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Full text of "From the Hub to the Hudson : with sketches of nature, history and industry in north-western Massachusetts"

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Nature, History and Industry 








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the District of 



Electrotypers, Printers and Binders, 



IN the collection of materials for this little book 
I have been assisted by many friends; among whom 
are Messrs. Stevens of the Mansion House in Green 
field; and Rev. Robert Crawford, D. D., Nathaniel 
Hitchcock, Esq., and Dr. Charles Williams of Deer- 
field. Hitchco ck s Geological Report, Holland s His 
tory of Western Massachusetts, Hoyt s Indian Wars, 
Barber s Historical Collections, and the various re 
ports of Commissioners and Engineers upon the 
Hoosac Tunnel, have been of great service to me. 
The engravings of the Tunnel were executed from 
photographs by Messrs. Kurd & Ward of North 

The book is built on these two maxims : 

1. History begins at home. 

2. It is better to see one town from all its hill 
tops than five hundred towns from the car windows. 

The reader will find upon its pages extended 



notices of various persons and industries. I ask 
him to take my word for it that these are not pur 
chased puffs, and they were not prompted by that 
species of gratitude peculiar to politicians " a lively 
sense of favors yet to come." 

My first purpose was to let the book be anony 
mous, from a foolish feeling that such work might 
be considered unprofessional; but I have concluded 
that the attempt to show people how and where they 
may cheaply and pleasantly spend their few days of 
summer vacation often the dreariest days of the 
year is nothing to be ashamed of or apologized 
for. A book that helps anybody to see and enjoy 
the Connecticut Valley or the Berkshire Hills, will 
be likely to do less harm than a book about the 
Mode of Baptism or the Origin of Evil. I do not, 
however, pretend to have been wholly actuated by 
considerations of benevolence. I have enjoyed the 
writing of the book. It may be death to my 
readers, but it has been sport for me. 

The rest of the preface will be found in the body 
of the book. W. G. 

NORTH ADAMS, May i, 1869. 

From the Hub to the Hudson. 



A CERTAIN Vermont Yankee, extolling, as Yan 
kees are wont to do, the town of his nativity, 
mentioned as one of its distinguishing peculiarities the 
remarkable fact that you could start from there to go 
to any place in creation. The Yankee who hails from 
Boston may, without exceeding his usual modesty, make 
the same claim for the place of his residence. Boston 
is a good place to start from. Indeed it is said that 
pretty much everything that moves in this world has 
started, or does start, from Boston. Here the fires of 
revolutionary patriotism were kindled ; here is Faneuil 
Hall, and the Old South Church ; here John Hancock 
learned to write that large hand which so boldly leads 
the column of signatures to the famous declaration ; 
here Adams spoke, and Otis wrote, and Warren fought 
and fell. Out of Boston came the Radical Abolition- 


ists forth from Boston proceed the apostoli and the 
apostolae of the new gospel of Woman Suffrage ; and 
from the pent-up confines of this crooked town issue 
those twin prodigies of literature and statesmanship, 
George Francis Train and the Count Johannes. Who 
can deny that Boston is the proper base of all opera 
tions, and the perspective point from which the world 
must be pictured and regarded ? 

It was inevitable, then, that our book should begin 
at Boston. And as charity which begins at home is 
often greatly minded to stay there, so the book which 
begins at Boston is not likely to get far beyond it. 
Being at the center of the universe, the centripetal 
force is almost irresistible. But the centrifugal im 
pulses are sometimes felt, even in Boston, as every 
body knows, and taking advantage of the first wave of 
outward movement, we will fly from the hub toward 
the periphery. 

Very likely, however, there will be numerous travel 
ers seeking the shadows of the Berkshire hills and the 
quiet of the Connecticut meadows, for whom Boston 
will not be the natural starting-point. It is not given 
to all of us to breathe the atmosphere of this classic 
town, nor to be blown upon by its east winds, nor to 
sneeze with its influenza. And such as have been 
denied these happy distinguishments of fortune may 
not care to read any further in this chapter. From 
them we will part company here, in the hope of meet 
ing them a little nearer to sunset. 

One word before we go any further. This is not a 


guide-book. If you bought it for that, you are badly 
cheated. The guide-book knows everything ; and 
there are a great many things that this little book does 
not know. The guide-book stops at all the towns ; 
this book will trundle right through many of them, not 
even halting five minutes for refreshments. The guide 
book knows just how many meeting-houses, court 
houses, school-houses, banks, jails, mills, stores, each 
town contains ; how long all the rivers are ; how deep 
the lakes ; how high the mountains. This little book 
confesses its ignorance of many of these things. It 
does not mean to burden its readers with many statis 
tics ; it seeks to be a pleasant companion not only to 
railway travelers, but also to fireside travelers. And 
if, without attempting any exhaustive account of the 
region where its scenes are laid, it shall succeed in 
calling attention to some of its most attractive features, 
and in bringing back some of the associations of the 
olden time, the end for which it was written will be 

All this might have been said in the preface, but 
people never read prefaces. 

Having a good start and a fair understanding, we 
roll out of the noble granite passenger-house of the 
Fitchburg Railway, and are soon crossing the Charles 
River upon one of the many viaducts and bridges 
which span that stream. To the right is Charlestown, 
with Breed s Hill and Bunker s Hill; the former of 
which is crowned by the famous obelisk that marks 
the spot where Prescott and Putnam and their brave 



provincials planted the tree of liberty \ the latter of 
which is surmounted by a costly Roman Catholic 
cathedral. Bunker Hill monument divides the honors 
now with half a dozen brick smoke-stacks ; some of 
which appear from this point even taller than the 
monumental shaft. So, too often, are the great events 
of history overtopped or obscured by the nearer but 
meaner facts of daily use and custom. 

On the left, the old bridge crosses from Boston to 
Cambridgeport ; and on the top of Beacon Hill the 
dome of the State House remains the most conspicuous 
figure of the landscape, well guarded by the sentinel 
spires of Park Street and Somerset Street churches. 

East Cambridge welcomes us to its hospitable, but 
not very attractive shores ; and the view we get of old 
Cambridge, further on, is not one that does justice to 
its beauty. Is it Holmes, or was it Hawthorne, who 
once told us that the railroads almost always take us past 
the back doors and show us the worst sides of houses 
and towns ? The rule has some exceptions, but old 
Cambridge is not one of them. There is an excellent 
flavor of age and respectability about this ancient town, 
if you know how to take it. " Doubtless God could 
have made a better, but doubtless he never did," quoth 
our worthy Hosea Biglow. We shall be compelled to 
take his word for it, while we whistle through the out 
skirts of what might, but for a few ancient elms along 
the railway, pass for a first-class western " city." 

JBelmont next puts in an excellent appearance. It is 
one of the neatest of the "subhubs " its charming resi- 


dences on either side the railway must prove a delight 
ful resort to men whose days are spent in the narrow 
and noisy streets of Boston. 

Waverly is a pleasant name for a pleasant place. 
Like the capital of the country, it is a village of mag 
nificent distances ; like the other Waverly, it is largely 
a work of fiction, though founded on fact. 

Waltham here we come to the solid realities again. 
This is the western end of old Watertown, and was 
separately incorporated in 1738. The occasion of the 
division t)f the town was a church quarrel. The old 
church edifice was at the eastern end of the town, and 
the inhabitants of that section were determined to keep 
it there ; but the star of empire led the tides of popula 
tion westward ; and since the dwellers in the ancient 
burg would not be content with the church that was 
built midway, they were obliged to have the town 
divided, and the Walthamites sat down under their 
own vine and fig-tree, by the banks of the smooth 
flowing Charles. Waltham is a very substantial and 
thrifty town of something less than ten thousand in 
habitants. Eight churches offer to worshipers all 
varieties of faith and form ; a public library of 4,500 
volumes carries on the education begun in the excel 
lent schools ; a Savings Bank holds the accumulations 
of the mechanics and operatives who constitute the 
population ; and two weekly newspapers, one radical 
and the other neutral, furnish those of the people who 
are not able to think for themselves with ready made 
opinions on all sorts of subjects. 


The large brick factory on your left, nearly opposite 
the railway station, is the cotton mill of the Boston 
Manufacturing Company. Here was erected, in 1814, 
the first power-loom for cotton weaving ever operated 
in America. In this large establishment, (then much 
smaller than now,) the great cotton manufacturing 
interest in America had its origin. A little pamphlet, 
by Hon. Nathan Appleton of Boston, giving the history 
of the beginning and the growth of this enterprise, is as 
interesting as a romance, not only to all who make 
cotton goods but to all who wear them. The project 
was formed by Mr. Francis C. Lowell, while in Edin 
burgh, in the year 1811. At that place he and Mr. 
Appleton discussed the practicability of weaving cotton 
cloth by power ; and before he returned to this country 
Mr. Lowell visited Manchester to gain all possible 
information upon the subject. As the result of these 
deliberations, the Boston Manufacturing Company was 
formed in 1813, this water-privilege at Waltham was 
purchased, and the machinery was procured. 

" The power-loom was at this time being introduced 
in England ; but its construction was kept very secret, 
and, after many failures, public opinion was not favor 
able to its success. Mr. Lowell had obtained all the 
information which was practicable about it, and was 
determined to perfect it himself. He was for some 
months experimenting at a store in Broad Street, 
employing a man to turn a crank. It was not until 
the new building at Waltham was completed, and other 
machinery was running, that the first loom was ready 


for trial. Many little matters were to be overcome or 
adjusted before it would work perfectly. Mr. Lowell 
said to me that he did not wish me to see it until it 
was complete, of which he would give me notice. At 
length the time arrived. He invited me to go out 
with him and see the loom operate. I well remember 
the state of admiration and satisfaction with which we 
sat by the loom ; watching the beautiful movement of 
this new and wonderful machine, destined, as it evi 
dently was, to change the character of all textile 
industry. This was in the autumn of 1814. 

" Mr. Lowell s loom was different in several partic 
ulars from the English loom, which was afterwards 
made public. The principal movement was by a 
cam, revolving with an eccentric motion, which has 
since given place to the crank motion now univer 
sally used. Some other minor improvements have 
since .been introduced, mostly tending to give it in 
creased speed. 

" The article first made at Waltham was precisely the 
article of which a large portion of the manufacture of 
the country has continued to consist a heavy sheeting 
of No. 14 yarn, 37 inches wide, 44 picks to the inch, 
and weighing something less than three yards to the 
pound."* * 

These goods were sold in 1816 for 30 cents per 
yard ; in 1819, for 21 cents ; in 1826, for 13 cents; in 
1829, for 8.1-2 cents; in 1843, for 6 1-2 cents, the 
lowest figure they ever reached. They are now (March, 

* Introduction of the Power Loom : By Nathan Appleton. 


1869,) quoted in the New York wholesale markets at 
about 13 cents a yard. 

The property of this company now consists of two 
mills for making cloth, containing 40,000 spindles and 
700 looms ; one mill for making hosiery, turning out 
about 600 dozen per day; and a bleachery and dye 
works, with facilities for bleaching and dyeing about 
six millions of pounds of cotton cloth per annum. It 
employs about 1,300 hands, and has a capital stock of 

Another famous industrial establishment is found at 
Waltham. As we leave the village going westward, 
the shops of the Waltham Watch Company down by 
the banks of the river attract our notice. The main 
building is more than 300 feet long, with wings and 
cross-wings more than doubling this space. Three- 
quarters of a mile of benches are surrounded by 750 
operators, about one-third of whom are women and 
girls of American parentage. If you should walk 
up the main street in time to meet these work 
people going to dinner, you would be pleasantly im 
pressed by their intelligent countenances, their neat 
attire, and their orderly manners. You might travel 
far before meeting in one company no larger than this 
an equal number of thoughtful and cultivated faces. 
Since about 350,000 of the watches made by this com 
pany have found their way into, the pockets of the 
American people, it is safe to suppose that its history 
and its methods of operation are not altogether un 
known. Unlike the Swiss and other foreign watches, 


every part of the Waltham watch is made by some 
delicate and ingenious machine. No such large manu 
factories of watches are found in the Old World. In 
Geneva, since all the work is done by hand, the opera 
tives take it to their homes, and each one spends his 
life-time in making one particular piece of the mechan 
ism. Machine work being more uniform and accurate 
than hand work, the Waltham watches ought to keep 
better time than foreign watches, and this we believe 
is the verdict of experience. 

This view on our left as we leave the village of 
Waltham is a very charming one, the Charles River 
at our feet in the foreground, and winding gracefully 
through the valley ; the village of Waltham, scattered 
over an undulating plain, and the low hills in the dis 
tance toward Newton. 

Stony Brook is the name of the next station. The 
brook which gives the station its name is in the fore 
ground on the right, and is not remarkably stony either. 
Weston comes next, and a single fact in its history 
must suffice us. After having been twice directed to 
procure a preacher, this town was at length, in 1706, 
prosecuted at the Court of Sessions for not having a 
settled minister. The instances are not frequent in 
our day, let us trust, in which people are compelled to 
resort to the law in order to obtain the gospel. 

Lincoln is only a crossing and a depot ; leaving 
which, we are soon plunging into the Walden woods, 
and skirting along the Walden pond, made immortal 
by the hermit of Concord. It is a beautiful region. 


The quiet woods and the placid lake might tempt to 
hermithood one less fond of nature than Thoreau. On 
the western shore of the lake, however, we discover 
evidences that this solitude would not be so welcome 
to the gentle philosopher if he should return to it. 
Here are huts, and swings, and platforms, designed to 
accommodate picnics ; and it is more than likely if 
the day is pleasant that the woods are filled with a frolic- 
ing company of Sunday-school children, or a crowd of 
Teutons guzzling lager, and singing about " der Doitcher 
Fodderlant." Just beyond the woods, a wide view opens 
on the left across level meadows, and in the western 
horizon Mount Wachusett, nearly thirty miles distant, 
in the town of Princeton, is plainly seen on a clear day. 

The next shriek of the locomotive means discord if 
it means anything; but the conductor looking in just 
now, says " Concord; " and it is impossible to doubt 
him. "In 1635," says the chronicler, " Musketaquid 
was purchased from the Indians and called Concord, 
on account of the peaceable manner in which it was 
obtained." Strange that the town which was so ami- 
cably-eettled should have been the town where the first 
battle of the revolution was fought ! In Johnson s 
" Wonder Working Providence" a quaint old Puritan 
record, we find some account of the early settlers. 
After describing the miserable huts in which they first 
found shelter, he goes on to say : 

" Yet in these poor wigwams they sing psalmes, pray 
and praise their God till they can provide them houses, 
which ordinarily was not wont to be with many till the 


earth by the Lord s blessing brought forth bread to 
feed them, their wives and their little ones, which with 
sore labours they attain ; every one that can lift a hoe 
to strike it into the earth standing stoutly to their 
labours, and tear up the rootes and bushes which the 
first yeare bears them a very thin crop, till the soard of 
the earth be rotten, and therefore they have been forced 
to cut their bread very thin for a long season. But the 
Lord is pleased to provide for them great store of fish 
in the spring time, and especially Alewives about the 
bignesse of a Herring. Many thousands of these they 
used to put under their Indian corn which they plant 

in hills five foote asunder The want of English 

graine, wheate, barley and rice proved a sore affliction 
to some stomacks who could not live upon Indian 
bread and water, yet were they compelled to it till 
cattell increased and the plowes could but goe. Instead 
of apples and pears they had pomkins and squashes 

of divers kinds Thus this poore people populate 

this howling desert, marching manfully on (the Lord 
asisting) through the greatest difficulties and sorest 
labors that ever any with such weak means have done." 
Under such schooling as this the men of Concord 
learned the steadfastness and heroism that they needed 
in after days. The stuff that was bred in them by 
these hardships was inherited by. their descendants; 
and at length, one bright morning, a hundred and forty 
years after this battle with hunger and cold was begun, 
the echoes of a more illustrious if not a fiercer conflict 
were heard among the Concord Hills. 


It would be worth our while, could we spare a few 
hours in our journey, to stop at this ancient town, and 
take a stroll through its quiet streets, and its memora 
ble places. We should find it a remarkably well-pre 
served old village ; not a squalid building is to be seen ; 
many of the houses bear marks of age, but all are neat 
and many are tasteful and elegant. The principal 
street is one of the pleasantest in New England. 
There is not much noise of business, but an air of 
thrift and cultivation pervades the place. Here have 
dwelt and are dwelling now a larger number of famous 
people than one small village commonly contains. 
Here our great Hawthorne lived and died. Here 
Marcus Antoninus reappears with the physiognomy of 
a true Yankee, bearing the title of the " Sage of Con 
cord," and answering to the name of Ralph Waldo 
Emerson ; here Alcott the seer, and his daughter 
Louisa, whose vision is not much duller, than her 
father s, spend their days ; here the brilliant Thoreau 
found a residence, and here those who loved and cared 
for him to the last are living yet ; here is the home 
of Mrs. Jane G. Austin, one whom the novel-reading 
world knows well ; here Frederick Hudson, for many 
years the wheel-horse of the New York Herald, is 
trying to repair the frame he has broken with too 
much toil ; here dwells Judge Hoar, the jurist, the 
scholar, the orator, the wit, and the noblest Ro 
man of them all. Time would fail us if we tried to 
note the stars of lesser magnitude in the Concord 


Any one will show you the road that leads to the 
spot where on the igth of April, 1775, tne Revolution 
ary War began. The day before, at Lexington, the 
American militia had been fired on by Pitcairn s British 
regulars, and eight of them had been killed ; but no 
shot was fired in return. Here, where the North Bridge 
formerly crossed the Concord River, the first battle 
was fought. The bridge is now removed, and the 
highway which led to it is enclosed ; but a monument 
marks the spot where the British soldiers were posted 
when the engagement began, and directly across the 
river in what is now a quiet meadow, the place is seen 


" the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard round the world." 

The British, as everybody knows, had gained pos 
session of the town, and were destroying the stores 
gathered by the provincials in anticipation of war; 
while the militiamen had assembled outside the village, 
and across the stream, partly because unwilling to 
begin hostilities, partly because greatly inferior in 
numbers to the forces of the king. But before the sun 
was high, military companies from the adjoining towns 
began to arrive, and volunteers from all parts of Con 
cord came, with such weapons as they could find, to 
increase the force, until the number had grown to two 
hundred and fifty or three hundred. Then, though 
greatly outnumbered by the British regulars, they 
" deliberately, with noble patriotism and firmness, re 
solved to march into the middle of the town to de- 


fend their homes, or die in the attempt ; and, at the 
same time, they resolved not to fire unless first fired 

If they had known what had happened the day 
before at Lexington, they might have been less scru 
pulous. But their determination to make the British 
take the initiative in the fighting showed how coolly 
they were carrying themselves in the midst of all these 
exciting events. How steadily they marched down to 
the bridge, receiving first a few scattering shots of the 
British soldiery, and then a fierce volley that killed 
two of their men and wounded two others ; how bravely 
they took up the gage of battle then, and drove the red 
coats from the bridge and from the town; howpluckily 
they dogged them all the way to Charlestown Neck, 
falling on their flanks as they hastily retreated, and 
making the road by which they marched a continual 
ambuscade ; all this has been told oftener than any 
other tale of our history ; and it shall continue to kin 
dle the patriotism of countless generations of brave 
boys yet unborn ; till, by and by, it will pass that un 
discovered bourne which divides history from mythol 
ogy, and philosophers will forge elaborate treatises 
in languages yet unwritten, to prove that there never 
was any such war as the Revolutionary war, nor any 
such town as Concord, but that this story is only a 
type or illustration of the great struggle between 
Liberty and Authority which has been going on for so 
many ages. Let us all be thankful that we live in the 
day when the story is not a myth, but one of the solid- 


est facts of history ; and when we may read in this 
quiet field by the river side, on the marble inlet of the 
granite shaft that commemorates the day and the deed, 
these substantial statements : 

" HERE, on the iQth of April, 1775, was made the first forcible 
resistance to British aggression. On the opposite banks stood 
the American militia. Here stood the invading army, and on 
this spot the first of the enemy fell in the war of the Kevolution, 
which gave Independence to these United States. In gratitude 
to God, and in the love of Freedom this monument was erected, 
A. D. 1836." 

Eighty-six years from this very day, in the city of 
Baltimore, on the i9th of April, 1861, the first soldier 
fell in the later and greater conflict which gave to the 
country the Liberty which the Declaration of Inde 
pendence only promised, and consummated the work 
here begun. That first soldier was it is almost a 
matter of course a Massachusetts man ; and his home 
was in this gallant old County of Middlesex in which 
we are standing now. If we walk back to the public 
square in the middle of the town, we shall find another 
granite shaft bearing witness in such words as these to 
the fact that Old Concord was ready to do her part in 
the last war as nobly as in the first : 

" The town of Concord builds this monument in honor of the 
brave men whose names it bears, and records with grateful pride 
that they found here a birthplace, home or grave. They died 
for their country in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1^65." 

And now that we are reading monumental inscrip 
tions we may be minded to visit the old burial-places 


in this village, where many quaint epitaphs are found 
but none quainter than the following, many times pub 
lished already, and so full of antithesis that Macaulay 
himself, if he ever read it, must have laid down his pen 
in despair of ever being able to match it : 

" God wills us free ; man wills us slaves. I will as God wills ; 
God s will be done. Here lies the body of JOHN JACK, a native 
of Africa, who died, March, 1 773, aged about sixty years. Though 
born in a land of slavery, he was born free. Though he lived in a 
land of liberty, he lived a slave ; till by his honest, though stolen 
labors he acquired the source of slavery, which gave him his 
freedom ; though not long before Death, the grand tyrant, gave 
him his final emancipation, and put him on a footing with kings. 
Though a slave to vice, he practised those virtues without which 
kings are but slaves." 

Journeying westward again, through a region not re 
markably picturesque, we halt for the first time at South 
Acton, where the Marlboro branch of the Fitchburg 
road diverges southward. While the train stops you 
get a pretty little view on the left, a pond in the fore 
ground, and hills in the distance. From this town of 
Acton marched before day on the morning of the i9th 
of April, 1775, the two men made immortal at Concord 
t>y the first volley of the English soldiery, Captain 
Isaac Davis, and Abner Hosmer. 

West Acton is a neat hamlet, mainly on the south of 
the track. 

Littleton is too small to be seen from the railroad, 
but not too small to be the scene of a large story about 
a certain lake, ominously called Nagog, where a strange 
rumbling noise is sometimes heard. 


Groton Junction, a large and flourishing village a lit 
tle further on, is the hub of which railroads running in 
six different directions are the spokes. The Fitchburg 
Railroad and the Worcester and Nashua Railroad pass 
through the town ; the Stony Brook Railroad runs 
north-eastward to Lowell, and the Peterboro and Shir 
ley Branch north-westward to Mason Village, in New 
Hampshire. The Indian name of the town was Petap- 
away, and its present name was probably given to it 
by one of the original grantees to whom the territory 
was conveyed by the General Court in 1655, Mr. 
Dean Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop. Groton 
was the home of the Winthrop family in England. 

Shirley is a thrifty and presentable manufactwring 
town, of a few hundred inhabitants on the bank of a 
stream that empties into the Nashua River. About 
this time look out for Shakers ; to borrow the 
method of the almanac. In Harvard, a few miles 
south, and in the town of Shirley, they have flourish 
ing communities, and their broad brims and sober faces 
are commonly visible, at any of the stations in this 
neighborhood. In leaving Shirley we pass out of old 
Middlesex County, into Worcester County. 

Lunenberg is the next station. Two or three miles 
beyond it, an extensive and beautiful view is opened 
to the southward. Leominster Center with its three 
church spires stands in the middle of a charming 
landscape, two or three miles away, and the hills in 
the horizon gave to the picture a majestic outline. 
This is one of the most distant, and on the whole the 


most satisfactory outlook we have had since leaving 
Boston. When the train stops at North Leominster, 
Wachusett Mountain is in full view, between two nearer 

Passing North Leominster, a young and ambitious 
village, called into existence by the railroad we are 
soon in the suburbs of 


This is the largest town we have seen since leaving 
Cambridge. It was incorporated in 1764, the region 
where it stands being known before that time by the 
name of Turkey Hills, from the large number of wild 
turkeys found there. At the time of the opening of 
the Fitchburg Railroad, in 1845, ^ was a smart little 
manufacturing village of something over three thou 
sand inhabitants ; and four hundred thousand dollars 
would buy all the goods and wares it produced in a 
year ; now its population is not less than eleven thou 
sand ; its valuation is between six and seven millions 
of dollars, and more goods are manufactured every year 
than were manufactured in twenty years before the 
opening of the railroad. 

