When Jewish families settled in North Adams, Massachusetts, they immediately began to prosper in their lives. Many moved to this area because of the mills, factories, and retail stores/ markets located here. Most of these Jewish immigrants worked in the wool and cotton mills and shoe factories and saved money in order to open their businesses.
[Eclipse Mill workers, August 1911]
[Courtesy of http://www.shorpy.com/files/images/02263u.preview.jpg]
Businesses included grocery stores, bakeries, supply stores, furniture stores, and the most well known Jewish business, shoe stores. During the time of immigration, North Adams became a popular place for shoe stores. Eagle Street, in particular, became a famous location for these Jewish businesses. Unfortunately, these businesses did not last. The development of Main Street led to the loss of many of these businesses.
One well known family business was Shapiro Motors. This car dealership was started by Samuel Shapiro. It prospered and grew until just recently, when it was sold to another dealership. Prior to this, Shapiro Motors was the Chevrolet Dealer.
[Above are the names of some Jewish owned businesses in North Adams]
This page was last updated May 14, 2008.