Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hoops, Mills and Pollution

Heading out kind of late today, but I don't have a lot of miles to get in. Decided it was a perfect day to head for the Springfield area to pick up a couple of Extreme Americana Grand Tours spots and a TeamStrange location. Of course I filled in with a couple NRHP's spots. Right around 1:15 or so headed out and picked up Rout 20 thru Oxford following it thru the Brimfield area. Turned off onto Monson Rd and then Carpenter Rd, coming across the S.F.Cushamn and Sons Woolen Mill built in 1886. This wasn't a scheduled stop, just came across it and couldn't resist. This particular site has some problems with fires in the mill, with 2 previously burning down until this brick was built. The mill manufactured broadcloth, satinet, cashmere, doeskin, kersey and cloaking at various times. It has been abandoned for quite sometime

Right down the street before you hit RT32 in Monson is the William Norcross House built around 1775. Originally built as a tavern with a large ballroom on the upper floor, then became a boarding house for the Monson Woolen Co and finally restored as a private residence.

On Main St in Monson is Memorial Town Hall built in 1884 with stone quarried in the local area. The quarries near by supplied the granite used in the Springfield Armory. As mentioned above many taverns were built in Monson, since it was along the Bay Path, the primary route between Springfield and Boston. During the 19th and early 20th centuries many mills were built along the Chicopee Brook.

Before I got out of Monson, came across another abandoned mill. This was originally the power plant for the A.D. Ellis mill which was across the street and has since been torn down. In the 1980's Omega Metal Processing let go 2,800 gallons of cadmium cyanide into the Chicopee Brook. As it turns out the fish and this stuff don't like one another causing the fish to sleep with the fishes. Omega couldn't afford the clean up and abandoned the plant

Right next door is one of the Warehouses for the A.D. Ellis Mill built in 1871.

Turn around is the serene dam that helped power the mill. When I first walked up to take the picture, I must of spooked a crane, which was just rising from the dam. Of course I wasn't ready and I don't speak crane, so the shot was missed.

Made my way via RT312 south picking up May Hill Rd and passed one of the places I was suppose to stop at. Actually I did stop, was not sure if I was in the right place, pulled out my phone to confirm the spot and got the wrong place and moved down the street. I took a picture of what I thought was the place, when in fact where I was, was the place. It's off to Springfield for the Basketball of Fame.

I would have jumped on I91 to get to Chicopee, but the interstate is a mess right now and traveled thru downtown Springfield to eventually get up on the highway. Found myself at the Chicopee Safety Complex for another Americana Tour spots. Not sure why this place was selected, it just was.

Firemen's Memorial at the station.

Across the street is Edward Bellamy House built in 1830. Ed was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, a tale set in the distant future of the year 2000. I wonder how true his novel was. This is National Historic Landmark.

Right around the corner is T&L's Antiques. Neat old Victorian home built in 1875 for Amos Page, who was president of the Page Knitting Needle Manufacturing Company. The house was sold to the Chicopee Falls Masonic Home Association and then became T&L's preowned antiques and furniture.

One of the items I presumed is for sale and maybe used at one time, Twarog must have stopped making payments on the stone. The weather forecast today was maybe rain around 4pm. Forecast was right, it started a light rain.

What would one of my journeys be this year without a post office.

I love bridges so I couldn't resist. This is the Green-Towne Bridge, built by the American Bridge Company in 1939. It is on Chapin St just before it merges with RT 20 in Wilbraham. The bridge crosses over the Chicopee River where the Collins Paper Company built this dam in 1872. Today it is generating some electricity, about 1480Kw/

I am still out about 60 miles from home, the rain has picked up a bit. I still had 2 stops in Spencer, but decided I would blow these off and just head for the stable. Mileage for the day was just around 140 miles, but the roads taken were really scenic and interesting.

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