This rapid growth of population and business has 
been largely the result of the increased railroad facili 
ties. But for the railroad connecting it with Boston, 
Fitchburg would probably be a smaller town now than 
it was twenty-five years ago. When that railroad was 
projected, it was strongly opposed on the ground that 
there was not and would never be business enough to 


pay interest on the cost of construction. One of the 
legislators declared that " a six-horse coach and a few 
baggage wagons would draw all the freight from Fitch- 
burg to Boston." Several six-horse coaches and quite 
a train of baggage wagons would be required to do the 
large business of this road to-day. 

Fitchburg is not a stylish town. There is evidently 
very little aristocracy here. It is apparent that the 
people have not yet reached the point of giving much 
attention to matters of taste and elegance. Fitchburg 
means business. It impresses you as being a place 
of intense energy and vigor. It has some handsome 
churches, notably the one recently built by the Epis 
copalians ; it has several excellent school-houses, in 
the year 1867 it expended seventy-five thousand dollars 
for new ones; it has a jail and house of correction 
that would prove, one would think, almost too attrac 
tive ; it has one or two good hotels ; it has many 
excellent houses ; all the solid elements of the best 
civilization are here ; but the people have, as yet, had 
but little time to give to architecture and landscape 
gardening. .^Esthetical culture will soon follow, how 
ever ; and the town will at length be made as pictur 
esque as now it is plain and practical. These hill 
sides may, under skillful treatment, become a very 
Arcadia for loveliness. 

The town is situated in a deep ravine, through 
which a branch of the Nashua river flows with rapid 
descent, affording, within the limits of the town, a dis 
tance of five miles, no less than twenty-eight excellent 


water-privileges. This power is all utilized. Here is 
the Putnam Machine Company, a mammoth establish 
ment, making the Burleigh Rock Drill, which was 
invented in this town, and all sorts of iron work. This 
is only one of several machine-shops. Here are 
manufactories for building Mowing and Reaping Ma 
chines, and for making scythes and knives used in 
various agricultural implements. More than a thou 
sand men find employment in these various foundries 
and machine-shops. Chair-making furnishes employ 
ment to about five hundred persons. Chairs are made, 
put together and painted, then knocked to pieces and 
boxed for shipping. The American Ratan Company 
gives employment to seventy-five persons. Ten paper- 
mills employ two hundred hands, and annually make 
three thousand five hundred tons of paper, worth at 
present prices one million of dollars. Three woolen- 
mills, three cotton-mills, and one factory making 
worsted yarn require for their operation nearly foul- 
hundred persons. Besides these, and many other 
things which cannot be mentioned, Fitchburg makes 
boots and shoes, palm-leaf hats and bonnets, reeds 
and harnesses for looms ; wool cards ; brass fixtures 
of various sorts ; doors and sash ; piano-cases, and 
money. Nearly fifty different kinds of manufacturing 
are constantly in progress in this busy town. People 
who are interested in the industrial developments of 
the country could spend a day or two here with great 
profit to themselves. Neither is the region wanting .in 
attractions for those who love the picturesque in nature. 


Rollstone mountain, whose granite quarries supply the 
town with excellent building material, rises abruptly on 
the western side of the river to a height of three hun 
dred feet. The view from its summit is worth climb 
ing for. On the one side lie the village and the hills 
beyond ; on the other you look across a beautiful coun 
try to Wachusett, ten miles distant, the highest land 
in Eastern Massachusetts. Perhaps after you have 
viewed it from afar, you will conclude to go over and 
possess yourself of its glories. That you can easily 
do. The Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad will 
carry you to a station named Wachusett, where the 
stages will take you up and land you at the mountain. 
There you will find good hotels ; the mountain top is 
easily accessible ; and a day or two in that high and 
pure air will do you good. The top of this mountain 
is a little more than three thousand feet above tide 
water ; and rises, without any very steep ascent, nearly 
two thousand feet above the surrounding country, of 
which it gives you a view from thirty to fifty miles in 
extent on every side. 

Only three miles from Fitchburg is Pearl Hill to 
the top of which good roads lead you, and from which 
you may count twenty villages. Perhaps too you may 
find the place where this thing happened, of which we 
read in Torrey s History of Fitchburg : 

" On one occasion, Isaac Gibson in his rambles on 
Pearl Hill found a bear s cub, which he immediately 
seized as his legitimate prize. The mother of the cub 
came to the rescue of her offspring. Gibson retreated, 


and the bear attacked him in the rear, to the manifest 
detriment of his pantaloons. This finally compelled 
him to face his unwelcome antagonist and they closed 
in a more than fraternal embrace. Gibson, being the 
more skillful wrestler of the two, threw Bruin and they 
came to the ground together. Without relinquishing 
the hug both man and beast now rolled over each 
other to a considerable distance down the hill, receiv 
ing sundry bruised by the way. When they reached 
the bottom both were willing to relinquish the contest 
without any further experience of each others prowess. 
It was a draw game ; the bear losing her cub, and 
Gibson his pantaloons." 

Whether this was the contest upon which the wife 
looked, bestowing her applause so impartially upon 
both combatants, the historian does not tell us ; but it 
is safe to assert that there are few eastern towns of the 
size of Fitchburg that can tell a bigger bear story. 

Falloolah is the musical name of a pretty glen in the 
neighborhood, of which Mr. J. C. Moulton, the excel 
lent photographer of Fitchburg will tell you, and a 
picture of which he will show you. Mr. Moulton is, 
by the way, an authority concerning all the points of 
interest about Fitchburg and visitors would do well to 
consult him. If they cannot visit all the places he 
can tell them of, they can possess themselves of some 
of his admirable stereographs. Not only Fitchburg 
and its surroundings but other neighborhoods are 
represented in his collection. A series of photographs 
of the Au Sable Chasm, in northern New York, gives 


a most satisfactory representation of one of the re 
markable natural curiosities in America. Mention is 
made of this collection of stereographs in this place 
because they have been made with such excellent taste 
and skill, and are so well worth the notice of persons 
interested in this branch of art. 

The Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad carries 
us westward from Fitchburg, through a rough country, 
over which we occasionally catch a glimpse to which 
distance lends enchantment. Westminster Depot is 
three miles from Westminster Village. The road from 
the railroad to the town is a pleasant one even in the 
winter, which is saying much for a country road ; and 
must be well worth traveling in the summer. The old 
village to which it leads is a good specimen of a New 
England hill town. The only thing that astonishes the 
visitor is the architecture of some of the dwellings in 
the principal street, which have an air of tremendous 
boldness and self-assertion. 

Ashburnham is remembered by all passengers as the 
place where their seats and their heads are turned. 
Here, for some unaccountable reason, there is a sharp 
angle in the railroad track. The train stops on a 
switch; the locomotive is turned round and attached 
to the rear end of the train, and you are soon going 
back, apparently in the direction from which you have 
come. A better route has just been surveyed, south 
of this line, from Gardner through Westminster to 
Fitchburg, by which the angle will be avoided, the dis 
tance shortened and the grade improved. The road 


will soon be built in accordance with this survey. 
From some of the elevated grades in this town you get 
fine views to the southward. 

Gardner is a flourishing village four miles west of 
Ashburnham, to which the railroad has given a won 
derful stimulus, though it has long been a town of con 
siderable importance, owing to its extensive manufac 
ture of chairs. Though a small village, it has the lead 
in this branch of industry of all the other towns in the 
Commonwealth. Not much is seen of the village from 
the railroad. It is hidden among the hills on the 
north of the track. This fact led a reckless passenger 
to remark that Gardner was a very chary town. It is to 
be hoped that he was immediately ejected from the car. 

Just beyond Gardner the railroad crosses Miller s 
River, a considerable stream emptying into the Con 
necticut above Turner s Falls. The railroad follows 
the course of this river for the next forty miles, and 
from this point onward the scenery owes much of its 
attractiveness to the beauty of the river. Winding 
among the hills we meet a succession of picturesque 
surprises, which cannot be described or pointed out, 
but which the wide awake traveler will not be likely to 

Templeton lies to the southward of the track. This 
town, like Westminster, was an original grant to cer 
tain persons who did service in King Philip s war or 
to their heirs, and was known by the name of Narra- 
gansett No. 6 till 1762, when it was incorporated with 
the present name. 


By this time the Pop-corn Man will have made his 
appearance. Johnson is his name, but he is a better 
looking and a much better natured man than the other 
Johnson. If you greet him with a gentle inclina 
tion of the head, he will stop by your side, take a 
paper bag of crisp and flaky corn from his capa 
cious basket, shake a little salt into it from a small 
glass caster, deftly twirl it round once or twice in 
his fingers and pass it to you, discoursing all the 
time, in the most fluent manner, of " fate, free-will, 
foreknowledge absolute," or any other subject you 
choose to open, and charging you for paper bag, 
politeness, pop-corn and philosophy only five cents. 
Cultivate Johnson; he will tell you much more than 
this book knows about the country through which 
you are passing, and make you feel that you are do 
ing him a favor in giving him an opportunity to answer 

Baldwinsvitte, a village in the town of Templeton, 
detains us but a moment, and soon after we leave it 
we have a fine view of Mount Monadnock in New 
Hampshire, ten miles to the north. 

South Royalston is the village on the railroad old 
Royalston being about five miles northward. Several 
pretty cascades in this vicinity are- turned to good 
account for manufacturing purposes. 

Athol is a lively and enterprising town, of three 
thousand inhabitants, on the western border of 
Worcester County, another remarkable instance of 
the value of railroads in developing the resources 


of the country. Since the Vermont and Massachu 
setts Railroad was opened, this town has made 
remarkable progress ; its excellent water-power is put 
to excellent use, and the wealth of the town has been 

Orange is another village nearly as large, rivalling 
Athol in its activity and vigor. The manufacturing 
interest is large already, and is constantly increasing. 
Miller s River, which does the work of these smart 
villages gives to the traveler many beautiful glimpses 
of quiet pastoral beauty, as he hurries along its banks. 

Wendell and Erving are feeling the impulse of the 
railroad also, and in due time they will no doubt grow 
into prominence and prosperity. 

Grout s Corner is the terminus of the New London 
Northern Railroad, running southward through Arn- 
herst, Belchertown, Palmer and other important towns 
to New London in Connecticut. Here the Vermont 
and Massachusetts Railroad branches, one track go 
ing north to Brattleboro, the other, which we shall fol 
low, passing westward to Greenfield. Grout s Corner 
is making a commendable effort to live and thrive; 
and though it has tried once before and failed, all 
good people will wish it abundant success in its new 
endeavor. In this region there is abundance of 
charming scenery. A beautiful mountain view is seen 
to the northward, before reaching Grout s Corner, 
blue hills in the distance, with a rolling country be 
tween. Just east of the depot, a deep and cool ravine 
gives a bed to Miller s River, from which we part at 


this- point with regret, having found it for many miles 
a charming traveling companion. Two or three miles 
beyond Grout s Corner, a pretty little pond with 
wooded shores smiles in at the car windows on the 
northern side. 

Montague is a fine old village, half a mile south of 
the railroad, and not visible from the cars. Soon after 
leaving the station which bears this name, the train 
emerges from a wooded bank upon a high, uncovered 
bridge, with the broad, clear current of the Connecti 
cut flowing beneath, and the glorious valley opening 
like the Land of Promise to the northward "and the 
southward. After so many miles of hills and cliffs and 
gorges, that tell of upheavals in the earth and forces 
primeval that have tossed and rent and piled the solid 
elements, how restful is the peace of this green valley 
with its circlet of blue hills ! Away yonder on the 
right are the heights of Northfield and Bernardston ; 
southward the symmetrical cones of the Sunderland 
hills ; westward the rugged ridge of Rocky Mountain, 
over which the Shelburne Mountains lift their heads, 
and through which the Deerfield flows to its peaceful 
wedlock with the Connecticut ; and all the wide inter 
val is goodly and fruitful meadow land, green with 
grass or golden with grain. Quickly the train draws 
its smoky line across this beautiful picture; crosses 
the Deerfield ; follows its path through the gorge it 
has cleft through Rocky Mountain; pauses for a mo 
ment that we may gaze upon a new vision of splen 
dor in the smiling meadows of old Deerfield, then 


hurries on to the Greenfield station, where you and I, 
good reader, are to rest awhile. 

" Free carriage to the Mansion House ! " That means 
a good bed, a bountiful and sumptuous table, and a 
genial host. " Free carriage to the American House ! " 
That tells of one who will give you abundant welcome 
and good cheer. Pay your money and take your 
choice ! Rest and be thankful ! 



THIS good town of Greenfield, which, for the next 
few days, will be our resting-place and base of 
operations, lies on the northern verge of the famous 
Deerfield meadows, in the angle between the Deerfield 
and Connecticut Rivers, whose waters unite two miles 
south-eastward from the Public Square. The Con 
necticut is hidden from the village by a greenstone 
ridge extending from Fall River on the north to South 
Deerfield, where it terminates in the well-known Sugar 
Loaf Mountain. 

The. town was originally a part of Deerfield, and was 
then called Green River. In 1753 it received its char 
ter of incorporation. A dispute arose at this time con 
cerning the boundary line between the towns, and con 
cerning the use and improvement of certain sequestered 
lands, which has occasioned no little strife and litiga 
tion. In the courts and the Legislature the battle has 
been fought with great pertinacity ; many hard words 



have been spoken and much printer s ink has been 
shed about it, and once, at least, it led to a slight un 
pleasantness with pitchforks between the farmers of 
the two different towns. The fact that these seques 
tered lands in dispute were for the use and behoof of 
the gospel ministry makes the quarrel slightly ridic 
ulous if not disgraceful. No longer ago than 1850, the 
boundary question was before the Massachusetts Leg 
islature, but if it has been mooted since that day this 
little book does not know of it. 

The historic period of Greenfield was the early part 
of the eighteenth century, while it was yet a part of 
Deerfield ; and when we come to trace the story of 
Indian wars and incursions our path will frequently 
cross this territory. In the War of the Revolution, 
however, this town bore an honorable part. 

" When the news of the battle of Lexington reached 
Greenfield, the people assembled on the afternoon of 
the same day, and formed a company of volunteers on 
the spot choosing Benjamin Hastings captain. Hast 
ings, however became himself second in comrriand, 
yielding the first rank to Captain Timothy Childs, who, 
he modestly said, was a man of greater experience 
than himself. Aaron Davis was then chosen ensign, 
and the next morning the company marched for Cam 
bridge. During the whole War of the Revolution 
the people of this town took an active interest in its 
progress and success, as is abundantly shown by the 
numerous records of votes choosing committees of 
correspondence and safety, approving the confederation 


of the United States, raising money for ammunition 
and food, and hiring men for the army, as well as by 
their prompt personal obedience to the calls for re- 


The spirit of 76 again took possession of the people 
of Greenfield in 1861 when President Lincoln s first 
call for troops was issued. Once more the bells were 
rung, and the people assembled, eager to buckle on 
the armor that their fathers had so nobly worn. From 
one manufacturing establishment an entire company 
volunteered, and the quota was speedily in marching 
order. In the last war as well as in the first Green 
field has a full and honorable record. 


Going forth from our comfortable quarters at the 
Mansion House or the American Hotel we find our 
selves upon the Main street of the village. Nearly 
opposite the Mansion House is the Public Square, an 
oblong space of half an acre surrounded by a low 
wooden railing. The town has recently voted to build 
an iron fence and to erect a Soldiers Monument. The 
most conspicuous object on the north side of the 
square is the Orthodox Congregational Church, now 
building of red sandstone. The symmetry and the 
solidity of the structure are the admiration of visitors 
and the pride of the inhabitants. 

The first minister of Greenfield was Rev. Edward 

* Holland s Western Massachusetts : Vol. II., p. 371. 


Billings, settled September 24, 1753. The first meet 
ing-house was built in 1760, about a mile north of the 
village on the Bernardston road. Soon after the 
meeting-house was built Rev. Roger Newton was 
ordained as pastor of the church and continued in 
this office until 1816, when he died at the age of 79, 
having had but this one pastorate of fifty-six years. 
During the last three years of his ministry he had for 
his colleague Rev. Gamaliel S. Olds, afterwards for a 
long time professor of mathematics in Vermont Uni 
versity and in Amherst College. In 1817 the church 
was divided ; and the Second Society erected its new 
edifice in 1819 on the ground where the present 
church is building. The old meeting-house stood 
until 1831 when it was taken down and a new one was 
built by the First Society at Nash s Mills three-quar 
ters of a mile west of the old site; 

The Rev. Dan Huntington, the father of the Rev. 
Frederick Dan Huntington, D. D., recently of Boston 
and now bishop of Central New York preached for the 
Second Society for some time after its organization, 
though he was never settled as its pastor. The name 
of Rev. P. C. Head ley, well-known in literature, is 
found among the recent ministers of this church. 
Rev. Samuel H. Lee is the present pastor. 

The Unitarian Church whose edifice is just above 
on the opposite side of Main street was organized in 
1825. Its first minister was Rev. Winthrop Bailey, and 
its present pastor is Rev. John F. Moors. 

The Episcopal Church was organized in 1812. Its 

"WHERE is THE CITY?" 37 

excellent house of worship stands on Federal street, 
Rev. P. V. Finch is the rector. 

The Methodist Church was organized in 1835. You 
notice its edifice on Church street, north of Main. 

The Baptist Church, organized in 1852 and minis 
tered to at present by Rev. D. M. Grant, has its local 
habitation on Main street west of the Square. 

The Roman Catholic Church, whose pastor is Rev. 
Mr. Robinson, is about to erect a new church on Main 

People stopping in Greenfield over Sunday may 
therefore even if they are not, like Mrs. Partington, so 
Catholic in their sentiments as to be satisfied with 
" any paradox church where the gospeF is dispensed 
with/ find a place of worship where their preferences 
will be gratified. 

Next door to the Orthodox Church, on the Public 
Square, stands the Court House, Greenfield being 
the shire town of Franklin County. The contiguity 
of these two edifices is suggestive, and -a short inter 
mission will be given, at this point, to all those persons 
who want to go out and make puns about them. 

On the eastern side of the Square is the Post Office, 
and just below the Square, on the south side of Main 
street, is the Town Hall, a fine brick structure. The 
Jail, standing on a side street south-east from the 
Square, is one of the best buildings in town. On 
Chapman street is the High School, and on Federal 
street the Greenfield Institute for Young Ladies, under 
the care of the Misses Stone, an institution which for 


many years has borne an excellent name. The educa 
tion of the young probably costs more than it did in 
1753, when this town voted to pay teachers two shil 
lings a day for the summer and one shilling and four- 
pence for the fall. 

Some members of the illustrious Gradgrind family 
are always found in every company of tourists. They 
do not approve of mountains and waterfalls, but they 
would enjoy a visit to an establishment which has not 
only a national, but an European reputation, 


Up to the year 1841, the table cutlery used in the 
United States was almost all of English manufacture. 
No competition with the great Sheffield manufactories 
had been attempted, and it was supposed that such an 
attempt would not be successful. But in that year, 
Mr. John Russell, who for seven years had been manu 
facturing edge tools on the Green River, in this village, 
and who had during this time made some table cutlery 
with considerable success, resolved to turn his attention 
to the exclusive manufacture of the latter class of goods. 
From that beginning has grown this large establish 
ment, the largest of its class in the world, making 
cutlery which the Sheffield manufacturers confess to 
be superior to theirs, and affording it at prices so 
reasonable that it controls the American market. This 
result has been attained by the superior mechanical 
skill and inventive genius of Mr. Russell and those who 
have wrought with him. Many curious machines, by 


which the labor of production is greatly facilitated, 
were invented here, and are not found in operation 
elsewhere. Almost all the work of these shops is done 
by machinery; and low as are the wages of Sheffield 
mechanics, the Yankee machines will work cheaper 
and better than they. Moreover, the machines are 
never known to go off " on a tear," and though some 
of them strike pretty frequently, the work never stops 
on that account. 

"Among these curious machines is an arrangement 
of screw-frames and heated dies for the purpose of 
giving form and hardness to the apple-wood handles 
which are put upon some styles of knives. The com 
paratively soft apple-wood, by being thus subjected to 
an immense pressure, is made to take the place of 
ebony, rosewood, cocoa or granadilla wood at the 
same time the brass rivets are headed, and a beautiful 
handle is the result. By an ingenious arrangement 
of circufer saws and endless chains, a machine has 
been contrived for the purpose of sawing out bone and 
ivory handles as fast as a man can clap the pieces on 
the machine. Another instrument drills the holes in 
the handles ; another one cuts the tines of the forks ; 
another bends the tines to their proper shape ; another 
straightens and levels the blade of the knife at one 
stroke ; still another cuts the blade from the piece of 
steel which has been formed ready for use." * 

Nearly all the forging is done by steam. Twelve 

* New York Evening Mail. This quotation, and many of the facts here 
presented, were taken from an article in that newspaper. 


trip-hammers make titanic music all day long. In the 
grinding and polishing shops, whose flooring is about 
half an acre in extent, one hundred and forty grinders 
are at work upon seventy grindstones ; and there are 
one hundred men employed on the emery wheels. 
These wheels are made of wood, covered with leather, 
dressed with wax, and rolled in emery dust. The 
emery is of various grades of fineness ; the coarsest, 
which is used for grinding the wooden handle, being 
in grains as large as coarse meal or hominy, the finest, 
which is used only for polishing, being fine as flour. 

One building is devoted to the tempering of the 
knives. The blade is first heated red hot and dipped 
into oil ; this makes it exceedingly brittle. It is then 
laid upon iron plates covered with sand over a coal 
fire, and the heat changes the color first to gray, then 
to straw color, then to pink, then to blue. The work 
man judges of the temper by his eye. One man can 
temper about twenty-five hundred blades in a "day. 

The new silver-plated knife, with both handle and 
blade of steel, is made at these works. 

The Green River supplies three water-wheels with 
one hundred and twenty-five horse power; two steam 
engines, with a total of three hundred and fifty horse 
power, do the rest of the work. Five hundred men 
and twenty women earn a little more than twenty 
thousand dollars a month. 

England and America supply this company an 
nually with six hundred tons of steel ; the West Indies 
contribute three hundred thousand pounds of cocoa 


and granadilla wood ; California sends sixty thousand 
pounds of rose-wood ; Madagascar a hundred thousand 
pounds of ebony; Africa forty thousand pounds of 
elephants tusks ; Smyrna fifty thousand pounds of 
emery; Nova Scotia four hundred thousand pounds 
of grindstones ; Connecticut thirty thousand pounds of 
brass wire ; Pennsylvania two thousand tons of anthra 
cite coal ; Massachusetts and Vermont twenty-five 
thousand bushels of charcoal; and the. Yankee bees, 
who are not less busy than other bees, have a yearly 
contract for supplying twenty-five hundred pounds of 

With this material, the Green River Works turn out 
every day one thousand dozen of table cutlery, one 
hundred dozen ivory-handled ware, and two hundred 
and fifty dozen of miscellaneous goods. 

Of the other manufacturing establishments of Green 
field we cannot speak at length. We have tarried 
long enough among the things that man has made. 
Let us go and look at the house of a better Builder. 
Being a little weary with car-riding, we propose to rest 
ourselves with a walk, this fine evening, to look upon 
the landscape and enjoy the sunset from 


Up Main street under a canopy of elms and maples, 
to the end of the street where a guide-board points us 
into a road leading to Montague, bearing to the right, 
and passing round the elegant residence of Judge 
Grmnell. The highway winding up the hill gives us 


some glimpses of scenery, but prudently keeps from 
us the glories to be revealed when we reach the top. 
There, at the summit, we turn to the left, into a bushy 
pasture, and. suddenly the landscape is unveiled. We 
are standing now on Rocky Mountain, looking east 
ward ; the Deerfield Valley, out of which we have as 
cended, is behind us, and is hidden from view by the 
hill, over the crest of which we have passed ; the 
Connecticut River and its valley are before us. A 
little way to the south the Deerfield River breaks 
through the ridge on which we are standing and flows 
down through the meadow to mingle its waters with 
those of the Connecticut. To the northward we catch 
a glimpse of Turner s Falls, and the racing rapids 
below them; across the valley to the north-eastward 
in the distant horizon rises Mount Grace in the town 
of Warwick; southward is Mount Toby in Sunder- 
land ; other lesser eminences complete the horizon, 
and encircle a scene most fair. Directly across the 
river is Montague City, reached by the bridge which 
spans the Connecticut at this point and greatly adds 
to the beauty of the picture. On the little island at 
our feet a musket was dug up not long ago, which 
may very likely have belonged to one of those Indians 
who went down the rapids in the Falls fight, about 
which we shall know more by and by. In the meadow 
just below us is a sulphur spring the water of which 
tastes bad enough to be very medicinal. Good Mr. 
Philo Temple, who owns the meadow says that the 
spring has had its ups and downs for a hundred and 


fifty years ; sometimes being highly extolled for its 
healing virtues and sometimes entirely neglected. Just 
now it is out of fashion, and therefore we will give it 
none of our patronage. 

