Cyrus Isbell

Cyrus Isbell was a skilled middle-class carpenter during the mid 1850’s. Isbell owned and operated a business on Eagle Street in North Adams, fulfilling his life through his trade and family.

Cyrus Isbell of North Adams, Massachusetts was born in the 1830s to his parents, Abner Isbell and Nancy Perry. Isbell lived in North Adams for the entirety of his life. He married a woman named Sarah Manchester and had a child with her in 1848. They named him after Isbell’s father, Abner. This name would carry through several generations of the Isbell family. Perry also became a common middle name for much of the family.

The main portion of Isbell’s life was spent with his carpentry profession. He was a skilled person who was able to make a whole array of items and products. He purchased 22 Eagle Street in 1850 from George Millard, also of North Adams, to turn it into his own workshop for making furniture and other woodworking items. At the time, 22 Eagle Street covered much more physical property than it does today. It had more rooms that Isbell could use. Most notably, Isbell was known as a coffin maker and had a room dedicated to this. He was also well known as a cabinet maker.

Isbell worked in this shop for twenty years before reaching retirement. He sold the property to Giles Tinker, a wealthy individual in North Adams, who turned the property into a drug store in 1870. The photos of the drug store are currently the only way to see what the interior of the property was like around the time when Isbell owned it. Six years later, Isbell purchased his home at 200 East Main Street. He would reside there until his death in 1883. He is buried in Hillside Cemetery in a family plot.

Isbell was by no means an extremely wealthy man, but he did make a good living from his craft and had a fulfilling life.

Map Coordinates: 42.7008658, -73.1220375