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The current-day townships of Adams and North Adams were once one and the same.
The territory that now comprises the two townships was surveyed by Nathan Kellogg in 1739 and soon thereafter converted into what became known as the East Hoosuck Plantation.
To protect plantation families from Indian raids engineered by the imperialistic French, the government built nearby Fort Massachusetts in 1744. But when Indians and French overtook Fort Massachusetts in 1745, few men were willing to venture into the northern reaches of Berkshire County, which is where the Hoosic Plantation stretched.
Settlers finally returned to the area when the dust settled from the French and Indian War. In 1762, Nathan James, Eliza Jones, and John Murray purchased the East Hoosic Plantation with intentions of settling it once and for all.
The territory quickly populated, with settlements popping up on both sides of the Hoosic River, and in 1778, the one-time plantation was incorporated into the township of Adams. The namesake is none other than American patriot Sam Adams of nearby Boston, but Adams' most famous former resident is arguably Susan B. Anthony, a leader of the women's suffrage movement.
The original incorporation of Adams really prospered in the 1800's when it began to feed off a burgeoning textile industry. And then, in 1878, ironically 100 years after the town of Adams became incorporated, it split into the modern-day townships of Adams and North Adams.
In the area: The scenic wonder of Natural Bridge State Park a natural marble bridge form from water erosion. Windsor Lake, and Western Gateway Heritage State Park.
North Adams, today Berkshire County's second-largest community, bore a reputation as North Berkshire's commercial and industrial leader going into the 20th century, but only after separating from her sister city.
In the beginning, there was only the township of Adams. Local officials set its boundaries in 1739, and almost 30 years later, the land was resurveyed and divided into house lots. But not until 1878 did Adams truly become a house divided. That's when the original township split into the incorporations of Adams and North Adams, and the latter continued down a road already paved with industrial and commercial success.
A textile-producing fulling mill became North Adams' first foray into industrialization in 1799. Two years later, David Estes built the first carding and cloth dressing mill on the north branch of the Hoosic River. As more and more area mills were built during the next two generations, particularly during the 15-year stretch from 1830 to 1845, North Adams' population began to swell.
At the turn of the century, the locally based Freeman Print Works, Sampson Shoe Co., and H. Arnold & Co. employed most of North Adams' residents. These companies benefited greatly from the $21 million Hoosac Tunnel, which provided additional direct rail service to the city. The tunnel, completed in 1875, took 22 years to finish and cost 196 lives, but it certainly secured North Adams' position as an industrial center.
Northern Berkshire Chamber of
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