When you have rested and feasted your eyes upon^ 
this landscape long enough, we will turn into this well- 
trodden path running northward along the Ridge, keep 
ing the same prospect in view for a third of a mile, 
when the path passes over the crest and opens to 
us another scene scarcely less beautiful, on the west 
ern side of the Ridge. On the brink of this steep, 
rocky wall, where we are standing, is the niche in the 
rock long known as the Poet s Seat. It is not gener 
ally supposed, in the neighborhood of Greenfield, that 
all the people who have sat in this seat are poets, or 
that sitting here is sure to make a poet out of a com 
mon man ; however, if any one chooses to try it, there 
is no impediment. No one but a poet ought to at 
tempt to describe the vision which is here brought 
before us. At our feet Greenfield and the valley of 
the Green River, flanked by the hills of Leyden and 
Shelburne ; to the south Old Deerfield, hidden among 
its elms ; over against it, in the boundary between 
Deerfield and Conway, Arthur s Seat, a noble moun 
tain ; in the middle of the picture the enchanting mead 
ows of the Deerfield, with their many-figured, many- 
tinted carpeting. Upon this sloping bank let us sit 
down, while the shadows creep stealthily, as. once the 
red man crept, eastward across the valley at our feet; 
while the clouds above the Shelburne hills change to 


gold and amber and crimson and purple ; while the 
robin in the branches overhead sings his vesper song, 
and the evening star shines out in the west ; then si 
lently, as the twilight fades, we will rise and seek the 
^ith that will lead us quickly down from this mount of 
beautiful vision. 

" Black shadows fall 
From the lindens tall 4> 

That lift aloft their massive wall 
Against the southern sky; 

" And from tKe realms 
Of the shadowy elms, 
A tide-like darkness overwhelms 
The fields that round us lie. 

" But the night is fair, 
And everywhere 
A warm soft vapor fills the air, 

And distant sounds seem near; 

" And above, in the light 
Of the star-lit night, 
Swift birds of passage wing their flight 
Through the dewy atmosphere." 

We went, as was meet, to the Poet s Seat last even 
tide ; this morning a place with a name something less 
romantic will be the destination of our walk : 


We follow Main street again to the end, turn again 
into the Montague road, and a few rods beyond the 
residence of Judge Grinnell we take a well-trodden 
path, which leads through a beautiful pasture on the 


right of the highway. Following this path for about 
a mile, with a bright panorama nearly all the while in 
view, we come to the southern end of Rocky Moun 
tain, where the Deerfield River pierces, the barrier and 
descends into the Connecticut Valley. Tradition says 
that this Deerfield Valley was once a lake brimful of 
water to the top of this hill, and that a squaw, with a 
clam-shell, scraped away the earth at this point for the 
water to flow over into the Connecticut Valley, thus 
opening a channel which the water has worn till it has 
cut the mountain in two and emptied the lake. Un 
doubtedly the valley was once a lake, and the water 
has worn this channel ; but the squaw and her clam 
shell are mildly apocryphal. This is not the only 
place where they have done duty. The same story is 
told, unless we forget, of the parting between Tom and 
Holyoke through which the Connecticut River runs; 
and upon the banks of every old water basin in the 
land that has been drained, tradition has perched the 
same old squaw with her clam-shell. Standing at this 
point, both valleys are seen, and the view is beautiful 
in both directions. The wagon-bridge, which crosses 
the Deerfield River just above us, was built as a toll- 
bridge in 1798, and its charter ran seventy years; in 
November, 1868, it became free, and passed into the 
possession of the town of Deerfield. 

The railroad bridge, which stands above it, by which 
the Connecticut River Railroad crosses the Deerfield 
River, is seven hundred and fifty feet in length, and 
ninety feet above the water. On the morning of July 


17, 1864, during the draft riots, the bridge which stood 
where this one stands was burnt, with what purpose 
is not quite clear. It was supposed at the time that 
the object was to call the people" and the fire depart 
ment away from Greenfield, when the J;own was to have 
been set on fire. If this was the intent of the incendi 
ary, he failed in his purpose, for the citizens stood by 
their own stuff, and let the bridge burn. 

The Bear s Den is a rough and steep ravine with a 
sort of cavern at the southern extremity of this hill, 
up which ardent and adventurous youth sometimes 
clamber. Sitting in the Poet s Seat will not make a 
man a poet, but climbing up the Bear s Den is very 
likely to make a man as hungry as a bear. If any one 
lacks appetite, therefore, let him make the experiment ; 
while those of us who do not need this kind of sharp 
ening will at once descend to dinner. 

Those who are not vigorous enough to make these 
longer tramps of which we have been talking will find 
it a pleasant walk to the end of Congress street, lead 
ing directly south from the head of Main street. The 
western view from this point is very beautiful. 

The drives about Greenfield are no less inviting 
than the walks, and first among them for interest is 
the drive to 


In order that we may fully appreciate the scenes 
upon which we shall look, we will study for a little 
while, before we start, the early history of this famous 
old town. Originally Deerfield embraced within its 


limits the present towns of Conway, Shelburne, Green 
field and Gill ; and its settlement was on this wise. 
Eliot, the celebrated Indian apostle, after some years 
of labor among the red men, reached a conclusion not 
unlike that which has lately found expression in the 
President s Message, that civilization and citizenship 
were indispensable to the Christianization of the In 
dians. He therefore in 1651 asked the General Court 
for two thousand acres of land at Natick, then a part 
of Dedham, upon which he might found an Indian 
community. This reasonable request was granted. 
As a recompense for the lands thus taken away the 
General Court in 1663 voted that the town of Dedham 
might select for itself eight thousand acres of unoc 
cupied land anywhere within the province. In the 
same year messengers were sent out to locate the 
land. They traveled as far west as Lancaster, to the 
Chestnut Hills ; and very likely climbed to the top of 
Wachusett, from which the country was visible for 
many miles on either side. They returned and re 
ported that the land was rough and uneven, offering 
few inducements to pioneers. The next spring an old 
hunter told the people of Dedham that there was land 
worth possessing on the Connecticut River, north of 
Hadley. Immediately they appointed one of their 
number to go with him and spy out the land. The 
report they brought back was so favorable that four 
men were commissioned to proceed to the spot and 
locate the land. They journeyed westward through 
the unbroken forest, till they reached the Connecticut 


Valley which they crossed not far below the mouth of 
the Deerfield, and climbed to the top of the rocky 
ridge separating the two valleys, when a scene was 
presented to their eyes fairer than any they had be 
held on this Continent. The wide valley then as now 
was green with verdure ; no forests had grown since 
the ancient lake was drained ; the course of the Deer- 
field was marked by thickets that grew upon its banks ; 
thousands of acres of smooth and fruitful land rudely 
planted by the red man were waiting for a better cul 
tivation. No wonder that these good Puritans gave 
vent to their joy in fervent and Scriptural thanksgiving. 
They at once proceeded to locate their eight thousand 
acres with excellent judgment, selecting what proved 
to be the best land in the region. Shortly thereafter, 
Major Pynchon of Springfield purchased this land of 
the Indians for the people of Dedham, paying there 
for ^"94, IGS. The deeds by which the property was 
originally conveyed are now in the archives of the 
town of Deerfield. The date of the first settlement is 
not quite certain. It has commonly been fixed at 
1671 or 1672 ; but some of the later students of the 
old history are inclined to place it as far back as 
1669 ; just two hundred years ago. At this time the 
only settlements of white men in this region were 
those of Hadley, Hatfield, Northampton and Spring 
field. Until the year 1675 these settlers dwelt in 
peace and security ; then began the long train of con 
flicts and calamities which has no parallel in the 
pioneer history of any community in our country. 


Massasoit, the Indian sachem who welcomed the 
Pilgrims to Plymouth, and proved himself, during his 
whole life, a trusty friend of the white man, was suc 
ceeded by his son Philip, a chief of a very different 
temper. Perceiving that the English were gaining 
rapidly in numbers and influence, and that the empire 
of the red man was in danger, he formed the various 
Indian tribes of New England into an alliance for the 
purpose of exterminating the whites. Hostilities began 
in the year 1675 \ an d the first serious contest in West 
ern Massachusetts was in Brookfield, in July of that 
year, where an ambuscade, a siege and a conflagration 
signalized the ferocity of the savages. The Pocumtuck 
Indians, whose hunting grounds were in this valley, 
at first professed hostility to Philip ; but shortly after 
the siege of Brookfield, the wily sachem found his way 
into this region, and won their allegiance. At this time 
Hadley was the head-quarters of the English forces, 
and about one hundred and eighty men were then 
in garrison, under Captains Beers and Lathrop. The 
treachery of the Indians in this vicinity being sus 
pected, they were ordered to deliver up their arms. 
This they promised to do; but on the night of the 
25th of August, before their arms had been given up, 
they secretly left their quarters and fled up the river. 
Beers and Lathrop pursued them the next day, over 
took and attacked them in South Deerfield, near the 
base of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and killed twenty-six of 
them, the remainder making good their escape to the 
camp of Philip, which was somewhere in the vicinity. 


Ten of the English soldiers fell in this battle. One 
week afterward the Indians attacked the settlers in 
Deerfield, killed one of them, and burnt nearly all the 
houses in the little settlement. This was the ist of 
September, 1675. But the settlement was not aban 
doned. A garrison was established here, and Captain 
Mosely was made Commandant. In the fields around 
Deerfield a large amount of wheat had been harvested 
and stacked. The winter was approaching, and this 
wheat must be secured before the Indians destroyed 
it. Accordingly, Captain Lathrop, with eighty soldiers 
and a large number of teams and drivers, were sent to 
thrash the grain and bring it to Hadley. They pro 
ceeded to Deerfield, thrashed and loaded the grain 
without molestation, and the i8th of September began 
their return march to Hadley. The rest. of the story 
shall be told by General Hoyt, whose valuable His 
tory of the Indian Wars, now out of print, is the stand 
ard authority upon the early history of this region : 
" For the distance of about three miles after leaving 
Deerfield Meadow, Lathrop s march lay through a very 
level country, closely wooded, where he was every mo 
ment exposed to an attack on either flank. At the 
termination of this distance, near the south point" of 
Sugar Loaf Hill, the road approximated Connecticut 
River, and the left was in some measure protected. At 
the village now called Muddy Brook, in the southerly 
part of Deerfield, the road crossed a small stream, 
bordered by a narrow morass, from which the village 
has its name; though, more appropriately, it should 


be denominated Bloody Brook, by which it was for 
some time known.* Before arriving at the point of 
intersection with the brook, the road for about half a 
mile ran parallel to the morass, then crossing it con 
tinued to the south point of Sugar Loaf Hill, traversing 
what is now the home-lots on the east side of the vil 
lage. As the morass was thickly covered with brush, 
this place of crossing afforded a favorable point for 

" On discovering Lathrop s march, a body of up 
wards of seven hundred Indians f planted themselves 
in ambuscade at this point, and lay eagerly waiting to 
pounce upon him while passing the morass. Without 
scouring the woods in his front and flanks, or suspect 
ing the snare laid for him, Lathrop arrived at the fatal 
spot ; crossed the morass with the principal part of his 
force, and probably halted to allow time for his .teams 
to drag through their loads. The critical moment had 
arrived. The Indians instantly poured a heavy and 
destructive fire upon the column and rushed furiously 
to close attack. Confusion and dismay succeeded. 
The troops broke and scattered, fiercely pursued by 
the Indians whose great superiority [in numbers] 
enabled them to attack at all points. Hopeless was 
the situation of the scattered troops, and they resolved 
to sell their lives in a vigorous struggle. Covering 
themselves with trees the bloody conflict now became 

* This suggestion of General Hoyt was adopted, and the stream is now 
known as Bloody Brook. 

t Probably commanded by Philip himself. 


a severe trial of skill in sharp shooting, in which life 
was the stake. Difficult would it be to describe the 
havoc, barbarity and misery that ensued ; Fury raged, 
and shuddering pity quit the sanguine field/ while des 
peration stood pitted, at fearful odds to unrelenting 
ferocity. The dead, the dying, the wounded strewed 
the ground in all directions, and Lathrop s devoted 
force was soon reduced to a small number, and resist 
ance became faint. At length the unequal struggle 
terminated in the annihilation of nearly the whole of 
the English; only seven or -eight escaped from the 
bloody scene to relate the dismal tale, and the wounded 
were indiscriminately butchered. Captain Lathrop fell 
in the early part of the action ; the whole loss, includ 
ing teamsters, amounted to ninety. The company was 
a choice corps of young men from the county of Essex 
in Massachusetts ; many from the most respectable 
families. Hubbard says they were the flower of the 
county ; none of whom were ashamed to speak with 
the enemy in the gate. Captain Lathrop was from 
Salem, Massachusetts. 

" Captain Mosely, at Deerfield, between four and 
five miles distant, hearing the musketry, made a rapid 
march for the relief of Lathrop, and arriving at the 
close of the struggle found the Indians stripping and 
mangling the dead. Promptly rushing on, in compact 
order, he broke through the enemy, and charging back 
and forth, cut down all within the range of his shot ; 
and at length drove the remainder through the adjacent 
swamp, and another farther west, and after several 


hours of gallant fighting compelled them to seek 
safety in the more distant forests. 

"Just at the close of the action, Major Treat (then 
commanding the garrison at Hadley,) who, on the 
morning of the day, had marched toward Northfield, 
arrived on the ground with one hundred men, and 
shared in the final pursuit of the enemy. The gallant 
Mosely lost but two men in the various attacks, and 
seven or eight only were wounded. Probably the 
Indians had expended most of their ammunition in 
the action with Lathrop, and occasionally fought with 
their bows and spears." 

That night Mosely and Treat, with their men, slept 
in the garrison at Deerfield, and the next morning 
they returned to bury their dead. The number of 
Indians killed in the two engagements was ninety-six. 

Shortly after this, it became evident that the post of 
Deerfield could only be held with the greatest difficulty. 
The garrison was therefore withdrawn to Hadley, and 
what was left of the little town was entirely destroyed 
by the savages. 

It is not quite certain at what date the settlers re 
turned to rebuild the ruined village. Philip s War 
continued till the spring of 1678, when a peace was 
concluded; but the power of the red men was broken 
in the Connecticut Valley at an earlier date. In the 
autumn of 1677, we find the people erecting dwellings 
and preparing for the coming winter. On the igth of 
September, in that year, a party of about fifty Indians, 
who had descended the Connecticut River from Cana- 


da, and had made a successful assault upon the garri 
son of Hatfield, halted on their return in the woods 
east of Deerfield, entered the town about night-fall, 
killed one man and captured three others, whom they 
took with them to Canada. This calamity alarmed 
the good people of Deerfield, and they again deserted 
their plantation. But after the fall of Philip and the 
conclusion of peace, the Indians abandoned the terri 
tory, and the whites were left for a time in undisturbed 

Ten years of peace were now granted to the dis 
tracted settlers of the Connecticut Valley. These fruit 
ful meadows of the Deerfield again gave seed to the 
sower and bread to the eater ; the village was rebuilt, 
and the people began to hope that their calamities 
were past. But in the year 1689, the accession of 
William and Mary to the throne of England was fol 
lowed by that war between England and France 
known in these colonies as King William s War. 
The gage of battle was taken up by the French and 
English colonists of North America ; and the settlers 
of this region were again for five years harassed by 
constant apprehensions of attack from the French and 
their allies, the Indians. Several slight skirmishes 
with the Indians took place, but no very severe ca 
lamity befell the little town during this war, which 
closed with the peace of Ryswick, in 1691. In 1689 
a fort was built, doubtless as a defence against ex 
pected incursions of the savages. This was a stock 
aded enclosure, more than two hundred rods in circum- 


ference, and containing about fifteen acres. Some 
where within this enclosure, the boundaries of which 
we can fix with some degree of certainty as we ride 
through the village, stood the first meeting-house, built 
probably of logs. October 30, 1694, we find the town 

" That a Meeting-House shall be built ye bignesse of Hatfield 
Meeting-House, only ye height to be left to ye judgment and 
determination of ye Committy. 

" That there shall be a rate made of one hundred and forty 
pounds, payable the present year in Pork and Indian Corn, in 
equall proportions, for ye carrying on ye building." 

Not only religion, but education was the earliest care 
of these wise pioneers. The next year this vote is re 
corded : 

" That a school-house be built upon the town charge in ye 
year 1695, ye dimensions of said house to be 21 foot long and 18 
foot wide and 7 between joynts." 

The school-house and the meeting-house both stood 
within the limits of the fort. 

The democracy of these days was by no means the 
most radical variety, as the following votes in town- 
meeting bear witness : 

"May 11, 1701, Voted that Dea. Hunt, Dea. Sheldon, Mr. 
John Catlen, Edward Allyn and Thomas French, shall be ye 
seaters for ye seating of ye new Meeting-House. That ye rules 
for ye seating of persons shall be Age, State and Dignity. 

"Oct. 2, 1701, Voted that ye fore seats in ye front Gallery 
shall be equal in Dignity with ye 2nd seat in ye body of ye 


"That ye fore seats in ye side Gallery be equal with ye 4th 
seats in ye Body of ye Meeting-House. 

" That ye 2nd seat in ye front Gallery and ye hinder seat in 
ye front Gallery shall be equal in Dignity with ye 5th seat in 
ye Body. 

" That ye second seat in ye side Gallery shall be esteemed 
equal in Dignity with ye 6th in ye Body of the Meeting-House." 

The minister at this time was Rev. John Williams, 
a graduate of Harvard College, who was settled in 
1686, being then in his twenty-second year. The fol 
lowing is the agreement between him and his people, 
copied from the early records of the town : 

" The inhabitants of Deerfield, to encourage Mr. John Williams 
to settle amongst them to dispense the blessed word of truth 
unto them, have made propositions unto him as followeth : 

" That they will give him sixteen cow commons of meadow 
land, with a house lot that lyeth on the meeting-house hill ; that 
they will build him a house forty-two feet long, twenty feet wide, 
with a lento on the back side of the house ; to finish said house, 
to fence his home-lot, and within two year after this agree 
ment to build him a barn and break up his plowing land. For 
yearly salary to give him sixty pounds a year for the present, 
and four or five years after this agreement to add to his salary 
and make it eighty pounds." 

There was a further agreement between Mr. Wil 
liams and the town relative to his salary in 1696, the 
terms of which we find recorded by Mr. Williams him 

11 The town to pay their salary to me in wheat, pease, Indian 
corn, and pork at the price stated, viz: wheat at 3*- 3^ per 
bushel, Indian corn at 2s. per bushel, fatted pork at 2d- 1-2 per Ib. ; 
these being the terms of the bargain made with me at the "fir^ 


These old records illustrate for us the life of the 
early settlers during the years of comparative peace 
and plenty which closed the seventeenth century ; and 
they show that the village, though annoyed by the war, 
was hardly interrupted in its growth. On the death of 
King William and the accession of Queen Anne, in 
1702, another war broke out between England and 
France, which brought to these good people of Deer- 
field hardships greater than any they had yet suffered. 
At this time Deerfield had grown to be quite a village ; 
there must have been a population of between two and 
three hundred souls, and several comfortable framed 
houses had been built, both within and without the 
fort. Deerfield was the frontier town on the north, 
the few inhabitants of Northfield having been driven 
from their homes during King William s War. On the 
breaking out of Queen Anne s War, in 1702, the pur 
pose of the French to sack this town was discovered \ 
the fort was repaired by the inhabitants, and twenty 
soldiers were sent by the Governor as a guard. 

And now the last and worst of their calamities was 
ready to be visited upon them. On the night of the 
twenty-ninth of February 1704, Major Hertel de Rou- 
ville, with sixteen hundred French and one hundred 
and forty Indians, arrived at what is now known as 
Pettis Plain, a short distance south-west from the 
village of Greenfield, and two miles from the fort at 
Deerfield, having made a toilsome march of between 
two and three hundred miles, through a deep snow. 
Here he halted, ordered his men to lay aside their 


packs and snow-shoes, and prepare for an assault 
upon the fort. Crossing the Deerfield River a little 
before daybreak, he took up a rapid march on the 
stiff crust of the snow across the meadow. Fearing 
that the noise of the marching might give the alarm, 
he ordered frequent halts, in which the whole force lay 
still for a few moments, and then rising, rushed on at 
the double quick. These alternations of noise and 
silence, would he supposed, be mistaken by the senti 
nels for gusts of wind followed by moments of calm. 
It was a clever ruse, but hardly necessary, for the sen 
tinels were asleep. On the north-west corner of the 
fort the snow had been drifted nearly to the top of the 
stockade, and over the bridge thus provided for them 
the whole force gained an easy entrance, and found the 
whole garrison asleep. Quietly they now divided them 
selves into parties, and began the assault. The doors 
were broken open, the people were dragged from their 
beds, and all who offered resistance were slaughtered. 
The house of Mr. Williams was one of the first as 
saulted. Awakened from a sound sleep he sprang 
from his bed and ran toward the door, but the Indians 
had already entered. Quickly returning to his couch 
he seized a pistol there secreted, and aimed it at the 
foremost Indian, but it missed fire. Instantly he was 
seized and pinioned, and made to await the brutal 
pleasure of his captors. Two of his young children 
and his negro woman were taken to the door and 
murdered before his eyes. His wife and five children 
were made captives with him. 


The door of Captain John Sheldon s house was so 
securely fastened that they could not force it open. 
With their hatchets they succeeded in cutting a small 
hole through the double .thickness of plank, and thrust 
ing a musket through they fired and killed Mrs. Shel 
don who was just rising from her bed. The house was 
captured and used as a place of confinement for the 
prisoners. Another house about fifty yards south-west 
of Sheldon s was repeatedly attacked but was defended 
by seven men who poured a destructive fire from win 
dows and loop-holes. The bullets that kept the foe at 
bay were cast by brave women while the fight was 
going on ; a fact which Lucy Stone may use with ex 
cellent effect when she makes her next speech in the 
Connecticut Valley. 

Another house outside the fort, surrounded by a 
circle of palisades, was successfully defended, with 
some loss to the assailants. 

Before eight o clock in the morning, the work of 
destruction and pillage was complete, and Rouville 
collected his prisoners and his booty, and set out on 
his return. Possibly his steps were hastened by the 
arrival of a party from Hatfield, whither the news of 
the assault had been carried by a fugitive. This 
small and late re-enforcement, being joined by the 
people who had defended the two houses, and a few 
others who had escaped into the woods, pursued the 
enemy into the meadow, and gallantly attacked them ; 
but being outnumbered and almost surrounded, they 
were compelled to retreat, and the invaders marched 


away with their captives and their plunder. One hun 
dred and twelve persons of both sexes and all ages 
were made prisoners ; the slain, including those who 
fell in the fight in the meadows, numbered forty-seven, 
and the loss of the enemy was about the same num 
ber. Fourteen of the captives, probably infants and 
infirm persons, were killed by the Indians during 
the first day s march, which was not more than four 
miles. Two of them escaped, and Mr. Williams was 
instructed to inform the prisoners that if any more 
escapes were attempted, death by fire would be the 
portion of the rest. A full and graphic account of 
this sad journey, an d the exile in Canada which suc 
ceeded it, may be found in a little book written by 
Mr. Williams, and entitled, " The Redeemed Captive 
Returning to Zion." The first day, he tells us, he was 
separated from his wife, who was in feeble health; 
the second day he was permitted to speak with her, and 
for a time to assist her on her journey; but at length 
her strength failed, and he was forced to leave her 
behind. The Indian to whose tender mercies she was 
left, finding her unable to travel further, despatched 
her with his tomahawk. Not long after, a party from 
Deerfield, following the trail of the Indians, found her 
dead body, and brought it back to Deerfield and buried 
it. By slow and weary marches through the deep snow, 
the prisoners finally arrived in Canada. It appears 
that they were regarded as the property of their Indian 
captors ; and though some of them were purchased by 
the French inhabitants, the greater part were retained 


by the Indians at their lodges in different parts of the 
country. Mr. Williams was set at liberty by Governor 
Vaudreuil, and by great exertions succeeded in procur 
ing the release of all his children but one, Eunice, a 
girl of ten years. In 1706 a flag-ship, sent from Bos 
ton to Quebec, returned with Mr. Williams, four of his 
children and fifty-two other redeemed captives. Eunice 
Williams was left behind, grew up among the Indians, 
forgot her language, married an Indian who assumed 
her name, reared up a large family, and died at length 
a Romanist in an Indian cabin. Three times during 
her life, attended by her tawny spouse, and attired in 
Indian costume, she visited her friends in Massachu 
setts ; but they could not persuade her to forsake her 
home or to forswear her faith. Eleazer Williams, the 
pretended Dauphin of France, was her grandson. 

