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Canal Construction

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In 1869, John Alvah Crocker of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, decided to create a factory town on a bend of the Connecticut River just across from Greenfield. To power the factories, he decided to modify an existing, but not functioning, canal. This image shows the old canal wall being widened and heightened. The new canal wall arcs across the picture. The dam across the Connecticut River, which was also significantly strengthened, is visible where the men are standing. Even before the canal was finished, the Turners Falls Lumber Company was operating, but the most significant factory drawn to Turners Falls, Massachusetts, by this new canal, the John Russell Cutlery Factory, would open in 1870. By the turn of the 20th century, it employed 700.


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