North Adams in 1841.
From an Old Print.
Hudson to the Connecticut followed the Hoosac River from where it empties into the Hudson just above the city of Troy, up the valley, through Williamstown, through what is now the Main Street of North Adams, and then directly over the Hoosac Mountain to the valley of the Deerfield, and thence on to the Connecticut. By a strange coincidence the line of the Hoosac Tunnel is almost directly underneath this old Indian trail; and now, hundreds of feet below where the bands of dusky natives toiled up the steep sides of the mountain on their errands of hunting or of war, the modern traveller sits at ease in the Pullman, and, taking out his watch, remarks that in eight and a half minutes he has passed from the valley of the Deerfield to the valley of the Hoosac. It took the wave of civilization a century and over to make the same journey.
In the extreme western end of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, extending across the state from north to south, is the county of Berkshire. It is separated from the rest of the state on the east by the Hoosac Mountains, an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and protected from the state of New York on the west by the Taconic range, of which Greylock, the monarch mountain of Massachusetts, is the crowning peak. The county is but fourteen miles wide at the north. In this narrow valley between the mountains, hemmed in by the hills on the east, west and north, is the territory occupied by the town of Adams and the city of North Adams. It is in the extreme northwestern part of the state, with the Vermont line but three miles north of North Adams, and the New York line seven or eight miles west.
A stream rising in the hills of Vermont, called by the Indians the Mayunsook, and another rising in the centre of Berkshire, called the Ashuilticook, unite at North Adams and form the Hoosac River. Almost all the other local names, such as Greylock, Taconic and Hoosac, have been badly overworked in providing names for villages, hotels, banks and manufacturing companies; and it seems a pity that such musical syllables as Mayunsook possesses should not be called into use to relieve the monotony.
The town of Adams, including what is now Adams and North
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09 May 2006