The little party that bravely followed and assailed 
the invaders, found, on returning to the smoking ruins 
of the little village, that not much of it was left. Hoyt 
tells us that, "excepting the meeting-house and Shel 
don s, which was the last fired, and saved by the Eng 
lish who assembled immediately after the enemy left 
the place all [the buildings] within the fort were con 
sumed by fire. That which was so bravely defended 
by the seven men accidentally took fire and was con 
sumed while they were engaged in the meadow." But 
this statement is now disputed. It is supposed that 
seven or eight houses remained after the burning, and 
some of them are yet standing. We shall see them 
as we ride through the village. 


The house of Sheldon stood with but little alteration 
until 1849, when it was removed to make way for a more 
modern structure. The old dooK, which the Indians 
pierced with their tomahawks was still upon its hinges 
when the house was taken down, and it was preserved 
as a relic by Mr. Hoyt, the owner of the house. Some 
years afterward it passed into other hands, and at 
length in 1863, the citizens of the town learned with 
great regret that it had been purchased and carried 
away to Newton, by Dr. D. D. Slade. Negotiations 
were immediately opened with the worthy doctor, who 
at first refused to part with it; but finally, in 1867, he 
wrote to the committee that after thinking the matter 
over he had concluded that the door belonged to Deer- 
field ; and upon receipt of the amount which it had cost 
him, he would return it to the town. Whereupon, a fair 
was held, the money was raised, and the people cele 
brated the return of the door with a festival, a speech by 
Rev. J. F. Moors of Greenfield, &nd a poem by Josiah 
D. Canning, Esq., of Gill, well known in this region 
as the Peasant Bard." Here are some of his verses: 

" Here where you stood in those dark days of yore, 
And did brave duty as a Bolted Door ; 
Where you withstood the Indians fiendish rage 
Who on yon tablet, scored a bloody page ; 
Where you survived the havoc and the flame, 
And float Time s tide to-day, a Door of Fame ; 
Here where for long decades of years gone down 
You ve served attractor to this grand old Town, 
Made for yourself and physics one name more, 
For thou hast been, shalt be, Attraction s Door ; 


Here where years since, a wonder-loving boy, 

I first beheld thee with a solemn joy, 

Gazed on thy silent face but speaking scars, 

And dreamed of " auld lang syne " and Indian wars ; 

Door of the Past, thou wast indeed to me 

And Door of Deerfield thou shalt ever be ! 

Here grim old relic ! thou shalt aye repose, 

By keepers guarded, unassailed by foes ; 

Stronger in age than most doors in their prime, 

The Indian s hatchet and the scythe of Time 

Thou hast defied ; and though no more for harm, 

Gainst thee the painted warrior nerves his arm, 

Still shalt defy the blade of Time so keen, 

Till he his scythe shall change for the machine. 

" Bless thee, old relic ! old and brave and scar d ! 
And bless Old Deerfield ! says her grandson bard. 
Towns may traditions have, by error spun, 
She has the Door of History, here s the one ! " 

The old door is now enclosed in a handsome chestnut 
frame, and hung in the hall of the Poeumtuck House, 
where it is easily accessible to visitors : but it might 
find a better resting-place. Deerfield ought to have a 
Memorial Hall, into which its relics and its archives 
might be gathered. A large and valuable collection 
would soon be obtained; no town in the country, ex 
cept Old Plymouth, has greater need of such a build 
ing. Some of the rich men of the cities, whose genea 
logical tree sprouted in these historic meadows, ought 
to set this enterprise in motion without delay. 

The terrible calamity just narrated did not destroy 
the courage of this heroic people. Those who were 
left determined to maintain their plantations. When 


Mr. Williams returned to Boston in the flag-ship in 
1706, he was met by a committee from Deerfield who 
invited him to return to his former charge ; and though 
he had received some propositions from a church in 
the neighborhood of Boston, the brave man went back, 
to the perils of the border, saying, " I must return and 
look after my sheep in the wilderness." Here he was 
content to live and labor, and here, after a ministry of 
forty-three years he was gathered to his rest. A stone 
in the old burying-ground marks the place where his 
ashes repose. 

During the years that intervened between the de 
struction of the town in 1 704, and the treaty of Utrecht, 
in 1713, Indian depredations and murders were fre 
quent. Then the land had rest, for a season, and 
prosperity returned to the homes and the fields of the 
Deerfield farmers. 

Again, in 1744, when many of the heroes of the 
former conflicts had passed away, war broke out be 
tween England and France, and its threatening shadow 
fell once more upon this peaceful valley. On the 25th 
of August, 1 746, a party of laborers were assailed by 
the savages at a point in the south meadow known as 
The Bars;" several of them were killed and others 
carried into captivity. Eunice Allen, then a young 
girl, was pursued by an Indian who plynged his toma 
hawk into her skull and left her for dead; but she re 
covered from the frightful wound and lived to be more 
than eighty years old. This was the last serious col 
lision with the Indians in the history of Deerfield. 


Single persons were killed and captured after this time, 
but nothing occurred which amounted to a disturbance 
of the tranquillity of the town. 

From the hardy men who fought these battles a 
worthy progeny has sprung, among whom many emi 
nent names are found. Ephraim Williams, Esq., an 
eminent jurist, and the first reporter of the decisions 
of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, was born 
here, in 1760, married at the age of sixty, and his son 
the child of his old age, is the revered and trusted 
Episcopal bishop of Connecticut. Richard Hildreth, 
the historian, President Hitchcock of Amherst Col 
lege, and General Rufus Saxton, all belong by birth 
to Deerfield. General Epaphras Hoyt, the author of 
the history upon which liberal drafts have been made 
in the preparation of this sketch, lived and died in this 
town. His book is a monument of research, fidelity 
and literary skill. 

Having put ourselves in possession of some of the 
important facts in the history of this old town we are 
now prepared to appreciate and enjoy the things we 
shall see. The road leads southward from the Public 
Square past the shops of the Russell Manufacturing 
Company, under the high bridge of the Troy and 
Greenfield Railroad spanning Green River, through 
Cheapside, under the bridge of the Connecticut River 
Railroad, crossing Deerfield River, upon which we 
looked down from the Bear s Den ; across the old 
wagon bridge, where toll is no longer demanded, and 
along the eastern border of the Deerfield Meadows. 


The owners of two thousand acres of these meadows 
were for a long time members of a corporation known 
as " The Proprietors of the Common Field" The fences 
around the whole were built by the corporation ; each 
man cultivated his own land in the summer, and in the 
fall, after the crops were gathered, all pastured them in 
common. The incorporation has lately expired by 
limitation. Soon we are at the entrance of Deerfield 
street and it is safe to predict that not many of us have 
ever seen one more beautiful. It is just a mile in 
length ; and the branches of the majestic elms, meet 
ing over head form a lengthened canopy for the whole 
of that distance. An old brown house on the right 
not long after we enter the village is the residence of 
George Sheldon, Esq. \ a gentleman of extensive an 
tiquarian research, and of excellent historical judgment, 
who has done more than any other living man to col 
lect and sift the traditions of this old town. Mr. Shel 
don has one of the largest collections of Indian an 
tiquities to be found in the country. He was the man 
of whom the witty Springfield Republican said that it 
was his delight to invite a company of antiquarians 
to supper, and then to amuse them afterward by dig 
ging up Indian skulls in his back yard. Mr. Sheldon 
is now engaged upon a work for which he is thoroughly 
qualified, and which all his neighbors hope he may live 
to accomplish the preparation of a history of his 
native town. When it is done it will be well done, 
and no descendant of Deerfield can afford to do with 
out it. The Unitarian Church is a brick edifice on 


the west side of the street, and at the north end of 
the Common. The slight elevation on which it stands 
was known "among the early settlers as " Meeting- 
House Hill." The northern boundary of the old fort 
ran along this bank; it extended far enough east to 
enclose the houses on the east side of the street. It 
was an irregular oblong enclosure, its greatest length 
being from west to east. The elevation on which it 
stood was once an island in the lake ; and was very 
likely wooded, when the settlers took possession. A 
white house stands fronting on the Common directly 
in the rear of the church, on the spot where the old 
Indian House stood. The Pocumtuck House is an 
excellent hotel on the south side of the street, in the 
hall of which we shall find the Indian Door. The next 
house beyond the hotel, was probably standing when 
the town was burnt in 1704. In the Common stands 
a beautiful shaft of brown freestone, surmounted by the 
statue of a soldier in fatigue dress, with a rifle at the po 
sition of " load." Engraved upon the monument, with 
various appropriate mottoes, and the names of the bat 
tles and prisons in which they gave up their lives are 
the names of forty-two soldiers, and this inscription : 

"In grateful appreciation of the Patriotism and self sacrifice 
of her lamented sons and soldiers, who for their Country and for 
Freedom laid down their lives in the war of the Great Rebellion, 
Deerfield erects this monument, A. D. 1867. Their precious 
dust is scattered on many battle fields or was hastily buried near 
some loathsome prison pen ; but the memory of their brave 
deeds and willing sacrifices shall be cherished in our heart of 
hearts sacredly and forever. 


"This Monument stands upon the Old Meeting-House Hi!!, 
and is within the limits of the Old Fort, built A. D. 1689, and 
which remained until A. D. 1758, and was one of the chief de 
fenses of the early settlers against the attacks of savage Indians. 
With pious affection and gratitude, their descendants would 
hereby associate the sacrifices and sufferings of the Fathers of 
the town in establishing our institutions with those of their 
children in defending them." 

"Aye, call it holy ground, 

The soil where first they trod 
They have left unstained, what here they found, 
Freedom to worship God." 

The Orthodox Congregational Church is a neat, 
white edifice on the left hand side of the street, front 
ing southward. Between the two houses standing 
north of this church on the principal street, it is said 
that there was formerly an underground passage pro 
vided for the safety of the inmates during the Indian 
wars. On the south of the common a side street leads 
down to the old burying-ground, past the old home of 
President Hitchcock on the left, and the spot on the 
right where stood the residence of Parson Williams, 
and where his well still remains. Here lie buried many 
of the victims of Indian barbarity. The date of the 
oldest inscription is 1695. A little guide-board marks 
the spot. 

Leaving, now, this quiet street whose atmosphere is 
pervaded with old memories, let us drive to the top of 
Pocumtuck Rock, which overlooks the village and the 
valley. There let us sit down and muse awhile, feast 
ing our eyes upon the beautiful picture at our feet, and 


supplying in our imagination the scenes that have trans 
pired during the last two hundred years within the 
circle of these hills. 

Another day, perhaps, we will drive -further south 
through the meadows, along the route where Lathrop 
and his troops and teamsters marched so many years 
ago, to the spot where they were slaughtered, now 
marked by a marble cenotaph. This monument was 
dedicated in 1835, with an oration by Hon. Edward 
Everett. While we are in this neighborhood too, we 
will climb to the top of Sugar Loaf, the hill at the base 
of which the fight took place. 

" It is a conical peak of red sandstone, five hundred 
feet above the plain. It stands on the west bank of 
the Connecticut, within two hundred yards of the river, 
and rises almost perpendicularly from the meadows- 
below. Sugar Loaf stands as it were at the head of 
the valley, and the southern view is remarkable for its 
beauty. On the left, east of the river, and almost un 
derneath the mountain, is the village .of Sunderland, 
accessible from the west side by a covered bridge. 
South, and on the same side of the river, are the vil 
lages of North Amherst, Amherst, Belchertown, North 
Hadley and Hadley. On the west side are South Deer- 
field,Whately, Hatfield, Northampton and Easthampton. 
Skirting the southern horizon are the lofty peaks of 
Mounts Holyoke and Tom, and between them, through 
the gateway to the ocean, glimmering in the sunlight, 
are the church spires in Holyoke and Chicopee."* 

* Burt s Connecticut Valley Guide. 


From Greenfield to Sugar Loaf it is only eight miles, 
an easy and delightful afternoon excursion ; and the 
ascent of the mountain is not difficult. At the hotel 
on the summit we may find rest and refreshment. 


Up Main street to High street, then northward, 
along a level and pleasant road. The mills and tene 
ments of the Greenfield Woolen Company stand in 
Factory Hollow, through which Fall River runs to the 
Connecticut. A? certain eminent actor and elocution 
ist visiting once at Greenfield rode out this way one 
fine morning to visit Turner s Falls. On the left hand 
of the road he saw this mill-dam which he took for 
the famous cataract, on the right the frames for dry 
ing cloth which he supposed were seats erected for the 
convenience of visitors to the Falls. Back he galloped 
to the village and gave free expression to his contempt 
for people who could make so much fuss about so 
small a thing. Afterward he went farther and changed 
his mind. Not far from the mill we catch a glimpse 
of the Falls through the gorge which Fall River has 
cloven through the rocks. It is only a glimpse, but 
it quickens our pulses, and we hurry on to the sum 
mit of the hill. And now that this little book may not 
be charged with too much enthusiasm in its descrip 
tion, let us copy a sketch of the Falls from a work as 
solid as Hitchcock s Report on the Geology of Mass 

"They are by far the most interesting water-falls in the 


State, and I think I may safely say in New England. 
Above Turner s Falls the Connecticut for about three 
miles pursues a course nearly north-west, through a 
region scarcely yet disturbed by cultivation; and all 
this distance is as placid as a mountain lake even to 
the very verge of the cataract. There an artificial 
dam has been erected, more than a thousand feet long, 
resting near the center upon two small islands. Over 
this dam the water leaps more than thirty feet perpen 
dicularly; and for half a mile continues descending 
rapidly and foaming along its course. One hundred 
rods below the falls the stream strikes directly against 
a lofty greenstone ridge, by which it it compelled to 
change its course towards the south at least a quarter 
of a mile. The proper point for viewing Turner s 
Falls is from the road leading to Greenfield on the 
north shore, perhaps fifty rods below the cataract 
[just where we are standing now.] Here from ele 
vated ground you have directly before you the princi 
pal fall intersected near the center by two small rocky 
islands which are crowned by trees and brush-wood. 
The observer perceives at once that Niagara is before 
him in miniature. These islands may be reached by 
a canoe from above the falls with perfect safety. Fifty 
rods below the cataract a third most romantic little 
island lifts its evergreen head, an image of peace and 
security in the midst of the agitated and foaming 
waters swiftly gliding by. The placid aspect of the 
waters above the fall, calmly emerging from the mod 
erately elevated and wooded hills at a distance is 


finely contrasted with the foam and tumult below the 
cataract. During high water, the roar of Turner s 
Falls may be heard from six to ten miles. The mag 
nificence of the cataract is greatly heightened at such 
a season." 

Here occurred the famous Falls Fight. On the 
evening of the iyth of May, 1676, about eight months 
after the terrible massacre at Sugar Loaf, Captain 
Turner marched with one hundred and sixty mounted 
men from Hatfield, twenty miles below, to attack the 
Indians who had gathered here to fish in large num 
bers. Just before daybreak they reached an elevated 
hill not far from where the woolen mill now stands, 
where they dismounted, fastened their horses, and 
crossing Fall River, climbed to the spot where we are 
standing now, and looked down upon an Indian camp 
which was pitched near the head of the falls. The 
Indians were all in a profound sleep without even a 
watch. " Roused from their slumbers by the sudden 
roar of musketry they fled, toward the river, vocifera 
ting Mohawks! Mohawks! believing this furious 
enemy was upon them. Many leaped into their ca 
noes, some in the hurry forgetting their paddles and 
attempting to swim were shot by the English or pre 
cipitated down the dreadful cataract and drowned ; 
while others were killed in their cabins or took shel 
ter under the shelving rocks of the river bank, where 
they were cut down by their assailants without much 
resistance. The loss of the Indians was severe, one 
hundred were left dead on the ground, and one hun- 


dred and forty were seen to pass down the cataract, 
but one of whom escaped drowning. A few gained 
the opposite shore and joined their companions on 
that side. The whole loss, as was afterwards acknowl 
edged, amounted to above three hundred of all de 
scriptions, among whom were many of their principal 

Only one Englishman was killed. On his return, 
however, the Indians, whose force greatly outnumbered 
Turner s, rallied, and pursued him ; dividing and scat 
tering his little army, and killing Turner himself, with 
thirty-eight of his men. 

A short distance above the falls we cross by a ferry 
from the town of Gill to the town of Montague, and 
drive down the stream to the new city, whose founda 
tions are now being laid. The dam which Dr. Hitch 
cock describes is not the one now standing. In 1792 
a company was incorporated under the title of the 
" Proprietors of the Upper Locks and Canals in the 
County of Hampshire," that built a dam and a canal 
three miles long at this point, for the purpose of facili 
tating the navigation of the river. In 1866, the name 
of this corporation was changed to The Turner s Falls 
Company, seven hundred acres of land were purchased 
by them ; a new dam was built, the streets and ave 
nues of a new city were laid out, and one of the largest 
water powers in New England was developed. This 
dam is one thousand feet long, in two curved sections ; 
and it has an average fall of thirty-six feet. It is built 

*Hoyt s Indian Wars, p. 139. 


of timber and entirely filled with stone, making it prac 
tically a stone dam. While the dam was building, in 
the winter of 1866-7, a portion of it about one hun 
dred feet in length was carried away. The whole Con 
necticut River poured with tremendous force through 
this opening a hundred feet in width, and the hydraulic 
engineers declared that the section could not be re 
stored. But a plain man in Greenfield, whose name 
is George W. Potter, and who is not an engineer, said 
it could be done, and did it. It was probably one of 
the most difficult feats of hydraulic engineering ever 
attempted. Standing on the bulk-head, the view of the 
fall and the rapids below is magnificent. 

Below this dam two canals are being constructed, 
the one twenty-five feet above the other; and upon 
these two canals, provision is made for thirty-one mill 
sites, averaging three hundred horse power each. 
This does not utilize more than half of the power. 
The property is rapidly being taken up. The Russell 
Manufacturing Company are erecting one building six 
hundred and ten feet long by fifty feet wide ; and this 
is only about one-third of the area of the buildings to 
be erected by them. Their new shops will give em 
ployment to twelve hundred men. Other mills will 
soon be built, and within twenty years we may expect 
to see a city of fifteen thousand inhabitants upon this 

In the new red sandstone, which constitutes the 
banks of the river at the Falls, were found the fossil 
foot-prints which were such a prize to the geologists. 


Somewhere from fifty to a hundred thousand years 
ago, a large number of birds of both sexes and all 
sizes (some of them standing not less than ten feet 
without their stockings) were in the habit of walking 
out at low water on the beach of a lake or estuary, then 
occupying these parts. Their foot-prints, hardened 
by the sun, were afterward filled by the rising water 
with sand and mud ; and then the whole mass was 
petrified. How do we know all this? Look here 
madam ! You must not come round us geologists 
saying you want to know, you know. We have made 
some pretty shrewd guesses, and we intend to stand 
by them. 

We drive homeward, along the serene and somewhat 
slimy banks of the old canal, musing on these foot 
marks with the unpronounceable Greek names, all so 
neatly classified and labeled. Cuvier said that if you 
would give him a single bone he could construct the 
skeleton of the animal. But these geologists make 
pictures of the ancient birds by studying the tracks 
they left in the primitive mud. Imagine the pictures 
which will be drawn by geologists fifty or a hundred 
thousand years hence, when the tracks that were made 
last summer in the sand at Newport or Long Branch 
are quarried out of the rock ! Imagine a geologist 
studying the fossil track of a Grecian bender and try 
ing to frame a figure to correspond ! 

The moral is, ladies, that you should never walk in 
the mud. 

Down through the single street of what was to have 


been and still is called a City, whose other name is 
Montague; across the old bridge which is to give 
place for a new one for both wagons and cars, where 
the railroad is to cross now building to Turner s 
Falls ; over the hill, looking backward to take our last 
leave of the beautiful Connecticut, and down into the 
village again, by a road that has grown familiar. 


The Stillwater Drive is deservedly popular about 
Greenfield. The road to Conway is followed, which 
leads across the railroad track, then turns to the right, 
crosses Pettis Plain, where De Rouville s French and 
Indians halted on the morning when they made their 
assault upon Old Deerfield ; then turns to the left along 
the margin of the old lake which is now the meadow, 
having in sight continually a most beautiful landscape ; 
passes over Stillwater Bridge, into that part of the 
meadow called "The Bars," where the last fight oc 
curred, and returns by way of Old Deerfield. 

Leyden Glen or Gorge is a place much visited by 
tourists. A large brook has worn a passage from ten 
to twenty feet wide, and from thirty to fifty feet deep in 
the strata of argillo-micaceous slate. The length of the 
gorge is about forty rods. Above the gorge is a deep 
glen, and below it the stream passes through a ravine. 
Two beautiful water-falls near the mouth of the gorge 
greatly add to the picturesqueness of the spot. It 
compares not unfavorably with the famous Flume at 
the White Mountains. Not far from the entrance to 


the glen, the place is pointed out where Mrs. Eunice 
Williams was murdered on the march to Canada. 

Romantic and delightful roads pass through The 
Shdburne and Coleraine Gorges; you can go by the one 
and return by the other. 

One of the roads to Shelburne takes you for a long 
distance through cool and pleasant woods, and for 
three or four miles a brook is your constant companion. 
Beyond the .woods you look back upon another charm 
ing, view of Greenfield and the Deerfield Valley. 

These are only part of the pleasant excursions you 
can make in the neighborhood of Greenfield. For the 
rest, consult Stevens of the Mansion House. There 
are two of them and either of them is a host in more 
senses than one. What they cannot tell you about 
things worth seeing in this region is not worth knowing. 



THE Troy and Greenfield Railroad, from Green 
field to the Hoosac Tunnel, is owned by the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but is leased and 
operated by the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad 
Company. The airy and pleasant cars of this com 
pany take us on board at the Greenfield station, and 
we are soon passing over the high bridge across Green 
River, and steaming swiftly along the table-land that 
overlooks the Deerfield Valley. West Deerfield is 
the name of the station at Still water; and just before 
reaching it we look far away across the meadows upon 
two peaks in the southern horizon which must be Tom 
and Holyoke. The gorge from which the Deerfield 
River emerges, and into which we enter at this point, is 
the wildest and most beautiful spot we have yet found 
in our railroading. "As to the defile," says Dr. Hitch 
cock- in his Geological Report, " through which Deer- 
field River runs between Shelburne and Conway, it is 
so narrow thatfH is difficult even on foot to find a pass- 


age; though full of romantic and sublime objects to 
the man who has the strength and courage to pass 
through it." But what the turnpike did not dare to 
do the railroad has done; it has hugged the river 
closely all the way, and thus has given us a constant 
succession of magnificent scenes, of which the high 
way altogether defrauded the traveler. Any elaborate 
description of these scenes is superfluous. The traveler 
must not be looking in his book ; he must be looking 
out of the window. 

Shelburne Falls is a thriving town twelve miles from 
Greenfield. The cataract in the Deerfield at this point 
is a beautiful one, though the glimpse of it that we get 
from the cars is hardly satisfactory. Here is another 
mammoth cutlery establishment, next to the Russell 
Works at Greenfield in size and importance. Messrs. 
Lamson and Goodnow are the proprietors. The ex 
cellent water-power afforded by these falls is turned to 
good account in manufacturing. Here resided, until 
his death within the past year, Mr. Linus Yale, Jr., 
whose father picked the locks of Hobbes, the English 
man, so cleverly, and who himself made a lock that the 
Englishman could not pick. The Yale locks, known 
everywhere, are made here. The village of Shelburne 
Falls puts in a fine appearance, scattered along the 
narrow valley, and upon the adjacent hill-sides. Two 
churches confronting each other on one of the streets 
made us think of Dr. Holmes, who, you know, was 
always reminded, when he saw two churches situated 
in this manner, of a pair of belligerent roosters, with 


tails erect and crests ruffled, eyeing each other at close 
quarters. These two churches, it is pleasant to know, 
are not in a state of war, nor even in a condition of 
armed neutrality, though their edifices may be in a 
threatening attitude. 

