James Hunter Machine Co.
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The James Hunter Machine Company is the oldest and most important iron working industry in North Adams. The James Hunter Machine Co. was founded by James Hunter Sr. who came to the United States in the year 1833. Five years after first entering the states and living in Oakville, New York, Hunter came to North Adams and was engaged as a superintendent of the finishing department in the print works of Brown and Tyler in 1833. Hunter's wage was just $28.00 a month. In 1846, after eight years in with the Print Works, Hunter and his two partners McClelland and Magee, built the first cotton mill at Greylock for making cotton cloth. His two partners were good merchants, but horrible manufacturers. After very hard and unsatisfactory work, Hunter exchanged his interest in the mill for the furnace business, in 1847. He began making machinery castings on a small scale, but after a few years, he took another step and in a partnership with Abel Weatherby, began the manufacture of stoves under the name of Hunter & Company.
In the year 1857, James E. Hunter (his son) and M.C. Jewett entered into the partnership with him as the firm continued until 1864 when Mr. Jewett retired, but the business was continued under the firm name of James Hunter & Son. The increasing business in 1861 led to a construction of a building 40 by 95 feet and two stories high, for the machine and wood-working department. This is still standing today and is the only part left of the early plant. In 1881 a two story brick addition was added to the machine shop and in 1899 a new brick foundary building was erected. In the year 1891, the frim was incorporated under the name of "James Hunter Machine Co." In 1902, land was purchased near Ashland street and a new iron foundary was built. By the year 1947, the company celebrated 100 years, with its machinery now in operation in all of the leading mills in America as well as China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, South Africa, Sweden, England, Holland, Switzerland, France, Haiti, and Cuba.MAP In 1967, the company moved to its new location on South Church Street. The James Hunter Machine Company finally officially closed its operation on South Church Street in December 1983. The site later became home for Morrison Berkshire, Inc., in January 1984. Morrison Berkshire Inc. is still running today.
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This page was last updated on May 8th, 2008
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