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

West Main Street

West Main Street Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 20, 2019
1. West Main Street Marker
Inscription.  The Academy of Music, built in 1891, was a gift to the city from Edward H.R. Lyman. It was designed as an opera house by William Brockelsby. With its rich terra cotta facade, it echoes the neo-classical style of the Italian Renaissance. In 1912, a stock company was formed and achieved national fame as the first municipal theater company in the United States. Lectures, concerts, opera and dramas were regularly presented. Mark Twain entertained Academy audiences. Sarah Berhnardt, the Barrymores and Mae West graced its stage. Later, vaudeville and then the movies became regular features.

The first Catholic church in Northampton was built on King Street in 1845. It was soon outgrown and a larger church was built in 1866. Waves of immigrants in the 1880s contributed to exponential growth of the Catholic population and by the 1880s separate parishes were organized for the outlying districts of Northampton. St. Mary's Church was designed by Patrick Ford of Boston and was built on the site of the old Mansion House Hotel. Begun in 1881, the church was dedicated in 1885. Two uneven towers and stained glass windows are prominent features. The
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spires were added in 1895. The rectory was constructed in 1888.

When Sophia Smith died in 1870, she left her estate to "furnish for my own sex means and facilities for education equal to those which are offered now in our colleges for young men." The next year Smith College became the first woman's college to be chartered in New England. From the beginning, the college saw itself not as a finishing school for young ladies, but as the home of the feminine scholar. Built on a hill overlooking downtown Northampton, College Hall was the first building to be built on the Smith Campus. Designed by Peabody and Stearns of Boston in 1874, the high Victorian Gothic building housed the entire college when it opened its doors in 1875.
Erected by Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center; sponsored by Pioneer Valley Hotel Group.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureChurches & ReligionEducationWomen.
Location. 42° 19.056′ N, 72° 37.974′ W. Marker is in Northampton, Massachusetts, in Hampshire County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Main Street (Massachusetts Route 10) and Masonic Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located beside the sidewalk
West Main Street Marker<br>(<i>tall view looking north • Main Street in backround</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 20, 2019
2. West Main Street Marker
(tall view looking north • Main Street in backround)
near the north end of Pulaski Park. This marker is the south-facing side of a 4-panel exhibit. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 240 Main Street, Northampton MA 01060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Town Center (here, next to this marker); Upper Main Street (here, next to this marker); Pulaski Park (here, next to this marker); USS Northampton (a few steps from this marker); Northampton Remembers (within shouting distance of this marker); Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski (within shouting distance of this marker); Pulaski (within shouting distance of this marker); Town Clock (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northampton.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 11, 2023. It was originally submitted on August 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on August 29, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Feb. 29, 2024