Chicopee in Hampden County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
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
Encouraged by the Industrialist Edmund Dwight, Nathan Peabody Ames and James Tyler Ames who made tools and cutlery in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, 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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & VehiclesSports • Waterways & Vessels.
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. Marker is located on the Chicopee Center Canal Walk directly across Front Street from City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chicopee MA 01013, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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. ¼ 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chicopee.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 500 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 6, 2012, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.