Beyond Shelburne Falls is Buckland, a small station 
where travelers will be amused to see a sort of tele 
graphic contrivance for carrying- the mail across the 
river. It is a good illustration of Yankee ingenuity. 
Part of the territory of Buckland was formerly called 
"No Town." To this unpretending old town, .the 
thoughts of many will make pilgrimages, though their 
eyes may never see the glory of its wooded hills. It 
was the birthplace of Mary Lyon. Here the valley of 
the Deerfield, which for much of the distance since we 
left Stillwater has been only a gorge, grows a little 
wider, and there are good farms, with excellent or 
chards, on both sides of the river. Without doubt, this 
valley, in which part of Buckland and nearly the whole 
of Charlemont lie, was once a lake. But though the 
hills recede from the river they do not lose their at 
tractiveness. Their symmetrical outlines present to 
us a constant and charming variety of graceful and 
beautiful forms. This river, whose banks we follow, 
now lying placidly in the midst of green meadows, or 
winding through willow thickets ; now rippling with a 
musical delight, which we can feel if we cannot hear 
it, over broad and shallow places; now reflecting in 
its smooth pure waters, long reaches of shingly shores 
or islands ; now plunging madly down tortuous rapids ; 


this matchless Deerfield River is to every traveler who 
follows its course a ceaseless fascination, a perpetual 
delight. The quickest and most loving eye seizes but 
few of its many charms in one journey ; and with as 
poor a pigment as printers ink one could hardly paint 

Charlemont is an old town, extending fourteen miles 
along the river: and from one to three miles wide. 


The principal village is across the river from the rail 
road, and among other distinguishments boasts one of 
the best old fashioned country inns to be found any 
where this side the water. " Deacon " Dalrymple, the 
inn-keeper, is a character in his way. The figure of 
speech by which his title is applied to him is not down 
in the historical books ; but his inn, unlike his title, is 
not a figure of speech at all. If you want a good, 
square, country meal, -with no nonsense about it, the 
Deacon is your man. And yet, so indifferent is he to 
patronage and so averse to praise, that he will be likely 
to resent this little notice as a mortal injury ; and the 
writer will never dare to show himself on that side of 
the river. The only motive of this paragraph is the 
public good. There are so few good country taverns 
in the land that any man in such a place who can keep 
a hotel, and wont keep a hotel ought to be made to 
keep a hotel. 

The old town has sent forth some celebrities. Ex- 
Governor Washburne was born here; Rev. Roswell 
Hawkes, and Rev. Theron M. Hawkes, both well 
known Orthodox ministers are natives of this town; 


Hon. Joseph White, Secretary of the Board of Educa 
tion, hails from this valley. 

In early days this town included a part of what is 
now Heath, the town adjoining it on the north. Dur 
ing the Revolution, Rev. Jonathan Leavitt, father of 
Hon. Jonathan Leavitt, of the Court of Common 
Pleas, and of Dr. Joshua Leavitt of the New York 
Independent, was the Congregational pastor here, and 
made no small stir among his people in one way and 
another. He was not quite sound in his theology, 
many thought; he was not so ardent a Whig as some 
of his townsmen, and his views on the subject of 
finance troubled them exceedingly. It seems that 
the town (the town and the parish were identical in 
those days) had voted before the war to give him 
so much salary; and when the Continental paper 
money had depreciated so that it wasn t worth a 
Continental, they wanted to pay the parson in that, 
to which he strenuously objected. When they cast 
him out of the church, he entered into the school- 
house and preached there; and after the war he 
sued the towns of Heath and Charlemont for the 
arrearages in his salary. The lower court decided 
against him, but the Supreme Court reversed the 
decision, and awarded to Mr. Leavitt ^"500 for 
preaching in the school-house, and ,200 Jbr loss 
suffered through the depreciation of paper currency. 
If all the dominies in the land should collect by 
law from their parishes the difference in their sala 
ries between gold and greenbacks during the late 


war, some of them would have money enough to take 
a trip to Europe. 

In this quarrel between Mr. Leavitt and his parish, 
no doubt the parson had the law on his side ; but the 
methods he took of enforcing his claims are open to 
severe criticism. As much might be said of some of 
his antagonists. It is the theory of the Congrega 
tional order that one church may not interfere with 
the affairs of another except to give advice when it is 
called for; but in this quarrel we find Rev. Mr. Jones, 
of Rowe, coming uninvited at the head of a posse of 
his parishioners, to give advice to Mr. Leavitt, and 
bearing in his hand not exactly an olive branch, or the 
emblematical balances, but a bayonet fastened to the 
end of a rake s-tail ! Advice, under most circum 
stances is easier to prescribe than to swallow; but 
under such circumstances it would certainly be classed 
among those commodities which it is more blessed to 
give than to receive. It does not appear that Mr. 
Leavitt was persuaded by these urgent solicitations of 
his brethren. 

Above Charlemont the scenery grows wilder. Now 
we are plunging into the heart of this beautiful region. 
The valle^ contracts to a narrow gorge ; the hills, 
wooded from base to summit, rise abruptly from the 
river-bed a thousand feet into the air. How the river 
finds its passage among them we cannot always make 
out. Looking before us, we can discover no break in 
the solid chain of hills ; looking behind us the moun 
tain wall is equally impenetrable. Still the river has 


leisure. Doubtless it can make its way. Rivers 
always do. But how are these thundering, screaming 
cars to thrid this Titan s Labyrinth ? Is there not 
danger that they will come to a sudden halt against 
that solid mountain at which they are driving so fu 
riously? The danger always passes before we have 
had time to be alarmed. The cul-de-sac has always 
an opening. The train skips across the river, bends 
sharply round a curve, and darts with a yell of triumph 
into a new defile. It is a Titan s Labyrinth, but the 
strength and swiftness and cunning that are searching 
out and forcing open its hidden paths for us are more 
than Titanic. 

Next above Charlemont the train halts at Zoar. 
" Is it not a little one ? " said the patriarch Lot of the 
city of that name to which he fled. Certainly this is 
not a very big one. It might be large enough to hold 
a patriarch, but there certainly is not room for a lot in 
it, for a level one at any rate. Somebody at your 
elbow who knows more than he ought to know sug 
gests that Lot was not always exactly level ! 

Beyond Zoar the grandeur grows apace. We pass 
on the left a covered bridge under which a eataract 
tumbles ; the hills are closer, higher, and steeper ; the 
foliage on their sides more dense and richer in variety. 
Soon a little green valley laughs at us from across the 
river; the train slackens its speed, the brakeman 
shouts "Hoosac Tunnel!" and we gather our bundles 
and disembark. 

Dinner at Rice s, an old and excellent country tavern 



across the river ; and then, perhaps we will spend the 
afternoon in exploring this region, and in making our 
selves familiar with what is here to be seen of 


Up to this point the Deerfield River has given us an 
excellent route for a railroad. But just here we find it 
coming down from the north, out of the fastnesses of 
the Green Mountains. It would not be easy to follow 
its course any higher ; and it would lead us where we 
do not wish to go. Right across the westward path 
which we have followed nature has written, in the bold 
horizon lines of the Hoosac Mountain, " No Thorough 
fare." But many of Nature s legends get rubbed out 
and this one soon will be. 

The project of tunneling this mountain is not a new 
one. In 1825 a board of commissioners with Loami 
Baldwin as engineer, were appointed by the Legislature 
to ascertain the practicability of making a canal from 
Boston to the Hudson River. They examined the 
country by way of Worcester, Springfield, and the 
Westfield River ; and also by Fitchburg, and the Mil 
ler and Deerfield Rivers, making the village of North 
Adams a point common to both routes ; and reported 
that " there was no hesitation in deciding in favor of 
the Deerfield and Hoosac River Route." 

At the Hoosac their examinations were extended 
both to the north and south of the present line of 
tunnel with a view to discover some other route by 
which it might be avoided, but increased distance and 


lack age and difficulty of procuring water led them to 
give preference to the tunnel. In their report they 
say : " There is no hesitation, therefore, in deciding in 
favor of a tunnel ; but even if its expense should ex 
ceed the other mode of passing the mountain, a tunnel 
is preferable, for the reasons which have been assigned. 
And this formidable barrier once overcome, the re 
mainder of the route, from the Connecticut to the 
Hudson presents no unusual difficulties in the con 
struction of a canal, but in fact the reverse ; being re 
markably feasible." 

During this very year, the first railway was opened 
in America for the conveyance of freight and passen 
gers, and the attention of the people being turned to 
this improved method of communication the project 
of building a canal from Boston to Troy was aban 
doned. The Boston and Albany Railroad was com 
pleted in 1842, but the advantages of this northern 
route were never lost sight of. The thriving towns 
along the line looked for an outlet east and west, and 
the vast undeveloped resources of the region through 
which the railroad would pass gave abundant encour 
agement to the prosecution of the work. In 1845 tne 
first section of the road was opened to Fitchburg; 
shortly afterward the Vermont and Massachusetts Rail 
road was begun; and as early as 1848 the Troy and 
Greenfield Railroad Company was incorporated by the 
Legislature, with a capital of three million five hun 
dred thousand dollars, and was authorized to build a 
railroad " from the terminus of the Vermont and Massa- 


chusetts Railroad at Greenfield, through the valleys of 
the Deerfield and Hoosac to the State line, there to 
unite with a railroad leading to the city of Troy." 
The road must be located within two years, and finished 
within seven years. 

The feasibility of the undertaking was not apparent 
to capitalists, however ; and at the end of six years 
the subscription books of the company showed a beg 
garly array of blank pages, while almost nothing had 
been done towards the construction of the road. Ef 
forts had been made during this time to obtain a State 
loan; but it was not till 1854 that the Commonwealth 
loaned its credit to the company to the amount of two 
millions of dollars. Under this act a contract was 
made with E. W. Serrell & Company, and work was 
begun in earnest in 1855. The conditions under which 
the loan was granted were found difficult of fulfillment ; 
and the progress of the work was impeded. In 1856 
a new contract was made with H. Haupt & Company 
by which the company agreed to pay three million 
eight hundred and eighty thousand dollars for complet 
ing the road and tunnel. From this time till 1861 the 
work was carried on by the company and the contrac 
tors. Excavations were made at each end of the tun 
nel, and in 1858 the western section of the road was 
completed to the State line, connecting North Adams 
with Troy. In 1861, a difficulty arose between Haupt 
& Company and the State Engineer concerning the 
payment of the installments of the State loan, which 
resulted in the abandonment of the work by the con- 


tractors. Nothing farther was done until the winter 
of 1862, when an act was passed providing that the 
State should take possession of the road, the tunnel, 
and all the property of the Troy and Greenfield Com 
pany; and appointing a Commission to examine the 
works and report to the next Legislature. This Com 
mission made an elaborate report in February, 1863^ 
recommending the prosecution of the work by the 
State; upon which in the autumn of the same year 
work was resumed by the commissioners, under the 
able superintendence of Mr. Thomas Doane who had 
been appointed Chief Engineer. The enterprise was 
prosecuted by the commissioners until the winter of 
1868, when the Legislature made an appropriation of 
four million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
for the completion of the work, requiring that it should 
be contracted by the first of January following. The 
contract was taken by Messrs. F. Shanly & Brother 
of Canada, who agree to finish the tunnel and lay the 
track by March i, 1874. These gentlemen are now 
rapidly and vigorously carrying on the work. 

The length of the tunnel from portal to portal is a 
little more than four miles and three quarters, and the 
rock through which it passes, except at the extreme 
western end where a secondary formation overlays the 
primary, is a solid mica slate, with occasional nodules 
of quartz. The mountain has two crests, with a val 
ley between them. The one which overlooks the 
Deerfield is about fourteen hundred and fifty feet above 
the river bed; the one which overlooks the Hoosac 


is seventeen hundred and fifty feet above the bed of 
that river. The lowest spot in the depression between 
these peaks on the line of the tunnel is about eight 
hundred feet above the grade. 

The work is being driven from both ends; and in 
the valley at the top of the mountain a shaft is being 
sunk, from which, when the grade is reached, excava 
tions will be pushed, east and west, to meet those that 
are being driven inward. This shaft besides giving 
two more faces on which to work, and thus expediting 
the completion of the tunnel, is expected to afford 
ventilation when the tunnel is completed. 

At first the work was all done by hand-drills ; but 
attempts were soon made to construct machines for 
rock-cutting. In 1851 a monster of this sort weighing 
seventy tons was constructed at South Boston, and 
"was designed to cut out a groove around the circum 
ference of the tunnel, thirteen inches wide and twenty- 
four feet in diameter, by means of a set of revolving 
cutters. When this groove had been -cut to a proper 
depth, the machine was to be run rSack on its railway 
and the center core blasted out by gunpowder or split 
off by means of wedges. It was conveyed to the 
Hoosac mountain, and, the approach not being then 
completed, was put in operation on a vertical face of 
rock near the proposed entrance to the tunnel." The 
Railroad Committee of the Legislature after examin 
ing its operations were fully convinced that it was a 
stupendous success. It was operated under their eyes 
for full fifteen minutes, during which time it cut into 


the rock four and one-eighth inches, or at the rate of 
sixteen and one half inches per hour. At that rate, 
by operating at both ends, the tunnel could be built in 
about two years. This was rosy. But unfortunately 
this mechanical behemoth refused to go on. Ten feet 
was the extent of its progress. It amounted to old 
iron and that was all. Nothing daunted by this fail 
ure, Mr. Haupt, at an expense of twenty-five thousand 
dollars, procured another boring machine. This was 
to excavate the heading only, or a hole eight feet in 
diameter; which was afterwards to be enlarged by 
manual labor and blasting. Mr. Haupt was sanguine 
about this. In a letter to General Wool, under date 
of September 25, 1858, he prophesies: "The slowest 
progress of the machine when working will be fifteen 
inches per hour; the fastest, twenty-four inches. A 
machine at each end working but half the time with 
the slowest speed, should go through the mountain in 
twenty-six months." But this promising contrivance 
never made an inch of progress into the rock. It was 
"an auger that wouldn t bore." 

These costly experiments with tunneling machines 
sufficed. After this the work was done with elbow 
grease and gunpowder until Mr. Doane took charge of 
the tunnel, when preparations were immediately made 
to introduce power drills. These had been success 
fully employed on the great Mount Cenis Tunnel now 
constructing under the Alps between France and Sar 
dinia. The impossibility of operating machinery with 
steam in a tunnel, owing to the fouling of the air with 


smoke, made it necessary to find some other motive 
power for the drills ; and the engineers of the Mount 
Cenis Tunnel at length succeeded in solving this prob 
lem. Their method with variations and improvements 
was adopted here. Air compressed by machinery to 
a pressure of six atmospheres or ninety pounds to the 
square inch is carried into the tunnel in iron pipes, and 
there being ejected with the force due to its pressure, 
it not only serves to move the piston of the machine 
drill, but ventilates the tunnel. The dam in the Deer- 
field River just above the eastern portal of the tunnel 
furnishes the power by which the air-compressors are 

Under the management of Mr. Haupt, about two 
thousand four hundred feet of linear excavation was 
made at this eastern end. The distance penetrated 
from the eastern portal at the transfer of the work to 
the Messrs. Shanly was five thousand two hundred and 
eighty-two feet just two feet more than a mile. 


At the west end the difficulties of the work have 
been greatest. On this side the mountain wall is less 
abrupt than on the other; and on entering the slope 
of the mountain the workmen came upon a solid lime 
stone rock easy of excavation. But this rock soon 
began to dip, and at length as they progressed, it dis 
appeared below the grade of the tunnel, and they dis 
covered that they had passed through the limestone 
into what geology calls disintegrated mica and talc 


schist; but what history with a truer nomenclature, 
designates as porridge. This loose rock, readily yield 
ing to the action of water and dissolving into a fluid 
of about the consistency of gruel was a most formida 
ble foe to the .engineers. From before its face they 
retreated, resolving to make an open cutting instead 
of a tunnel for the first few hundred feet. Accord 
ingly they ascended to the surface, sunk a shaft just 
eastward of the end of their completed tunnel, and 
began to take out the earth. But the open cutting was 
a job of some magnitude. When they had made an 
immense hopper, five hundred and fifty feet long, three 
hundred feet wide and seventy-five feet deep, they con 
cluded to try tunneling again. As fast as excavations 
were made into this demoralized rock it was necessary 
to make a complete casing of timber to support the 
sides and roof of the tunnel. Within this casing an 
arch of masonry must be built. There was no solid 
foundation on which to rear the walls and roof of ma 
sonry; and it was therefore necessary to lay an in 
verted arch of brick for a flooring. The top of the tun 
nel is a semicircle, whose radius is thirteen feet ; and 
the sides as well as the invert are arcs of a circle whose 
radius is twenty-six feet. The invert was carried in 
for eight hundred and eighty-three feet from the portal ; 
at which point rock was found of sufficient firmness to 
sustain the walls of masonry. It will be seen there 
fore that nearly nine hundred feet of the west end is a 
complete tube of brick, averaging about eight courses 
in thickness. 


Most of this difficult work at the west end was done 
by Mr. B. N. Farren under a contract with the com 
missioners. The obstacles have at some times been 
appalling. So treacherous was the quicksand, and so 
great the flow of water at times, that whole months* 
have been spent in the most energetic labor without 
making an inch of progress. It was necessary thor 
oughly to drain the porridge by side and cross drifts 
in every direction before anything could be done. 
For this purpose about twelve hundred feet of extra 
heading was made outside of the tunnel. When at 
last they pierced the thin quartz vein which separated 
the porridge from the mountain rocks, there was great 
joy in those diggings. Beyond this the rock was 
soft, but not affected by the action of water ; and the 
troubles of the engineers were at an end. 

This demoralized rock, which has given so much 
grief to the friends of the tunnel has given equal joy 
to its foes. This has been their constant argument to 
prove that the tunnel was a blunder and a failure and 
a swindle. Driven from every other stronghold they 
have entrenched themselves in this porridge with des 
perate resolution. Marshalled by the amiable but in 
domitable Mr. Bird of Walpole, the pamphleteers have 
let fly at this soft rock a broadside of paper missiles. 
There are a good many bird-tracks " in the new red 
sandstone at Gill ; but the Bird tracts about this por 
ridge are much more numerous. 

While part of the miners were fighting with the por 
ridge at the west end, another army of them ascended 


the mountain side to a point on the line of the tunnel 
about half a mile east of the west portal, and there 
sunk a shaft in the solid rock, three hundred and 
eighteen feet. From this shaft an opening has now 
*been made to the west end, and the heading has been 
pushed eastward sixteen hundred feet, making a con 
tinuous lineal excavation of four thousand fifty-six feet 
from the west portal to the end of the heading. 

The cost of this work is not an insignificant item. 
Up to the time when the commissioners took posses 
sion of the road the State had advanced nearly a mil 
lion of dollars. The commissioners have expended 
$3,229,530. The Messrs. Shanly are to receive for 
completing the work, $4,594,268. Add to these sums 
the amount required to finish the road from the tun 
nel to North Adams, and the total cost of the road 
and the tunnel according to the last estimate of the 
commissioners will be a little over nine millions of 

If anybody wants to know what advantages are to 
be derived from this large expenditure, the answers 
are easy. This road will shorten the distance from 
Boston to Troy by nine miles ; and on account of its 
easier gradients, will be a much better road for freights 
than the Western. It will thus give greatly increased 
facilities for tracle between Boston and the West, and 
will by its competition reduce the enormous prices of 
transportation over the Boston and Albany Road. At 
the same time it will help to develop the resources of 
the country through which it passes, and will open to 


pleasure as well as to business a most attractive and 
profitable line of travel. 

The longest tunnel now in use is the Woodhead 
Tunnel on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire 
Railroad, a short distance from Manchester, England. 
This is a little more than three miles long. The 
Nerthe Tunnel in France, between Marseilles and 
Avignon is nearly as long. The great tunnel before 
referred to, now constructing under the Alps at Mount 
Cenis, is more than seven miles and a half in length. 
The Hoosac will therefore, when it is constructed, be 
the longest tunnel in the world with the exception of 
the one at Mount Cenis. 

Now if the ladies will array themselves in their 
shortest skirts, their oldest hats, their water-proofs, 
and their over-shoes, we will go forth and see what we 
have been reading about. From Rice s to the tunnel 
the road runs along the river side, part of the way 
under a delightful canopy of forest trees, and part of 
the way upon a precipitous bank. In the bend of the 
river lies the immense pile of rock removed from the 
tunnel. Passing by the stores, and crossing the track 
that issues from the portal we follow the stream up to 
the Deerfield Dam, a structure built for use, and an 
swering its purpose well ; but like all the best works 
of man, as beautiful as it is useful. Retracing our 
steps we descend the stream to the machine-shops 
and compressor building, in which \ve watch for a 
few moments the slow but miglity movement of the 
enormous air pumps which supply the motive power 


to the drills that are hammering away upon the face of 
the rock more than a mile distant in the heading of 
the tunnel. Here too we may see one of the drilling- 
machines brought in for repairs. It is the invention 
of Mr. Charles Burleigh of Fitchburg ; and it consists 
of a cylinder and piston operated by the elastic force 
of compressed air. The drill is fastened to the piston, 
and is driven into the rock by repeated strokes of the 

To the left of the track as we approach the portal 
we can see the hole in the rock made by the big borer 
some years ago. A little tool-shop occupies the niche. 
Perhaps we shall have time before we go in to ascend 
this brook which flows past the mouth of the tunnel, 
for a quarter of a mile to the Cascade of the Twins. 
Two rivulets that unite to form this brook, coming 
from different directions, tumble over the rocks from a 
height of fifty or sixty feet into the same little pool. 
It is a good place to spend an hour or two upon a hot 

On our return the train is in readiness. "All 
aboard!" shouts the conductor, who is also the en 
gineer, likewise the brakeman. He is dressed in an 
over-coat of dirty yellow rubber cloth ; and he flour 
ishes a rawhide. The cars upon which we mount are 
not exactly drawing-room cars, but they answer tolera 
bly well. The locomotive is a good sized mule, who 
lowers his long ears, bends his strong back, and 
makes for the portal. In we go ! The blue canopy 
over head gives place to the dripping rock, a breeze 



coming out of the mountain and produced by the air 
escaping from the drills at the distant heading greets 
us ; and we soon perceive that we have passed out of 
the summer heat into a much cooler temperature. 
Perhaps, too, if there has been a recent blast we 
shall meet odors and vapors coming forth from this 
darkness which will remind us of Tartarus, rather 
than of the Cave of the winds. By and by an un 
earthly clangor reaches our ears; in the murky dis 
tance lurid lights and goblin shapes are seen flitting 
and stalking about ; and presently we are in the very 
workshop of Vulcan himself; in the midst of noises 
dire and forms uncouth, and faces grimy and hideous. 
The drilling-machines are fastened to a massive iron 
frame which is pushed up against the face of the 
rocks ; when holes enough are perforated, the frame is 
pushed back ; little tin cartridges of nitro-glycerine to 
each of which the wires of a galvanic battery is attached, 
are placed in the holes; the workmen retire to safe 
distances; the galvanic circuit is completed, and a 
sound like all the noises of an earthquake and ~a 
thunder-storm rolled into one, followed by a tremen 
dous rush of air toward the portal, announces that a 
few more inches of the Hoosac Tunnel are completed. 

A very short visit to this interesting spot generally 
satisfies nervous people; wherefore we will speedily 
remount our conveyance and turn our faces toward 

When the heats of noon are past, and the sun begins 
to sink behind the Hoosac Mountain we will prepare 


for our stage ride of eight miles to North Adams. 
There is a vulgar prejudice against that excellent and 
time-honored institution called the stage-coach, but 
this prejudice is rarely able to survive the journey 
over the Hoosac Mountain. Persons who have made 
this overland trip have discovered that the true luxury 
and glory of travel are only to be found in the stage 
coaches. Fatigued with the journey in the cars to this 
point they have alighted from the stages on the other 
side refreshed and vigorous. The change from the 
cars to the stages is always restful. The grand scen 
ery and the bracing air of the mountain are full of de 
licious intoxication. If mere bodily comfort were 
sought in travel the stage ride could not well be omit 
ted ; but they who seek refreshment for their minds 
will readily allow that these eight miles over the 
Hoosac Mountain are worth more than all the rest of 
the journey. The only objection to the tunnel worthy 
of a moment s consideration is that it will deprive 
many travelers of this precious interlude. 

