Windows to History 


Immigration and Industrialization in North Adams, Massachusetts


Arthur Chalifoux (4th boy from left), 3 Rand St. North Adams, Massachusetts. Works in Eclipse Mills. August 1911. Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine.

North Adams, Massachusetts, named after the revolutionary Samuel Adams, became its own entity when it separated from its neighboring town, Adams, in 1878. The area, previously called East Hoosac, was sparsely settled in the 1730s. In 1741, Fort Massachusetts was built as defense against French and Indian hostilities, and more or less established North Adams as a permanent settlement. In the latter half of the 1700s, North Adams began developing as an industrial village as a result of its abundant source of water power. The early saw and grist mills paved the way to textile and manufacturing industries. The developing mill town encouraged a flood of immigrant workers that altered the demographics as well as the society of the area.

The links below invite you to explore immigration and industrialization in North Adams.


Window to Immigration              Window to Industrialization

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