Historic Mills and Factories

This tour focuses on the historic mills and factories that helped propel North Adams to economic success during the industrial revolution. Many of these mills and factories closed several decades ago but many of the remaining buildings have been repurposed to play important roles in the continued revitalization of North Adams.

Beaver Mill

The Beaver Cotton Mill was first established in 1832 through a partnership between Major Lorenzo Rice and George Bly. The mill was situated on the meeting point between the Hoosac River and the Hudson Brook, where there was a massive beaver dam. This…

Eclipse Mill

Harvey Arnold with his brother Oliver and his friend Nathanial Blinn built the Eclipse Mill in the 1830s and began manufacturing cotton goods. The three owned Eclipse and Slater mill by the mid-1830s. Things went bad for the company during a…

Windsor Print Works

Located on Union Street, Windsor Print Works was a private commercial textile plant that was the first of its kind to settle in Western Massachusetts. Windsor Print Works has been in many different locations before settling into their location on…

Barber Leather Company

In 1892, the present structure of the Barber Leather Company was completed at 60 Union St. The current building was necessitated by an 1890 fire that had totally destroyed the previous compound.  What does remain of this hallowed structure’s original…

Clark Biscuit Company

The story of the H.W. Clark Biscuit company begins with its founder, H.W. Clark. In August 1876, H.W. Clark in bought out the wholesale grocery firm of Col. John Leroy located on Ashland Street. Demand nationwide began to rise for more biscuits and…

Hunter Machine Company

The James Hunter Machine Company, one of North Adams’ most famous and successful companies, specialized in iron-working and machinery for use with textiles. The factory was originally situated at the intersection of Main Street and Route 8. The story…

Arnold Print Works

The Arnold Print Works was once North Adams’ largest mill, printing cotton from the Civil War to the early twentieth century. The Arnold Print Works was located on the peninsula between the north and south branches of the Hoosick River near the…

Sampson Shoe Factory

North Adams, while nowadays a hub of arts and culture in New England, has a much longer past as a factory town. One of the larger factories, a shoe factory run by Calvin T. Sampson, was the site of one of the most significant historical events in…

Weber Brothers Shoe Company

The North Adams Shoe Company was established in North Adams in 1889 by the Weber brothers. The five brothers who created the company, due to their love of the trade along with their father’s skilled work in the shoe industry, were A. C. Weber,…

Norad Mill

The Norad Mill, located at 60 Roberts Drive, is one of the oldest surviving mill buildings in North Adams and now houses a variety of local businesses. Sanford Blackinton was president of the North Adams Woolen Company and one of the area’s…

Greylock Mill

The Greylock Mill was owned and operated by McLellan, Hunter & Co. which was established in 1846, producing cotton goods. After several changes in ownership, the entire property was purchased in 1857 by R. R. Andrews. He built additional…