Under the lengthening shadows our train of elegant 
six-horse coaches begin to climb the mountain. Barnes 
& Co. are the names written over the coach doors. 
Barnes is the popular host of the United States Hotel 
at Boston, and " Co." includes " Jim Stevens," one of 
our drivers, who with " Al Richardson," another of the 
drivers, manages the business here. " Jim " was once 
somebody s baby, but that must have been some time 
ago. It wouldn t be much of a pastime to dandle him 
now. It is pleasant to know that his skill and trust- 


worthiness as a stage-driver are in direct proportion to 
his size. He might, perhaps, be bigger than he is ; 
he could not possibly be a better driver. To sit by 
his side and see him handle the reins on one of these 
mountain trips, deftly turning his long team round the 
sharp angles in the steep road ; quietly making every 
horse do his part on the heavy up hill stretches, and 
coolly keeping them all in hand in the crooked descent, 
and all without swearing or shouting or whipping, is to 
enjoy one of the triumphs of horsemanship. "Jim" 
learned his trade in a long apprenticeship among the 
White Hills, and he is fond of talking about that re 
gion; and yet he maintains that the scenery of this 
stage ride over the Hoosac is hardly surpassed in that 
famous resort of travelers. It ought to be conceded 
that the opinions of men. like "Jim" and "Al," whose 
avoirdupois balances are respectively three hundred 
and twenty and two hundred and thirty pounds, are 
entitled to some weight, 

Steady climbing now for forty minutes. The road 
creeps cautiously up the mountain side, much of the 
way through the forest, but often revealing the rugged 
grandeur of the hills. Now you begin to get some 
adequate idea of the depth and sinuosity of this Deer- 
field Gorge. Half a mile from Rice s is Puck s Nook, 
where the road makes a sharp turn to the north, cross 
ing one of the Twin Rivulets, which here comes gurg 
ling out of a dense thicket above the road, and leaps 
merrily down a steep ravine upon our right. A little 
farther on, we emerge from the woods, and climbing a 


steep pitch, .look down into the valley out of which we 
have ascended. The green meadows, the orchards, 
the river, the bridge, the shady road along the bank, 
the neat white hostelry of Jenks & Rice, and the 
other buildings nested in this snug little valley, and 
around them all, built up into the sky, the steep, solid 
battlement of .hills! It would not do to call this val 
ley a basin ; the bottom is too small, and the sides are 
too high and steep ; it is a cup rather, the drinking 
cup of a Titan embossed as the seasons pass with 
green and gold and garnet forests, and drained of all 
but a few sparkling drops of the crystal flood with which 
it once was overbrimming. 

On the hill across the river the line of the tunnel is 
marked by a narrow path cut through the forest to a 
signal station on the top. A white object upon that 
hill-too furnishes a perpetual conundrum to travelers : 
the guesses are commonly divided between a white 
cow, a pale horse and a shanty. It may give relief 
to some minds to know that it is a rock. When you 
are exactly in the range of that line on the opposite 
hill you are exactly over the tunnel; and you will 
notice similar paths cut through the forests both above 
and below the road. "Jim" says that one lady on 
being told that the stage was at that moment passing 
over the tunnel, ejaculated with a little scream, "Oh! 
I thought it sounded hollow !" 

A long pull and a strong pull of Jim s honest blacks 
and grays brings us to the top of the eastern crest of 
the Hoosac Mountain. Now look ! You have but a 


few moments, make the most of them. You may 
travel far but you will never look upon a fairer scene 
than that. The vision reaches away for miles and 
miles Over the tops of a hundred hills grouped in 
beautiful disorder. Fifty miles as the crow flies from 
the spot where you are standing, the cone of old 
Monadnock pierces the sky. Further south, and ten 
miles farther away, the top of Wachusett is seen in a 
clear day dimly outlined in the horizon. Down at 
your feet flows the deep gorge of the Deerfield whose 
course you can trace for many miles. Nothing is seen 
at first view but these rugged hills and the deep ra 
vines that divide them no trace or token of meadow 
or lowland ; but some subtile enchantment presently 
attracts the eye to that miniature valley out of which 
we have climbed, bordered on one side by the Deer- 
field, and walled in on all the other sides by the steepest 
hills. This little valley at once becomes the center 
of the picture ; from it the eye makes many wide ex 
cursions over the hill-tops but it hastens back again. 
It is like a ballad in the middle of a symphony ; the 
symphony is grand, but the ballad keeps singing itself 
over in your memory at every pause. And yet that is 
a very tame little valley, or would be anywhere else. 
Its smooth, green fields edged by the river, would 
never attract a glance in any level country. But, shut 
in here, as it is among these hills, the only sign of 
quiet amid all these tokens of universal force, it 
is unspeakably beautiful. The mountains, too, are 
grander and wilder by the contrast with this peaceful 


scene. Every artist, whether in words or colors ought 
to look upon this landscape. It would teach him a 
useful lesson. 

Over the crest of the mountain, westward, swiftly 
down into the valley of the Cold River, which divides 
the eastern from the western summit. The stunted 
beeches on the left, barren of branches on the north 
west side, show how fierce the winter winds are, and 
from what quarter they come. This summit is two 
thousand one hundred and ten feet above tide water, 
and the western summit is four hundred feet higher. 
Over the top of the hill in the west we catch our first 
glimpse of Greylock. 

Beyond the lowest part of the valley, on the slope 
of the western crest, the new buildings over the Central 
Shaft of the tunnel are seen. At this place, on the 
i9th of October, 1867, a horrible casualty took place. 
Thirteen men were at work at the bottom of the 
shaft, five hundred and eighty-three feet from the 
surface, when the accidental explosion of a tank of 
gasoline which had been used in lighting the shaft 
suddenly set the buildings over the shaft into a blaze. 
The engineer was driven from his post, the hoisting 
apparatus was disabled and inaccessible, and the terri 
ble certainty was at once forced upon the minds of all 
who looked on, that the men at the bottom of the 
shaft were doomed. How soon or in what manner 
the men were themselves made aware of their awful 
condition or in what way they met their fate no one 
will ever know. Some doubtless were killed by the 



falling timbers of the building ; and by a terrible hail of 
steel drills precipitated into the shaft when the plat 
form gave way; others, perhaps, were suffocated by 
the bad air, and others possibly were drowned by the 
rising water, after the pumps stopped working. The 
next morning, as soon as the smoking ruins could be 
cleared away, a brave miner named Mallory was 
lowered by a rope around his body to the bottom of 
the shaft, and found there ten or fifteen feet of water 
on the top of which were floating blackened timbers 
and debris from the ruins, but saw no traces of the 
men. It was impossible even to rescue their bodies. 
The water was rapidly filling up the shaft, and new 
buildings must be erected and proper machinery pro 
cured before it could be removed. It was not till 
the last days of October, 1868, a full year after the 
accident, that the bottom of the shaft was reached 
and the bodies were secured. 

On this bleak, rough mountain top, lies all that is 
inhabitable of the town of Florida. There are a few 
good grazing farms, but grain has a slim chance be 
tween the late and early frosts. The winters are long 
and fierce. During the 1 Revolutionary War a body of 
troops attempted to make the passage of this moun 
tain in midwinter, and nearly perished with cold and 
hunger. Jim can tell you some large stories, if he 
chooses, about the storms and drifts of last winter. 
Passing on the left a dilapidated old tavern, where 
none but a stranger will be likely to get taken in, and 
on the right, as we ascend the western crest, a smooth 


surface of rock with furrows chiseled in it by primitive 
icebergs, there suddenly bursts upon us a scene whose 
splendor makes abundant compensation for the dreari 
ness of the last three miles. 

In the center of the picture rises Greylock, King of 
Mountains ; about him are the group of lesser peaks 
that make his court. On the north, Mount Adams, a 
spur of the Green Mountain range, closes the scene. 
Between this and the Greylock group the beautiful 
curves of the Taghkanic range fill the western horizon. 
From the north flows down, through the valley that 
separates the mountain on which we stand from Mount 
Adams, the north branch of the Hoosac river; from 
the south, through the village of South Adams and the 
valley that lies between us and Greylock, comes the 
other branch of the river; right at our feet and fifteen 
hundred feet below us lies the village of North Adams, 
packed in among its ravines and climbing the slopes 
on every side ; and here the two branches of the Hoosac 
unite and flow on westward through the other valley 
that divides Greylock from Mount Adams. Williams- 
town lies at the foot of the Taconic Hills, just behind 
the spur of Mount Adams. The straight line of the 
Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad cuts the southern 
valley in twain ; the Troy and Boston railroad bisects 
the western valley ; and the twin spires of little Stam 
ford in Vermont brighten the valley on the north. 
These three deep valleys, with the village at their 
point of confluence, and the lordly mountain walls 
that shut them in, give us a picture whose beauty will 


not be eclipsed by any scene that New England can 
show us. If it should fall to your lot, good reader, as 
it fell to the lot of one (whether in the body or out of 
the body I cannot tell) to stand upon the rock that 
overhangs the road by which we are descending, 
while the sun, hiding behind amber clouds in the west, 
touches the western slopes of the old mountain there 
in the center with the most delicate pink and purple 
hues, while the shadows gather in the hollows of its 
eastern side, and the sweet breath of a summer even 
ing steals over the green meadows where the little river 
winds among its alder bushes, if this should be your 
felicity, you will say, and reverently too : " It is good 
to be here ; let us make tabernacles and abide ; for 
surely there shall never rest upon our souls a purer 

People often debate whether this view from the 
western crest be not finer than that from the eastern ; 
but with many the preference always rests with that 
which they have looked on last. 

Down the steep zigzags we go steadily, round the 
hills and through the gorges we wind merrily, past 
the mills and tenements of the upper village we clatter 
briskly, and soon the stages halt before the imposing 
front of the Wilson House; in which, unless we pre 
fer the less spacious but comfortable Berkshire House 
across the way, we shall find quarters, if we are wise, 
for more than one night. 



NO one can say of this town of Adams, what the 
member from Essex spitefully said of one of the 
towns through which we have passed, that it is like 
a growing potato the best part of it under ground. 
Adams has not buried many of its heroes, partly be 
cause it has not had many to bury, and partly because 
it is a theory widely accepted in the town that the worst 
use to which talent can be put is to bury it. The town 
was born amid the throes of the Revolution ; being in 
corporated in 1776, and taking its name from the fa 
mous Sam Adams. The first settlers were from Con 
necticut; most of these died or removed, and their 
lands fell into the possession of emigrants from Rhode 
Island, many of whom were Quakers. The southern 
part of the town is now largely populated by the de 
scendants of this peaceful sect; one at least of whom 
has made herself a national reputation. The clear- 
minded, large-minded, and by no means weak-minded 
Susan B. Anthony was born under the shadow of Grey- 


lock. Some of the first families of Adams can trace 
the lines of their ancestry up to the Pilgrims who came 
over with Bradford and Standish in the Mayflower; 
the rest are all descendants of the original passengers, 
who came over with Noah in the ark. The ordinary 
sort of aristocracy does not, therefore, prevail in Ad 
ams to any alarming extent. There is wealth here, 
but all of it has been earned ; none of it was inherited. 
All the leading business men began life with no stock 
in trade but brains and courage. Out of this capital 
they have created fortunes for themselves, and have 
built up a flourishing town. The population of the 
town has increased with great rapidity during the last 
few years, and the appreciation of property and the 
increase of business have kept even pace with the 
growth of population. The value of goods manufac 
tured in 1868, which was a dull year for business, is 
shown by the books of the Internal Revenue Depart 
ment to be above seven millions of dollars. That is 
not an exaggerated statement at any rate. The town 
contains two calico printing establishments, twelve 
cotton mills, eight woolen mills, four shoe factories, 
one tannery, two carriage manufactories, three paper 
mills, two flouring mills, two sash and blind factories, 
and two machine shops. In these not less than thirty- 
five hundred operatives and mechanics find employ 
ment, and the wages paid by manufacturers to their 
employes amount to more than a million and a quarter 
of dollars. 

These statistics include both the north and the south 


villages of Adams \ North Adams having rather more 
than two-thirds of the population and the business. 

It does not take the traveler long to discover that 
North Adams is a village of great vigor and enterprise. 
Capital is not suffered to lie idle in the vaults of banks; 
it is constantly in motion. It is a thoroughly demo 
cratic town. The factitious class distinctions so com- 
monly observed in the society of our larger villages 
are not very obvious here. There is a more thorough 
fusion of the various social orders than is usually found. 
At a reception in the spacious parlors of one of the 
wealthy citizens you will meet people of widely differ 
ent stations and conditions, all on a footing of social 
equality. The morality of the town is considerably 
above the average of villages of its class. Manufac 
turing communities as large as this are always far from 
perfect ; but in a town that votes as this one did last 
year, in a hotly contested struggle, three to one against 
the licensing of open bars for the sale of liquor, drunk 
enness cannot be a very general vice ; and it is fair to 
estimate the morality of the town in other respects by 
its vote on this question. It is quite common, in cer 
tain quarters, for various reasons, to disparage the 
town of Adams, but readers of this little book will dis 
cover after stopping a week at the Wilson House that 
there are many worse places. 

A few elegant houses recently erected, three new 
churches, and a magnificent new school-house on 
the hill, in the centre of the village, which cost eighty 
thousand dollars, show that the attention of the people 


is being turned to architectural improvements. The 
Wilson House is quite a phenomenon in a village of 
this size, and visitors may be interested to know who 
built it, and how it happened to be built. 

This hotel is the property of Mr. Allen B. Wilson, 
the inventor of the Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Ma 
chine, now a resident of Waterbury, Conn. The story 
of his life, though wanting in tragic situations and re 
markable feats, is worth reading. It is the same old 
story of struggle and want and ultimate triumph which 
has been told of so many American inventors. 

Wilson was born in the town of Willett, Cortland 
County, N. Y. His father died in his early childhood, 
and at the age of fifteen he was bound out to a relative 
to learn the triple trade of carpenter, joiner and cabinet 
maker. This trade was supposed by his employer to 
include such work as mowing Canada thistles, milking 
cows and making maple sugar, at which Wilson was 
kept the greater part of the time. Not fancying these 
branches of the business, the apprentice ran away 
after two years to a safe place among the Catskill 
Mountains, where he hired out as a cabinet-maker. 
In 1847 h e started westward as a tramping journey 
man, in search of a fortune, working at cabinet-making 
and carving in Cleveland, Chicago and several other 
Western towns. At Burlington he was attacked and 
prostrated by the fever and ague, a disease that fol 
lowed him for seven years, and nearly wrecked him. 
Slowly and sadly he made his way back to his country 
home in Cortland County, where he passed a miser- 


able winter, very poor in purse, and nearly broken in 
spirit. In the spring of 48 he started, with very little 
money in his pocket, to work his passage to New York, 
designing thence to go to sea in the hope of mending 
his health. His first halt was at Homer, where he 
hired himself out as a machinist ; and although it was 
a trade which he had never tried before, the discovery 
was not made in the shop that he was a raw hand. At 
Homer he remained, working for seventy-five cents a 
day, till he had earned enough to carry him to New 
York, making the journey by canal and steamboat. 
There he found a sloop in the coasting trade, upon 
which he shipped to work for his board, and paid his 
last quarter of a dollar to have his tool chest carried 
across the city. He remained on board this sloop 
nearly all summer, and in the autumn, being somewhat 
improved in health, found his way to Boston, where he 
engaged for a time in joiner work. But though he was 
a cunning workman in wood, an idea was brewing in 
his mind which must find articulation in iron, and he 
was eager to get into a machine shop. Finding a 
place in the locomotive works of Hinckley & Drury, 
he started across the city with his tool chest all his 
wealth when he was suddenly attacked with home 
sickness. The crooked streets of Boston looked un 
speakably hateful to him ; he could not bear the thought 
of tarrying there another day ; and as he drew near the 
Western Railroad depot, he told the expressman with 
whom he was riding to stop and unload his chest on 
that platform. The first train carried him as far west 


as Pittsfield, and that was about as far as his money 
would go. Here he engaged in cabinet-making and 
carving, stipulating for his evenings ; for the idea which 
had been buzzing in his brain ever since that winter of 
1847-8 must be caught and caged. Wilson says that 
the machine was invented during that enforced idle 
ness in his own home in Cortland County, and that 
ill-health alone delayed its construction. Here, at 
Pittsfield, in the leisure of his evenings, he built the 
first machine. The dream was a reality. The reality 
was better than the dream. From the start the machine 
worked beautifully. It could be improved-, but, just as 
it was, it was a triumph of mechanical genius. Parts 
of the first machine were made of wood, and Wilson 
wished to make it all of iron. The facilities for doing 
machinists work were not good in Pittsfield; so he 
carried with him to North Adams the iron parts (which 
still remain in his possession), and hiring out again as 
a cabinet maker, employed his leisure in perfecting his 
invention. Mr. J. N. Chapin, of North Adams, entered 
into partnership with him in the construction of the 
machine, and several were built. Meantime trouble 
was brewing. Elias Howe, Jr., and Isaac M. Singer 
had produced sewing machines, for which they were 
endeavoring to obtain patents, and each claimed pri 
ority of invention over the other, and over Wilson. 
Lawsuits were threatened, and Mr. Chapin, an excel 
lent but cautious man, whose honesty and friendship 
Wilson never doubted, sold out his interest in the 
patent, and withdrew. While Wilson was in New York, 


waiting for the issue of the patent, he invented the 
rotary hook, one of the most exquisite mechanical 
contrivances ever produced, and otherwise essentially 
modified his machine. Falling in with Mr. Nathaniel 
Wheeler, Mr. Wilson entered into partnership with 
him, and the improved machine took the name of the 
firm of Wheeler and Wilson. 

There has been considerable controversy both in 
the courts and in the public prints about priority of 
invention, and the honor has commonly been conferred 
with some flourish of trumpets upon Mr. Elias Howe, 
Jr., but these two things are certainly true : 

1. Mr. Wilson invented a sewing machine, without 
help or suggestion from Mr. Howe or anybody else, 
and without ever having seen or heard of a sewing 
machine. The idea was purely original with him. 

2. The Wheeler and Wilson Machine was a practical 
success from the beginning, distancing the Howe from 
the start in the markets of the world. It was the first 
practical sewing machine ever made. 

When Mr. Wilson left North Adams for New York 
with his model in his valise to secure his patent, in the 
spring of 1850, it is not likely that he, or any of those 
who knew him, expected that he would return, in the 
summer of 1865, with the Wilson House in his pocket. 
This massive pile of brick and iron is only a small 
part of the earnings of that cunning little work 
man whose low song has cheered so many tired 
women. With a kindly feeling toward the town where 
the sun first began to shine upon him, and where the 



best of fortunes came to him in the excellent wife who 
has been to him a help-meet indeed in his subsequent 
career, Mr. Wilson resolved to devote a portion of his 
gains to the erection of this Hotel. 

The Wilson House is, as you have already discov 
ered, a first-class hotel. Eight large stores, a fine 
Public Hall, a Masonic Hall, a Manufacturers Club 
Room, and a Billiard Room are included within its 
walls; and besides its spacious offices, its ample 
dining-rooms, its large and well appointed kitchens, 
pantries, store-rooms, its excellent baths, and its ele 
gant parlors, it offers to guests a hundred airy and 
well-furnished chambers. The Post Office and the 
Telegraph Office are in the house; the two railroad 
stations are within three minutes walk ; and the stages 
of the tunnel line leave its doors. Over it preside two 
genial and attentive landlords, of both of whom, if it 
were not too much like boasting of its friends, this 
little book could say a thousand things in praise. 
However, "good wine needs no bush," and a hotel as 
good as this needs no strenuous puffing. 


After a bath and a breakfast, a walk to the Natural 
Bridge will be in order. Up Main street to Eagle 
street, then northward past the Eagle Mill and up the 
hill, turning first to the eastward, then to the north 
ward, then, when the top of the hill is reached, into a 
cross-road running eastward. The view from this hill 
top is magnificent. The village, Greylock, the South 


Adams valley, and the Williamstown valley, are all in 
full view. The objects are the same that you saw from 
the top of the Hoosac Mountain, but you have given 
the kaleidoscope a turn and the new combination adds 
a new glory. There is hardly a better view of the 
Greylock group then you get at this point. Between 
the main ridge of the mountain and the southern val 
ley there is a lower ridge ; the deep gulf that separates 
the higher mountain from the lower one is called the 
Notch ; and the upper end of the Notch is the Bellows 
Pipe. Greylock proper, is the highest peak, just west 
of the Bellows Pipe. Mount Williams is the northern 
end of this high ridge, which overlooks the village; 
Mount Fitch is the elevation of the ridge, midway be 
tween Greylock and Williams; and the western peak 
of the mountain, overlooking Williamstown, is Mount 

The cross-road that we follow eastward from the top 
of the hill leads us down into the ravine through which 
flows Hudson s Brook. Under the little wooden bridge 
the water roars and rushes down the narrow channel it 
has chiseled for itself in the limestone ; below the road 
is a chasm about fifteen feet wide, from thirty to sixty 
feet deep and thirty rods long, spanned by an arch of 
solid rock. Before the days of the white men, the 
water ran over this rock, and descended in a cascade 
into the gorge below ; but finding some small opening 
under the rock which is now the Natural Bridge, it has 
gradually worn this channel to its present depth. In 
the soft limestone the swift water has done much beau- 


tiful and curious carving. Just below the arch a well- 
worn foot-path will conduct you to a rocky prominence 
where you get an excellent view of the bridge and the 

You can return by the road that follows the brook 
down to the lower Clarksburg road, and that will lead 
you past the Beaver and the Glen Mills, through Union 
street, back to your starting-point. The Natural Bridge 
is not more than a mile from the hotel, and is easily 
reached by carriages. 

The Cascade in the Notch Brook is a mile and a half 
from the hotel j and those who dare not venture upon 
so long a walk can ride up the Williamstown road, past 
the cemetery to the little drab factory village of Bray- 
tonville with its large brick mill, where a road running 
south past a long red school-house leads up to a saw 
mill. Here alighting and fastening your steeds you 
have less than half a mile to walk. The path follows 
the Notch Brook through the fields up into a rough 
and romantic glen, along the sides of which a foot-path 
leads you till you are stopped by the precipice down 
which the water is plunging. The perpendicular de 
scent of the water is less than thirty feet, but the walls 
of the chasm rise much higher. From the very brink 
of the precipice on either, side spring stately forest 
trees that lock their branches across the abyss, and 
almost hide the sky. The jagged walls of rock are 
covered with beautiful growths of ferns and mosses 
and lichens. Climb to the top of the western cliff, 
and follow the foot-paths that will lead you to all the 


best points of view; then lie down in silence upon 
some mossy bank in sight of the tumbling waters and 
yield yourself to the spell which the wild grandeur of 
the scene will work upon you. 

Those who have left no steeds behind them will do 
well to follow the foot-path up the western bank of the 
ravine, through the woods into the pastures, where they 
will have a near view of the narrow trough between 
the mountains known as the Notch. Here they may 
cross the brook and follow the wood road on the eastern 
side, that will lead them through the woods and pas 
tures, over the hill and down into the village. It is 
the road that passes the marble quarries, in full view 
from the village. The village is supplied with water 
from the Notch Brook. The dam is half a mile above 
the cascade, and the road by which we return passes 
the main reservoir on the top of the hill, and the distrib 
uting reservoir upon the eastern slope. The lower res 
ervoir is high enough to give the water tremendous 
force in the village, furnishing a valuable safeguard 
against fire. A hose attached to a hydrant will throw 
a stream through a nozzle an inch and a half in diam 
eter to the height of one hundred and twenty-five feet. 
Two or three of these streams will drown the fiercest 
fire in a twinkling ; witness the numerous blackened 
frames about the village too well saved. Not only to 
these lower uses does this water minister. It feeds 
the little fountains that sparkle with what Mr. Poe 
would call " a crystalline delight" along the public 
ways in the village. 



As you descend the hill by this road, the view is 
charming. The town shows here to good advantage; 
the Hoosac Range is grandly outlined on the west 
ern horizon, and the meadows above the village, 
through which the winding path of the little river is 
marked by the willows, are always delightfully fresh 
and green. 

