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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chicopee in Hampden County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Cabotville Canal

 
 
Cabotville Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
1. Cabotville Canal Marker
Inscription. For 150 years this cluster of red brick mill buildings on the Chicopee River served as the community's industrial anchor. The complex was conceived, designed and built by America's first generation of venture capitalists, the legendary Boston Associates.

In 1831 the Associates secured the water rights with an initial investment of $90,000 creating the Springfield Canal Company with the purpose of tapping the river for their power sources. John Chase, a talented engineer, was chosen as the new company's agent.

Immigrant Irish laborers, who had just completed the construction of New York's Erie Canal, came to Chicopee. On April 1, 1832, Chase's experienced work force commenced construction on a dam, canal, and mill buildings. Water was let into the canal on December 8, 1832.

In the next decade, the Boston Associates would make a 1.5 million dollar investment. The one-third of a mile canal would be the source of power for three textile mills, the Cabot Manufacturing Company (1832) followed by the Perkins Mills (1836) and finally the Dwight Manufacturing Company (1841). In 1856, the three companies merged under one corporate identity, the Dwight Manufacturing Company.

Encouraged by the Industrialist Edmund Dwight, Nathan Peabody Ames and James Tyler Ames who made tools and cutlery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts,
detail from Cabotville Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
2. detail from Cabotville Canal Marker
brought their business to Chicopee Falls. In 1834 the company moved to a site on the newly constructed Cabotville Canal. That year the Ames Sword Company received a government order for 1,000 naval sabers. Within a short time, the little company on the Chicopee River had an international reputation as a state-of-the-art munitions maker of swords, cannons and advanced military hardware. Civil War historians called the Ames Manufacturing Company - "Lincoln's Arsenal."

In the Ames factory complex in 1883, A.H. Overman built his first Victor Bicycles. Ten years later two of his young employees Charles and Frank Duryea would build and drive the first successful American car to be propelled by an internal combustion engine.

In 1904, A.G. Spaulding & Bros., the famous sporting goods manufacturer, moved into the Ames buildings on the Cabotville Canal. The facility grew into the nation's largest make of recreational sporting goods.
 
Erected 2010 by Chicopee Historical Commission.
 
Location. 42° 8.934′ N, 72° 36.4′ W. Marker is in Chicopee, Massachusetts, in Hampden County. Marker is at the intersection of Front Street and Center Street (Massachusetts Route 116), on the right when traveling west on Front Street. Click for map. Marker is located
Cabotville Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
3. Cabotville Canal Marker
on the Chicopee Center Canal Walk directly across Front Street from City Hall. Marker is in this post office area: Chicopee MA 01013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Cabotville Sycamores (a few steps from this marker); Veterans Memorial (approx. mile away); Korean War Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); World War Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Citizens of Chicopee Remember World War II (approx. 0.7 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Frank J Szot Memorial Park (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chicopee.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesSportsWaterways & Vessels
 
The Cabotville Sycamores Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
4. The Cabotville Sycamores Marker
seen from the Cabotville Canal marker
Cabotville Canal image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
5. Cabotville Canal
Cabotville Canal image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
6. Cabotville Canal
Chicopee Center Canal Walk sign image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, April 19, 2012
7. Chicopee Center Canal Walk sign
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 407 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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