Northampton in Hampshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Old Bank
On the corner across Center Street, at 135 Main, stands the Old Bank, designed by William Fenno Pratt and built in 1866. Its cast iron front was a modern innovation at the time. It was here that the largest bank robbery in the history of the United States took place on the morning of January 26, 1876. Having staked out the bank for weeks, the so-called Rufus Gang made off with more than $1.6 million in cash and securities, exceeding, by today's standards, the Brink's heist and the Great Train Robbery. Equipped with the latest technology, the bank vault was thought to be impervious to thieves, but a band of seven New Yorkers had the help of the very man who had installed the safe. The Pinkerton Detective Agency eventually apprehended two of the robbers. The rest were never charged.
Beyond the Old Bank, at 175 Main, is the site of the Warner House tavern. Built by Asahel Pomeroy in 1792, it was purchased by Oliver Warner in 1821 and became a celebrated stop on the Boston and Albany stage route, With the blast of a trumpet, the stage would announce its arrival, then all would be bustle until a cloud of dust, as it departed, signaled
Having driven through the town in an open carriage, General Lafayette addressed the assembled citizens of Northampton from the Warner House balcony. By the 1840s, hotels expanded to accommodate the steady stream of travelers who arrived on the newly built railroad: When the Warner House burned in 1870, it was replaced by the Fitch House, which later became the Draper Hotel. One can still observe the monogram "F" on the façade of the remaining wing of the building.
Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060
( photo captions )
— The Northampton National Bank as it appeared in the 19th century.
— The Warner House was strategically located at the midpoint of the Boston and Albany stage route.
— General Lafayette was welcomed ai the Water House in 1825.
Erected by Smith College.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Law Enforcement. A significant historical date for this entry is January 26, 1876.
Location. 42° 19.143′ N, 72° 37.851′ W. Marker is in Northampton, Massachusetts, in Hampshire County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Massachusetts Route 9) and Gothic Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 129 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. Shop Row (here, next to this marker); Jonathan Edwards (here, next to this marker); The First Church (here, next to this marker); Third Meeting House Step (a few steps from this marker); Shays' Rebellion (within shouting distance of this marker); Hampshire County (within shouting distance of this marker); Nonotuck (within shouting distance of this marker); Daley & Halligan (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northampton.
Also see . . . Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center. (Submitted on April 4, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 4, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.