Colegrove s Hill is north of the village. At the 
head of Eagle street two roads diverge, both run 
ning north. Take the right hand road, and at the 
end of it follow the path through a pasture, in 
which a clump of tall pines is standing, to the top 
of a round hill. The view is the same that you had 
on the walk to the Natural Bridge, but wider and 
more complete. 

Mount Adams invites the pedestrian to climb its 
easy slope by various paths in view from the village ; 
and promises him an abundant reward for his toil. 

Church If ill is at the upper end of Main, street. It 
is quickly reached, and the views which it affords of 
the gorge through which the north branch flows, and 
of the South Adams valley, are both excellent. 

In short, it may be said that while the streets of 
the village offer few stylish promenades, all men and 
women who have stout shoes, short skirts and a love 
of the beautiful may find, by climbing any hill road or 
mountain path in the region, a prospect that will de 
light the eye, an appetite that will make the plainest 
food delicious, and that unfretted bodily fatigue which 
brings sweet and refreshing sleep. 



Now, good traveler, we can offer you an entertain 
ment whose variety is almost unbounded and whose 
delight is perpetual. Perhaps you have heard other 
New England villages boast of the drives in their 
neighborhood. Each several town in this Common 
wealth, if we may take the testimony of its inhabi 
tants, is approached on every side by country roads of 
the most remarkable beauty ; affording splendid views, 
and leading through delightful places. Just as all 
parents believe their children to be the brightest and 
best of the race, so all New England villagers regard 
the drives about their several villages as the most 
beautiful in the world. Eyes that are anointed with 
love can see beauty in the face of the homeliest child, 
and discern untold dignity and worth in the dullest 
human soul ; and there is some excellent oil by which 
the eyes of men in every place are touched to an ap 
preciation of the natural beauty that surrounds them. 
The added testimony of the villagers is a tribute to 
the glory of the creation. All these scenes are 
beautiful. Skies, forests, green meadows, fields of 
grain, hills and valleys, brooks and lakes and rivers 
are always beautiful; and they furnish to those who 
dwell among them, an enjoyment of which they never 
grow weary. 

As for the children, however, you and I, my dear 
madam, are not surprised that Stubbs and his wife 
should think for themselves that their baby is beautiful, 


but surely they cannot expect us to think so. It is 
natural for every paret to admire his own children ; 
but it would be absurd for some parents to expect 
other folks to admire their children. However, there 
are some children, ours for instance, whom everybody 
must admire. No one can help acknowledging that 
they are the handsomest and mo st intelligent children 
anywhere to be found. That is too obvious to be ar 
gued about. And in like manner, those of us who live 
in North Adams, do not wonder that the average New 
England villager admires, in a general way, the scenery 
of his neighborhood. It is quite commendable in him 
to do so. And yet, it would be absurd in him to insist 
that we should go into ecstacies over his frog-ponds and 
sheep-pastures. But our drives, of course, are quite 
incomparable. Everybody will say that there is noth 
ing like them in Massachusetts. Which, my dear 
madam, there .is not. You have heard of the Berk 
shire Hills. These upon which you have been looking 
in your walks, and to which we shall further introduce 
you in your drives are the Berkshire Hills. And it is 
safe to say that until you came to North Adams you 
had never seen any Berkshire Hills worth mentioning, 
unless, indeed, you had visited Mount Washington, in 
the south-eastern corner of the county. People some 
times go to Lenox or Stockbridge or Pittsfield, and 
imagine that they have visited the hills of Berkshire. 
Now these are all very respectable towns, and quite 
worth going to see ; but the supposition that one finds 
the Berkshire Hills within their borders is a very good 


joke indeed. One who has never seen the Deerfield 
Gorge or the Adams Valley from Hoosac Mountain ; 
who has never climbed to the top of Prospect, or Bald 
Mountain, or, Mount Hopkins, jDr Greylock; who has 
never invaded the awful stillness of that sacred place 
which is known by the profane name of the Hopper, 
such a person should talk modestly of Berkshire 
scenery. He may have seen elsewhere in Berkshire, 
some very pretty views, and, if Mount Everett and Bash- 
bish have come within the range of his travels, some 
grand ones, but with this latter exception, the only 
scenery in Berkshire that is really notable for grandeur, 
is in these three towns of Florida, Adams, and Wil- 
liamstown. It is true that Greylock may be seen on 
a clear day with the naked eye from Pittsfield and 
other towns in Southern Berkshire, but one who looks 
upon it from that distance cannot even conjecture the 
grand configurations of mountain forms, that are visi 
ble here from any valley, or the marvellous magnifi 
cence of the prospect from any of these summits. 
Mountains are to the traveler, what his best achieve 
ments are to the wise man, beautiful not so much in 
themselves as in the outlook they afford. And they 
who look from the slightly undulating surfaces of 
Southern Berkshire upon- the outline of Greylock in 
the northern horizon, know but little of the sublimity 
of the visions they might have if they would climb to 
his top. Visiting the Berkshire Hills without going 
north of Pittsfield, is like the play of Hamlet with a 
good likeness of Hamlet in the upper left hand corner 


of the drop scene, and no other hint or mention of 
him during the performance. 

Our first drive shall^e along a charming valley road 
to a place of precious memory, dear and sacred old 


Just beyond Braytonville the highway crosses the 
Troy and Boston Railroad; the white house and farm 
buildings -of Mr. Bradford Harrison are on the right, 
and on the left, in the meadow, twenty or thirty rods 
from the railroad, a small elm tree is growing. That 
tree was planted by students of Williams College, in 
the year 1857, to mark the site of old Fort Massachu 

During the French and Indian wars, the invading 
forces from Canada more frequently followed the 
course of the Connecticut River southward into Mas 
sachusetts ; but occasionally they came down by way of 
Lake Champlain, the Hudson and the Hoosac Valleys, 
crossing the Hoosac Mountain at this point, and fol 
lowing the Deerfield River down to the Connecticut. 
To protect the settlements against these incursions Fort 
Massachusetts was built, about 1744. It does not re 
quire any profound knowledge of military science to 
discover that the fort was badly placed. The rocky 
bluffs on the north were within rifle range, and from 
them an enemy could look down into the stockade and 
ascertain the strength of its garrison. "A judicious 
choice of posts," says General Hoyt, " and the princi 
ples of fortifications, though probably understood by 


the engineers of the time, seem not to have been re 
garded in early wars. Most of these works were built 
on low grounds, often in the Vicinity of commanding 
heights, generally constructed of single stockades with 
out ditches or flanking posts, capable only of a direct 
fire, and against the lightest artillery untenable." But 
what these pioneer soldiers lacked in science they 
made up in courage. Fort Massachusetts is poorly 
located, but it was defended by some of the bravest 
men that ever lived ; and it was the scene of one of 
the pluckiest fights recorded in our history. 

Captain (afterward Colonel) Ephraim Williams was 
the first commander of the defences in this neighbor 
hood, and his head-quarters were in Fort Massachu 
setts. During the summer of 1746 an expedition 
against Canada was projected, Captain Williams was 
summoned to Albany to join it, and the garrison was 
left in the charge of Sergeant John Hawks with only 
twenty-two effective men. After the departure of Cap 
tain Williams, Indians were seen prowling about the 
heights, north of the fort; and on the 2oth of August, 
a force of nine hundred French and Indians, under 
the command of General Rigaud de Vandreuil, seized 
this hill on the right of the road where the chestnut 
woods now stand, and sent to Sergeant Hawks a de 
mand for the surrender of the fort. The sergeant had 
no artillery, and but a poor supply of ammunition ; but 
he promptly rejected the proposal of the French com 
mander, and with his twenty-two brave men defended 
the fort for twenty-eight hours against the overwhelm- 


ing force of the enemy. Every Indian or Frenchman 
who came out from the safe cover of the forest was a 
target for these twenty-two sharp-shooters ; and some 
were killed at the long range of sixty rods. The ammu 
nition of the garrison was finally exhausted, and Hawks 
capitulated, making the condition that his forces should 
be humanely treated as prisoners of war, and should 
not be delivered to the Indians. The French com 
mander accepted his terms of capitulation, and per 
fidiously violated them the following day by surrender 
ing half of the prisoners into the hands of the Indians. 
One man who was sick and unable to march was killed 
by the savages ; the others were taken to Canada as 
prisoners, and were finally exchanged. The assailants 
lost forty-seven men before the fort ; while of the brave 
little garrison only one was killed. The bravery of 
Sergeant Hawks was rewarded by promotion; after 
ward, in the war of 1755 he rose to the rank of lieu 
tenant-colonel. "Bold, hardy and enterprising, he 
acquired the confidence and esteem of his superior 
officers and was entrusted with important commands. 
He was no less valued by the inhabitants of Deerfield, 
his native town, for his civil qualities."* 

The ambuscade at the Bars in the Deerfield Meadow, 
to which allusion has already been made, was formed by 
a party of these Indians under Vandreuil, who crossed 
the mountain after the surrender of the fort and made 
their way to Deerfield. The fort was demolished by 
its captors, but was rebuilt and more strongly garri- 

* Hoyt s Indian Wars, p. 238. 


soned during the following year. In all the subse 
quent wars with the French and Indians, until the 
Peace of Paris in 1763 this fort was a post of much 
importance, and frequent mention is made of it in 
the old histories. 

From the time of the building of the fort until 
1755, the command of the forces and the defences of 
this region devolved as we have seen, upon Colonel 
Ephraim Williams, a native of Newton, and one of the 
first settlers of Stockbridge. Though frequently called 
to active service elsewhere his head-quarters were at 
this fort, and with the few settlers who occupied this 
valley he had thoroughly identified himself, sharing 
their perils and privations, and studying their welfare. 
In the year 1735, Colonel Williams, then in command 
of a regiment, was summoned to join General Johnson, 
whose head-quarters were then at the head of Lake 
George, near the site of the present village of Cald- 
well. On his way to this post, with an apparent pre 
sentiment of his fate, the Colonel halted at Albany and 
made his will on the 22d of July; in which, after sev 
eral bequests to his relatives and friends he directed 
" that the remainder of his land should be sold at the 
discretion of his executors within five years after an 
established peace ; and that the interest of the monies 
arising from the sale, and also the interest of his notes 
and bonds, should be applied to the support of a free 
school in a township west of Fort Massachusetts, for 
ever ; provided said township fall within Massachusetts, 
on running the line between Massachusetts and New 


York ; and providing the said township when incorpor 
ated shall be called Williamstown." 

On the 8th of September, following, he was des 
patched from the camp on Lake George at the head 
ctf twelve hundred men upon a most important and 
hazardous enterprise ; and falling into an ambuscade 
of French and Indians was shot through the head. 
His body was buried near the spot where he fell, on 
the right of the road running from Glen s Falls to 
Caldwell, and in the vicinity of Bloody Pond, a lake 
let which on that day received its terrible christening. 
A large rock has always been pointed out as marking 
the spot where he fell ; and upon this rock the students 
of Williams College a few years ago erected a marble 
monument, with an appropriate inscription. The 
writer of this book well remembers descending one 
midnight from the stage-coach in which, a lonely 
passenger, he was making his way over the old war 
path from Lake George to the Hudson ; and clamber 
ing under the light of the stars up the rude foot-path 
to the rock among the bushes, where the little marble 
obelisk guards the dust of this brave and good soldier. 

The provision in the will of Colonel Williams was 
the foundation of Williams College. The sum thus 
bequeathed was increased by donations of individuals, 
and by a pious lottery which the Legislature granted 
to the trustees of the fund, until, in 1790, the solid 
walls of old West College were erected, and a consid 
erable fund was placed at interest to assist in main 
taining the school. It consisted at first of two depart- 


ments an academy or grammar school and an English 
free school, and was under the care of Mr. Ebenezer 
Fitch, a graduate of Yale. In 1793 it was erected into 
a college, and the first class, numbering four, was grad 
uated September 2, 1795. Dr. Fitch continued at thi 
head of the college till 1815, and was succeeded by 
Rev. Zephaniah Swift Moore, D. D. ^.n effort was 
made in 1818 to transfer the college to Northampton, 
but after a stormy and protracted contest the Legisla 
ture decided against a change of location. Upon this, 
Dr. Moore who had favored the removal, resigned the 
presidency; and Rev. Edward Dorr Griffin, of great 
fame as a theologian and a pulpit orator, was called to 
succeed him. Under his administration the college 
which had been in a low condition for several years, 
regained its prosperity. In 1836, he was compelled 
by declining health to withdraw from the position which 
he had so abundantly honored, and his mantle fell upon 
one who was worthy to wear it, and who for thirty-three 
years has worn it worthily. Wonderful aptitude for 
teaching, great prudence and skill in administration, 
dignity of demeanor and purity of character have 
made him the most revered and most illustrious, as 
he is now the oldest college president in the land; 
while his contributions to philosophy and his active 
participation in the various enterprises of Christian 
benevolence, have gained for him the admiration and 
confidence of good men everywhere. Under the man 
agement of President Hopkins and his efficient coad 
jutors in the faculty, the college has advanced to a 


leading position. The number of students is not so 
large as in some of our New England colleges, varying 
from two hundred to two hundred and fifty, but the 
instruction is all given by professors of experience, 
instead of being entrusted, as in many colleges, to 
incompetent tutors ; thus securing a thoroughness not 
easily attainable under the other system. 

From this valley road the profile of the mountain 
on the south resembles a saddle ; and this likeness 
gave to this group of hills of which Greylock is the 
central eminence, the ugly name of Saddle Mountain, 
by which it is known in the geographies. The highest 
of the two peaks visible at this point, and the one 
nearest North Adams, is Mount Williams ; the other 
is Mount Prospect. 

Just beyond Fort Massachusetts, in the center of 
the valley, is the Greylock Cotton Mill, amid its cluster 
of drab cottages. 

Blackinton is the name of the neat white factory 
village a mile further west. The woolen mill of S. 
Blackinton & Son built the village and one of the larg 
est fortunes in Berkshire. The little brown wooden 
building in which the senior proprietor begun the 
business, working with his own hands, is standing a 
little west of the mill. We cross the railroad and the 
river by a covered bridge beyond Blackinton, and soon 
after ascend a little eminence in the road from which 
the whole valley opens magnificently. In the west, 
and running far to the north are the Taghkanic Hills 
with their swelling slopes and their wavy outlines; 


between them and the hill on our right, which is a 
continuation of Mount Adams, and is known on this 
side indifferently as Oak Hill and East Mountain, the 
green valley of the Hoosac narrows to a gorge in the 
north-west ; in the northern horizon The Dome, a noble 
and symmetrical peak, is built up into the sky ; on the 
south the wooded ridge of Prospect stretches away 
toward the Hopper, the opening of which is scarcely 
visible ; in the east beyond the narrow opening be 
tween Mount Adams and the southern group the mas 
sive battlements of the Hoosac Mountain close the 
scene. Within this circle of hills a most charming 
valley is included. Observe the beautiful variety of 
surface; the natural grouping of the trees upon the 
slopes; the picturesque and park-like appearance of 
the whole landscape. 

Soon we pass through the factory grounds at the 
lower end of the village, cross another covered bridge, 
ascend a little hill and find ourselves at the foot of the 
broad and shady street on which the old village is built. 
Williamstown, like Boston, boasts its three hills, each 
of which in its day was crowned with historic edifices, 
but from one of them the glory has departed. At the 
top of the first hill on the right stands Griffin Hall, 
once the chapel, but now containing the college cabinet, 
and the head-quarters of the Natural History Depart 
ment. In front of Griffin Hall upon the brow of the 
hill is the soldiers monument a freestone shaft, sur 
mounted by the bronze statue of a soldier, erected 
in honor of the Williams boys who fell in the late war. 


Just beyond Griffin Hall is Goodrich Hall, a noble 
stone edifice, the gift of Hon. John Z. Goodrich of 
Stockbridge, containing the Gymnasium, the Bowling 
Alley, and the Chemical Laboratory. Across the 
street are East and South Colleges, dormitories occu 
pied by the Senior and Junior Classes. Lawrence 
Hall is an octagonal building named in honor of Amos 
Lawrence, one of the most liberal patrons of the col 
lege ; which contains the Library, the collection of por 
traits of graduates, and some sculptures in bas-relief 
from ancient Nineveh. Just beyond Lawrence Hall 
is the Chapel with Alumni Hall in the rear. South 
east of the group of buildings, nearly hidden from the 
street by the foliage, is the Astronomical Observatory 
the first one built on this continent the Magnetic 
Observatory, and Jackson Hall, built by Nathan Jack 
son, Esq., of New York, another generous friend of 
the college, and occupied by the Lyceum of Natural 
History. The tower of this building commands an 
excellent view of the valley and its encircling hills. 
The new Congregational Church is on the right be 
yond this first group of college buildings. On the 
top of the next hill, old West College, the original 
Academy and Free School, erected in 1790, stands 
on the left. This building and Kellogg Hall in its 
rear, are dormitories for the Sophomore and Fresh 
man Classes. The President s mansion is opposite 
West College. 

At the head of the street, upon the western eminence, 
perished by fire, three winte* ago, the old Congrega- 


tional Meeting-House. Williamstown street without 
the old church at the head of it, is a song without a 
cadence. To many of the graduates, Williamstown 
will never be quite herself again, now that the old 
church is no more. 

Just beyond West College we turn to the right into 
a street leading to Mills Park, an enclosure of ten 
acres, in which a marble shaft surmounted by a globe, 
marks the spot where Samuel J. Mills and his associ 
ates met by a hay-stack in 1807, to consecrate them 
selves to the work of foreign missions. That was the 
beginning in America of this great enterprise of Chris 
tian benevolence. 

Returning to the principal street, we go on westward 
and turn to the north at the Mansion House. Follow 
ing the road through the valley at the foot of the 
Taghkanic range for a mile and a half, we turn to the 
right into a cross-road which leads up to a little group 
of plain brown buildings with a sloping green in front 
of them. These are the . little hostelry and bathing- 
houses of the Williamstown Mineral Spring, known 
to fame in these quarters, and among graduates of 
Williams College everywhere, as the "Sand Spring." 
The temperature of the water, the supply of which is 
abundant, is about 70 Fahrenheit the year round; 
and while it is said to be a valuable alterative and tonic 
in many diseases, it furnishes one of the most delicious 
baths ever enjoyed by mortals. In the cure of cuta 
neous diseases these baths are said to be remarkably 
efficacious. How true thl may be with regard to other 


forms of skin disease we know not; but for that form 
of the disease which is most prevalent and .most fatal, 
known among the ancients as spurcitia or aicaSops-fo, and 
among the moderns by a name so common that it is 
hardly worth while to repeat it, they are certainly a 
specific. In the little bathing-house you will find swim 
ming baths, plunge baths, shower baths, and all neces 
sary conveniences for the refreshment and purification 
of the outer man. Give them a thorough trial and 
you will return to you lodgings cleaner, handsomer, 
happier and better men and women. 


The East Road to South Adorns is the continuation 
of South Church street. For the first two miles it 
runs between the mountain and a series of diluvial hill 
ocks that stand at its base. These conical mounds 
frequently occur in the country, but they are not often 
found so symmetrically disposed as at this point. 
They are composed of sand and gravel, and so regular 
are they in form that it is easy to suppose them to be 
the work of human hands. The earlier theory was 
that they were erected by the primitive races, either 
as fortifications or as burial mounds ; and this theory 
has found poetical expression in one of Whittier s latest 
and best lyrics, " The Grave by the Lake." But the 
geologists say, (and who can confute the geologists?) 
that these mounds were caused by the action of water ; 
though just how the water could have piled them up 
in their present forms they do not tell -us very definitely. 


Two miles south of the village a mound is seen on 
the left hand side of the road which, it is pretty safe 
to conjecture, is the work of men s hands. It is com 
posed of the earth taken out of the open cutting at 
the western portal of the Hoosac Tunnel. The em 
bankment of the railroad is built as far as the highway, 
and the road to the tunnel follows the embankment. 
For an account of what is to be seen at this point the 
reader is referred to the preceding chapter. 

Having "done" the west end and the west shaft 
in much less time than the Messrs. Shanly with all 
their energy will require to do them ; and having ex 
plored, if we have a taste for such explorations, the 
Nitro-glycerine Works near the shaft where Mr. Mow- 
bray manufactures the mild mixture, whose liquid elo 
quence so gently persuades the rocks asunder, we 
go on southward. Two miles beyond the tunnel we 
reach an eminence in the road upon which we shall 
do well to pause and look about us. At the head of 
the valley in the north, walled in on three sides by 
the mountains, lies the village of North Adams ; before 
us is South Adams, and the beautiful hills beyond, in 
Cheshire, and Savoy; between these two villages the 
eye ranges over the whole six miles of fertile valley 
a carpet of cunning patterns and matchless coloring, 
seamed by the railway and embroidered by the river; 
and directly opposite, across the valley is the majestic 
front of Greylock, rising abruptly from the plain be 
low to a height of three thousand feet above the river 
bed and thirty-five hundred feet above tide water. 



A mile further on the road follows a brook down 
into the village -of South Adams through which we 
may drive briskly ; admiring the enterprise that keeps 
so many mills running busily, the public spirit that 
has built so fine a school-house as the one we see 
upon the hill, and the taste that has begun as in North 
Adams to ornament and improve the private residences 
and grounds. 

Near the depot a street leads westward directly to 
ward the base of Greylock ; that we follow to the old 
Quaker Meeting-House, then turn to the right into the 
mountain road that leacls over the lower ridge of the 
Greylock group into the Notch. There is hard climb 
ing before us, but we shall have our reward. As soon 
as we reach that eminence just above us, we will look 
backward. On our right the Hoosac range lifts up its 
level rampart southward the lines of the horizon are 
broken by the bolder peaks of the Cheshire mountains. 
Just below us, in the widening of the valley lies South 
Adams, and beyond it are the eastward slopes, over 
which the Williamsburg and North Adams Railroad is 
to run through Sq.voy. It is a very pretty picture, but 
we must not stay to look upon it, for there are richer 
prospects before us. A little further on we flank a 
forest that has stood between us and the valley on our 
right, and reach a point from which we can look right 
down into the beautiful meadows through which the 
Hoosac River runs. Did grass ever grow greener than 
the grass of those meadows, or was sunshine ever 
brighter than this golden flood that fills the valley with 


its splendor ? Look at the river with its willow fringes 
winding down through the meadows". Plainly it is in 
no hurry. In its quiet search of coolness and beauty 
it explores the whole valley. More than once it goes 
back as if it had forgotten something, to bathe some 
thirsty cresses perhaps, or to sing its low sweet song 
in the shade of some alder-bushes. The river had a 
hard passage through South Adams. It had to go 
through the mill several mills, indeed. The water- 
wheels churned it into foam ; the flumes led it through 
dark and perilous passages^ the dyers stained its 
purity with logwood and copperas. It was made a 
menial servant and a scavenger. It did not enjoy 
town life, at all. And now that it has escaped into 
the quiet country again, it means to make the most of 
the country delights. So it lingers as long as it can 
in these green fields, and among these sedges. If it 
only knew what it must pass through at North Adams 
it would stay even longer, I think. 

While we have been looking down into this valley, 
our steed has been tugging up a steep acclivity, and 
suddenly, as we reach the top, there #pens before us a 
new scene. I think we can afford now to let our horse 
have a breathing spell. A panorama opens before us 
here, that we shall not tire of looking at till he is rested. 
Far away to the northward opens the valley through 
which the north branch of the Hoosac flows down from 
the mountains of Vermont. On the east the Hoosac 
range stretches away toward the north as far as the 
eye can see : from the hills of Savoy behind us to the 


northern horizon in Readsboro, there must be nearly 
twenty miles of this straight unbroken mountain chain, 
whose eastern slope is in full view. On the east our 
vision is bounded by the range of which Mount Adams 
is the southern abutment. Between these two ranges 
the valley stretches away narrowing toward its northern 
extremity till it is lost in the blue distance between the 
hills. This view is not so extensive as the view from 
Greylock or Mount Hopkins or the farther side of the 
Hoosac Mountain, but one would hardly be willing to 
admit that it is less beautiful than the fairest of them. 

Going on a little farther we reach a little eminence, 
from which the view is widened somewhat ; the north 
ern portion of North Adams comes into plain view, 
and Mount A4am s confronts us with its solid grand 
eur of outline. 

