Messrs. Crandall & Bennett, and these gentlemen formed a co-partnership with A. P. Butler, who at that time owned the Eagle Bridge tannery. These gentlemen operated. both establishments on joint account until 1854 or '55.

At this time Dean & Bellows purchased the Olds tannery and began to enlarge. Bellows retired in 1856, and in the same year Crandall and Bennett purchased equal shares in with Messrs. S. E. & H. N. Dean, at the same time selling them one-half the Eagle Bridge tannery, making a joint interest in both establishments. The business was conducted under their management until 1859, when Crandall and Bennett bought out the interest of Messrs. Dean, and sold one-third the real and personal estate to A. P. Butler. The firm was known as Crandall, Bennett & Co., their annual product being about $45,000, principally card leather.

Upon the death of Mr. Butler in 1S69, Mr. Read bought his interest from the heirs, and also A. C. Crandall's interest. In 1871 Mr. Jonathan Brooks bought in, and later D. J. Barber also purchased an interest. The firm was now known as C. H. Read & Co. In 1875, Mr. Barber bought Mr. Read's interest, firm Brooks & Barber, and when Mr. Brooks died in 1875 Mr. Barber purchased his interest from the heirs. The firm is known now as D. J. Barber.

In 1843 Benjamin Dean bought the house and lot adjoining, Eagle bridge for $700, and erected a building 34 x 40 feet for a tannery. In 1814 he sold the premises to S. M. Dean who carried on the business until 1847, when Ira Bennett bought the property. He soon sold it to L. Bartlett and. A. P. Butler for $3,000, who conducted the business until 1850. In 1851 Mr. Butler formed a copartnership with Crandall & Bennett, and both tanneries were operated until 1855, when Mr. Butler sold his entire interest to Crandall & Bennett. In 1856 S. E. & H. N. Dean, of South Adams, became part owners and so continued until 1859, when the property passed into the hands of Smith & Amidon, and was discontinued as a tannery.

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