Now we turn to the westward, passing on the left 
the signal station built by" Mr. Doane for keeping the 
range of the tunnel, and begin a rapid descent. To 
timid persons this may seem a perilous passage, but 
the road is smooth, and with a skillful driver, a steady 
horse and a stout harness there is not a particle of 
danger. If you were inclined to be afraid the laugh 
ing of this little brook by the roadside would reassure 
you. Soon we emerge from the thicket of low birches 
and wild cherry trees through which we have been 
winding and find ourselves in the Notch. On the one 
side rises the steep flank of the mountain over which 
we have just passed on the other tower Greylock, 
Fitch arid Williams a trinity of majestic mountain 


peaks. Now you see the reason why the wind blows 
so furiously here in winter. The north-west gales 
coming up the Hoosac Valley are stopped in their 
course by the northern spur of the hill over which we 
have passed; and instead of following the river to 
South Adams they take this shorter course through 
the Notch. At its southern end the Notch grows nal- 
row and if you stand at the very extremity of it, where 
it opens into the south Adams Valley on some windy 
day in March, you would be able to understand why 
it has been called the Bellows Pipe. It may occur to 
some travelers that no name has been given to the 
ridge over which we have just climbed, which runs 
parallel with the Greylock ridge and extends from the 
marble quarries at North Adams nearly to the village 
of South Adams. Until now it has been nameless, 
as it certainly does not deserve to be. A mountain 
that affords so grand a prospect, and the highest peak 
of which rises not less than two thousand five hundred 
feet above the level of the sea nearly three times as 
high as the famous Mount Holyoke might claim at 
least the barren honor of a name. By what name 
shall it be called ? That gallant soldier whose heroism 
is recorded in this chapter, who held what Mr. 
Everett called the Thermopylae of New England, so 
bravely for so many hours, against such fearful odds, 
is without honor in the country he defended by his 
valor. The soldier deserves a monument ; the moun 
tain deserves a name ; why may we not fittingly write 
the soldier s name upon the mountain,^and let MOUNT 


HAWKS perpetuate the memory of a man whom Massa 
chusetts cannot afford to forget. 

When we emerge from the Notch, we follow the 
road around the base of Mount Williams to a point on 
the western slope of the hill, where we turn sharply to 
the right and descend. If, however, we are not too 
weary, we shall find it to our account to drive west 
ward for a mile or more along the road that follows 
the top of the bluff. Near the foot of ProspeQt, we 
may halt upon the top of a declivity where the best 
view is obtained of the Taghkanic range. The bold 
outline of these beautiful hills, the deep ravines that 
furrow their sides, and the transverse ridges that are 
built like buttresses against their solid wall, are "grandly 
shown at this point. From any point of this bluff, as 
well as from the road b.y which we descend when we 
return, the view of the Hoosac Valley, overlooked by 
the beautiful Williamstown upon its classic heights, 
holding in its lap the busy Blackinton and Gseylock, 
and parted by the winding river that turns with equal 
facility the wheels of the mills and the sentences of the 
sophomores, is a view not to be missed by any so- 
j ourner among the hills of Berkshire. 


is the highest peak of the Taghkanic chain. As you 
pass over the hill at the Cemetery, going toward Wil 
liamstown, it lies directly before you. One of the in 
dentations in the horizon is cleared of timber for some 
distance; on the right of this clearing are two bold 


peaks that are nameless ; on the left is Mount Hopkins. 
Its twin summits, \vith but little distance or depression 
between them, bear the name of the honored President 
of Williams College and his no less honored brother, 
Professor Albert Hopkins, who for many years has 
occupied the chair of Natural Philosophy and Astron 
omy in Williams College ; whose enterprise built the 
Astronomical and the Magnetic Observatories ; whose 
taste adorned the College grounds ; whose name is the 
synonym of the truest Christian integrity, and whose 
love of nature has qualified him to be her chief inter 
preter in all this region. No man knows the beauty 
of Berkshire so well, no man loves it with so pure an 
enthusiasm as Professor Hopkins. The tribute of re 
spect which is paid to him in bestowing his name -upon 
this mountain is but a slight recognition of what he has 
done to lead his neighbors and his pupils into the 
knowledge and the love of the true, the good and the 

The road to Mount Hopkins leads through W 7 illiams- 
town ; turns to the left, just beyond the site of the old 
church ; a mile further on, descends to the left, at an 
other parting of the ways, into a deep ravine ; at the 
end of another mile, turns to the right through a beauti 
ful wood ; after emerging from which, it passes an old 
school-house, and keeps to the left up a hill, the top of 
which is reached by difficult climbing, when we find 
ourselves in the clearing upon which we looked from 
the Cemetery hill. At this point, the eastern view 
of Greylock, the Hopper on its western side, the Adams 


Valley, the Hoosac Mountains beyond, and the western 
view of the deep valleys and the billowy hills stretch 
ing away for thirty miles toward the valley of the Hud 
son, are to a lowlander somewhat notable. Turning 
to the left, into the pasture, we follow a wagon track 
up a steep acclivity, and pass through a wood into a 
clearing. An old cellar marks the site of a farm-house 
which once stood here. What could have induced any 
human being to build for himself a habitation upon 
this mountain top it is difficult to guess. We pass 
through another wood, and emerge at length into a 
clearing upon the summit of Mount Hopkins, from 
which the view is perfect in every direction. On the 
north are the Green Mountains of Vermont; on the 
east .Greylock, whose grandeur you never have known 
till you have looked upon him from this summit; on 
the south the Taghkanic range and the valleys that 
divide it, and on the west the magnificent reach of cul 
tivated hills. The boats on the Hudson can be seen 
with a glass on a clear day. The view on the south is 
perhaps the longest remembered. Here as hardly 
anywhere else in this region one gets an impression of 
the stupendous forces that have reared these moun 
tain ridges. 

This summit is two thousand eight hundred feet 
above tide-water, and it is reached in a carriage, with 
out great difficulty, by a two hours ride from North 
Adams. The tourist should be provided with a com 
pass, a field-glass, a lunch and warm wrappings ; he 
should get an early start that he may enjoy the western 


view with the sun at his back, and he should drive 
homeward at the close of the afternoon. 

Of the other excursions that may be made from 
North Adams the mention must be brief. Among 
those more distant we may mention the drive to Mount 
Anthony near Bennington, where from an observatory 
one hundred and fifty feet high an extended and di 
versified view is obtained of the whole of this moun 
tainous region. 

The excursion to Pittsfield, through Williamstown 
and Lanesboro, passing Pontoosuc Lake, is easy and 
delightful. To make it perfect, cross the Taghkanic 
range from Pittsfield to New Lebanon, visit the SHAK 
ERS, spend the night at the Springs, and return the 
next day through Hancock and South Williamstown. 

Snow Glen is a deep fissure on the western side of 
the Taghkanics, beyond Williamstown, where snow 
may be found in midsummer. The western prospect 
is similar to that from Mount Hopkins, but less beauti 
ful. The carriage road passes within two miles of the 
glen, and the rest of the journey must be made on foot. 

Among the drives in the immediate vicinity of North 
Adams, one of the most beautiful follows the north 
branch of the Hoosac to Stamford; returning leaves 
the valley road at a crossing near a school-house, and 
follows the base of the Hoosac Mountain, passing one 
road that turns to the right, and after that keeping to 
the right till it reaches the "Five Points" a mile east 
of the village of North Adams. 

The view from the farm-house of Mr. Joseph Wheeler, 


whose red buildings are seen from the village on the 
side of Mount Adams is a delightful one. In short it 
may be said of the drives as of the walks, that there 
is no road leading out of North Adams from which 
you may not gain, without traveling far, prospects 
which, to use the Frenchman s climax, are either mag 
nificent, sublime, or pretty good. 


We have been under the shadow of Greylock long 
enough to have some desire to climb to his summit. 
To have had this view first would have dulled our en 
joyment of the scenes upon which we have been look 
ing. Moreover, this tramp to the top of Greylock 
requires some physical stamina, and it is fair to sup 
pose that those who have spent a week in the bracing 
air of these Berkshire Hills are in better condition for 
such an undertaking than they were when they came. 
There was good reason, therefore, for keeping the good 
wine till the end of the feast. 

At the time of the writing of these pages it is diffi 
cult to give full information as to the best way of as 
cending Greylock. Three different roads have been 
followed, all of which have their advantages. One 
climbs Bald Mountain, south of the Hopper ; another 
ascends the southern side of the mountain from South 
Adams ; the third leaves the Notch Road at the house 
of Mr. Walden, winds round the northern end of Mount 
Williams, passes through a clearing known as Wilbur s 
Pasture between Williams and Prospect; then climbs 


the ridge on its western side, and follows it southward 
to the clearing on the top of Greylock. At present 
these roads are all bad ; a long tramp must be taken 
after carriages and horses are left behind ; but move 
ments are now on foot to improve one or more of them, 
so that it may be possible to reach the top on horse 
back if not in carriages. The view from the summit 
is not so good as it would be if a tower were erected 
there. The top of the mountain is cleared, but the 
forest that surrounds the clearing, while it does not 
greatly interfere with the distant view, shuts out from 
our vision the valleys in the immediate neighborhood, 
and without a sight of these the prospect is incom 
plete. A structure of some sort, forty or fifty feet 
in height, would give us both the near and the dis 
tant landscape. Several years ago such a tower was 
erected, but through accident or mischievous design it 
was destroyed by fire. It is hoped that another may 
be erected early in the present season. 

Of the roads to the top of Greylock, the one which 
ascends from South Adams is said to be the easiest ; 
but for grandeur of scenery either of the others is to 
be preferred. No tourist should fail to visit the Hop 
per whether he ascends the mountain by that route or 
not. Following up Money Brook from the South Wil- 
liarnstown road you find yourselves at the entrance of 
this stupendous amphitheatre of hills. The gorge by 
which the brook flows out, between Prospect on the 
north and Bald Mountain on the south is very nar 
row ; and these two mountains, together with Greylock 


which rises directly before us as we enter, constitute 
the three sides of this wonderful gulf. Ascending this 
brook for a mile and a half you may find upon its 
southern branch the most remarkable waterfall in this 
region. The water comes down from a great height 
in successive leaps; the rocks over which it tumbles 
rise one above another in semicircular tiers like the 
seats in a theater; and their sides are always green 
with the most beautiful hanging moss. This is a cas 
cade which has been visited by very few persons, and 
the writer of this book is not one of them. You have 
this account, therefore, at second hand, but it is none 
the less reliable on that account. 

It will not do, however, to attempt the exploration 
of Money Brook and its cascade on the same day 
in which we climb Greylock. That must be a separ 
ate excursion. It is enough before you climb Bald 
Mountain if you ascend the stream for a little way, 
that you may gain some adequate impression of the 
loftiness and steepness of the close mountain walls 
that form the sides of this enormous sulf. 


Ascending now to the top of Bald Mountain, follow 
its naked summit nearly to its most northerly point, 
and there the gulf opens before you, a yawning abyss 
from which people with nerves are apt to shrink. The 
chasm is more than a thousand feet in depth, and from 
the point where you are standing the four sides seem 
to converge to a point at the bottom. With the ex 
ception of a few land-slides this gulf is wooded on all 
sides from base to summit. The wonder is that these 


slides are not more frequent, and that the mountains 
are not denuded of their forests, so precipitous are 
their sides. Occasional patches of black spruce re 
lieve the lighter foliage of the slopes. Probably this 
world does not contain a more gorgeous show of au 
tumnal coloring than is visible here in early October. 

Passing on from Bald Mountain north-westerly we 
reach at length the summit of Greylock, and stand 
upon the highest land in Massachusetts. An enthusi 
astic person can hardly be trusted to tell what is visi 
ble from this summit. "I know of no place," says 
President Hitchcock, "where the mind is so forcibly 
impressed by the idea of vastness and even of immen 
sity, as when the eye ranges abroad from this emi 
nence ! " Immensity ! no smaller word will fit the 

The physical geography of the surrounding region is 
such as to give to this view all the elements of sublim 
ity. A single mountain peak or range, in the midst of 
a comparatively level country, may afford a prospect of 
extent, variety and beauty ; but it cannot show us the 
glories that Greylock reveals from his summit. Here 
is a belt of mountains extending from the Connecticut 
River nearly to the Hudson a distance of fifty or 
sixty miles and from the sources of the Connecticut 
River to Long Island Sound. " To regard these high 
lands," says Dr. Palfrey, " as simply ranges of hills 
would not be to conceive of them aright. They are 
vast swells of land of an average elevation of a thou 
sand feet above the level of the sea, . . . from which, 


as from a base, mountains rise in chains or in isolated 
groups to an altitude of several thousand feet more." 
The two mountain ranges which pass through these 
highlands the Hoosac and the Taghkanic chains 
have, according to the same authority, " a regular in 
crease from south to north. From a height of less 
than a thousand feet in Connecticut, they rise to an 
average of twenty-five hundred feet in Massachusetts, 
where the majestic Greylock, isolated between the two 
chains, lifts its head to the stature of thirty-five hun 
dred feet." It will be seen, therefore, that Greylock 
commands a view of exceptional grandeur. Down at 
his feet lies the valley of the Hoosac, nearly three 
thousand feet below ; Pittsfield,4dth its beautiful lakes, 
and many smaller villages, are seen in the valleys and 
on the adjacent slopes; south-westward the eye sweeps 
over the top of the Taghkanics, away to the Catskills 
beyond the Hudson ; north-westward the peaks of the 
Adirondacks, in Northern New York, are plainly visible ; 
in the north the stujrdy ridges of the Green Mountains 
file away in grand outline ; on the east Monadnock 
and Wachusett renew their stately greeting, and Tom 
and Holyoke look up from their beautiful valley ; south 
ward Mount Everett stands sentinel at the portal of 
Berkshire, through which the Housatonic flows; and 
all this grand circuit is filled with mountains. Range 
beyond range, peak above peak, they stretch away on 
every side, a boundless expanse of mountain summits. 
Standing here, and taking in with your eye all that is 
contained within the vague boundaries of the horizon, 
_ 2 


you receive one of the grandest if not the very first 
impression you ever had of distance, of immensity, and 
of illimitable force. It is well if one can see the sun 
set and the .sunrise from this eminence. With a bed 
of hemlock boughs for a couch and an army blanket 
for a covering, any robust person of either sex will 
sleep soundly after the fatigue of the ascent, and a 
cloudless evening and morning will make amends for 
any amount of discomfort. 

It will be better to return by a different route from 
that by which we ascended. The road which follows 
the ridge northward, then descends to the west into 
Wilbur s Pasture, and winds round Mount Williams to 
the east, will give us the best outlook. The view from 
Prospect, the top of which is easily reached from Wil 
bur s Pasture, is one that we must not miss. Let us 
hear President Hitchcock : 

" On turning northerly, and proceeding to the ex 
tremity of the open ground, we come to the steep 
margin of the mountain, and in a moment the beauti 
ful valley and village of Williamstown burst like a 
bright vision upon the eye. .... I have rarely 
if ever experienced such a pleasing change from 
the emotion of beauty to that of sublimity as at 
this spot. The moment one fixes his eye upon the 
valley of Williamstown, he cannot but exclaim, How 
beautiful ! But ere he is aware of it, his eye is fol 
lowing up and onward the vast mountain slopes 
above described, and on the far off horizon he wit 
nesses intervening ridge after ridge peering above 


one another, until they are lost in the distance, and 
unconsciously he finds his heart swelling with the 
emotion of sublimity." 

Whether the route we have chosen for the ascent 
and descerrt_of_ Greylock will be the one selected for 
improvement cannot now be stated; but it certainly 
affords more varied and satisfactory views of the 
scenery of the Greylock group than any other. If the 
roads were tolerably good, the tour of the mountain 
might easily be made in a day; and in the views from 
the bottom of the Hopper, from the top of Bald Moun 
tain, from the summit of Greylock and from Prospect 
there would be glory enough for one day. 


Away from this pleasant valley some faces must turn 
at last. The shadow of Greylock that has fallen like 
a benediction upon the weary, must be forsaken for the 
shorter and hotter shadows of brown-stone walls ; and 
the walks and drives that led to so many mountains of 
beatitude must be exchanged for the level weariness 
of city pavements. From the Troy and Boston rail 
road station you trundle slowly out through the little 
tunnel, and soon the broad slopes of Mount Adams 
and the beautiful curves of Williams and Prospect are 
left behind as you follow the beautiful river down to 
ward the sea. The river and the railroad pass through 
a corner of Vermont ; the two or three villages named 
Pownal through which you pass, are in that sturdy little 
State. The two or three Hoosacs which follow are in 


the State of New York ; the larger of these villages 
being known as Hoosac Falls and distinguished chiefly 
in these days as the place where the Walter A. Wood 
Mowing Machine Company has its extensive machine 
shops. The battle of Bennington was in this town of 
Hoosac, and the heights upon which it was fought are 
in view from the railroad just beyond Hoosac Junction. 
Hoosac Falls is the only important town between North 
Adams and Troy. The region through which the road 
runs is a most delightful one, however ; much of it 
fertile and highly cultivated. The Taghkanic Moun 
tains on the one side and the Green Mountains on the 
other, draw close to the river as we pass through Ver 
mont, but beyond Hoosac the Green Mountains retreat 
to the north and you look away to the right across a 
beautiful open country. Still the river windeth at its 
own sweet will through the meadows, and still you fol 
low it, glad of its pleasant company. Its volume is 
swollen since you knew it first among the alders in 
the Adams valley; but unlike some whose fortunes 
grow, its added floods have robbed it of neither gentle 
ness nor grace. 

" Sing soft, sing low, our lowland river, 

Under thy banks oflaurel bloom; 
Softly and sweet as the hour beseemeth, 
Sing us the songs of peace and home. 

" The cradle-song of thy hill-side fountains 
Here in thy glory and strength repeat ; 
Give us a taste of thy upland music, 
Show us the dance of thy silver feet. 


" Into thy dutiful life of uses 

Pour the music and weave the flowers ; 
With the song of birds and bloom of meadows, 
Lighten and gladden thy heart and hours. 

" Sing on ! bring down, O lowland river, 

The joy of the hills to the waiting sea ; 
The wealth of the vales, the pomp of mountains, 
The breath of the woodlands bear with thee." 

But the railroad that was glad to woo the river when 
the way was hard among the hills, has found that the 
world is wider, and coolly withdraws to the southward. 
From the heights along which it leads you, the valley 
of the Hudson soon appears broad and bright with 
verdure; from the rocky bluff beyond the valley, the 
waters of the Mohawk tumble down the cataract that 
turns the mill-wheels of Cohoes ; the twin villages of 
Waterford and Lansingburgh greet you from their 
lowly seat by the Hudson; there are street lamps, 
pavements, flagmen at the crossings ; the speed slack 
ens; a vast and smoky roof, with massive iron trusses, 
hides the sky, and your journey ends where the jour 
ney of yneas begun within the walls of Troy. 



No. 4 Wilson Block, 

Merchant Tailors, 




Ready-Made Clothing 


Agents for Singer s Sewing Machines. 


L. M. BARNES & CO., 


Fine Gold and Silver Watches, 

18 k. Plain Rings made to order. Silver Ware, &c. 



Of the standard makers. 

New Sheet Music received weekly. Particular attention paid to 

Repairing Fine Watches and Jewelry, at 

No. 5 Wilson Block, 





Is one of the largest and best appointed Hotels in the State. 
During the last two months it has been refitted, decorated, and 



Hot and Cold Water Baths. 

The Post Office, the Telegraph Office and a Billiard Room are 
in the Hotel Building. 



The largest in Western Massachusetts, is connected with the 

The proprietors will spare no pains to make the House 
pleasant and attractive to all who may favor them with a visit 





Ready-Made Clothing, 


Main Street, opposite Wilson House, 




Boots, Shoes and Rubbers, 



First-class Custom Work made to order, in latest city styles, 
and every article warranted. 





Book and Job -Printing Office, 






THEIR establishment occupies one of the largest buildings on Main street, 
Springfield, and, in capacity and completeness, has no superior in all New 

They run twenty-five different Printing Presses, between fifty and sixty ma 
chines of all kinds, and employ nearly three hundred workmen and women. 

Every description of Printing, from Cards and Handbills to Books; from the 
simplest and plainest to the most intricate, elegant and costly. 

BINDING of all sorts and in every style. 

BLANK BOOKS of every fashion, made to order, or on sale, wholesale and 

PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS, from 25 cents to $25 each, singly or by the quantity, 
by mail or express, at lowest manufacturers prices. 

BOOKS stereotyped, printed, bounoTand published. 

LEGAL BLANKS printed to order, or on sale in any quantity. 

In brief, all Job Work and Manufacturing ever done in Printing Office and 
Bindery, is performed at this establishment, promptly, of the best materials, by 
the best of workmen, and in the best manner known in either art. 

Orders by mail as faithfully attended to as those left in person. 


MESSRS. BOWLES & COMPANY manufacture this, the most convenient Counting- 
House Calendar in use, which is also a desirable means of advertising, for Insur 
ance Companies, Bankers, Merchants, and business men generally. Orders filled 
at short notice, in lots of from 500 to 50,000, with the business cards of parties 
ordering on each leaf, printed in such a manner that the advertisements cannot be 
detached and destroyed as long as the Calendar is in use. 


Travelers Insurance Company 

CASH ASSETS, . . . $1,150,000. 

Insures against ACCIDENTS causing death or total dis 

Accident Policies written by any authorized Agent for the 
month or year, insuring $500 to $10,000 for fatal accident, or $3 
to $50 per week for loss of time caused by wholly disabling bodily 
injury. For merchants, professional or business men, commer 
cial travelers, and most of the trades and mechanical occupations 
the cost is but $5 to $10, annually on each $1,000 insured and $5 
weekly indemnity. It is but five years since the Company was 
organized, yet it has issued 160,000 policies, and has paid nearly 


under claims for death or injury by accident. 




Combining ample security and cheapness of cost under a defi 
nite contract. The Life Department of the Travelers was or 
ganized in July, 1866, and up to April, 1869, it had issued over 
Six Thousand Life Policies, a larger number than any other 
Life Company of the same age, with one exception. 




Assistant Secretary. Superintendent of Agencies. 

New York Office, 207 Broadway; Boston, 89 Washington 
street ; Philadelphia, 417 South Fourth street ; Western Branch 
80 La Salle street, Chicago ; Pacific Branch, 424 California 
street, San Francisco. 



Designed for Young Men and Women. 

i vol., i6mo. $1.50. 

CONTENTS The Messenger without a Message Work for 
Women Dress Manners Conversation Habits Health 
and Physical Culture Mind Culture Success Stealing as a 
Fine Art Companionship and Society Amusement Respect 
ability and Self-respect Marriage The Conclusion of the 
Whole Matter. 

This book has been cordially welcomed by the press, as treat 
ing with much ability, freshness, and earnestness several of the 
problems which young people are meeting daily. 

" We do not k,now a more Useful book for pastors, employers, parents, teach 
ers and others to have at hand as a present for their young people." The In 

" This book charms us. It is so frank, manly, generous, and true. There is 
not a mean streak in it, so to speak ; and the man or woman who heeds its 
teachings will be pure and noble. Its catholicity of spirit, its sensibleness on 
the so-called woman question, its cordial sympathy with all innocent amuse 
ments, its evident purpose to bless homes and hearts, should secure it a wel 
come wherever there are men and women who think nobly, act bravely, and 
love purely " Ladies Repository (Boston). 

" It is a healthful volume, well written, and with pertinent force in style and 
illustration. It might appropriately be called a Guide to Health, Happiness, 
and Success. It goes straight to the point, is honest, and at the same time 

fenial and attractive. A young man or woman can have no better companion, 
t is, in a word, a guide, counsellor, and friend." St. Louis Democrat. 
" If anything can supply the want of common sense in life, this book can do 
it. And it is a very valuable adjunct to that indispensable commodity. Al 
bany Journal. 

"It is utterly free from the goodiness which spoils most such works. 
Freshness and thoughtfulness on every page lift it above the great mass of the 
indigestible literary provender set before young readers. The subject of re 
ligion is not heedlessly and tastelessly thrust on the reader s attention, while 
an under-current of Christian thought runs through the whole, and wells up at 
the close into an earnest plea that the young will take Christ as their Master 
and their King. The book deserves to be ranked beside Beecher s Lectures 
to Young Men. " American Presbyterian. 

"This is a little volume of morality that is not dull. .... We commend 
these plain thoughts for the unusual character of putting good things modestly." 

New York Herald 

" There is more solid, practical advice to young men and women in this little 
volume than most bovs and girls ever receive from parents, teachers, and 
preachers. Catholic Telegraph. 

For sale by all Booksellers. Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price, by the Pub- 

i; s /*rs, FIELDS, OSGOOD & CO., BOSTON. 



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