Heath — The Manufacturing Interests

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      The Manufacturing Interests of the town have been few and comparatively unimportant. On Avery Brook, Ephraim Hastings built a small grist-mill, about 1800, which was operated by Thomas White. After a number of years the mill was abandoned, but the single run of stones with which it was supplied still lie in this locality. On the same stream, at a later period, Col. David Snow had a saw-mill, which became the property of the Temples.
      At the hamlet Enos Adams put a tannery in operation about 1820, which was afterward conducted by Rufus and Samuel Barber. On the North Branch and its affluents saw-mills have been operated by the Flaggs and others. Near where Dwight Hitchcock's saw-mill now is Richard Temple built a saw-mill soon after 1800,—the first in those parts. Farther up this stream was a small mill, operated by Asahel Hawks and Samuel Haines. Near where Henry Fairbank's mill is Joel Rugg had a small tannery; and, about 1840, Seymour Benson had a tannery in that part of the town, which contained 20 vats. Afterward chairs were made there by L. M. Ward & Co.
      On Mill Brook, at Holland Dell, a grist-mill was put up about 1800, by Ephraim Hastings, which was afterward operated by Calvin G. Coates. Here his son, Charles P. Coates, now operates a mill, having two runs of stone and a fair grinding capacity. On a water-power a short distance below David Snow had a saw-mill, on the site of the present Wm. O. Bent mill. At the upper power Hugh Maxwell had a carding-machine, about 1830, which was operated as long as there was a demand for such an industry. The power is now employed to operate a feed- and cider-mill, owned by F. F. Benson.
      Besides the cluster of houses around the mills at Holland Dell, the only hamlet in the town is or, as it is


      Or, as it is locally known. Middle Heath. Here have centred the principal interests of the town aside from those named. The place contains Congregational, Methodist, and Baptist Churches, the town-hall, a store and post-office, which are built round a common, and about twenty buildings, built in a straggling manner along the cross streets,
      Stores have been kept at the hamlet by a man named Shepard, David Thayer, Ephraim Smith, Obadiah Dickinson and John Hastings, Lysander M. Ward, John Drury, Frank Coolidge, Augustus Smith, Daniel Rugg, Elijah Carpenter, Cyrus Temple, and Horace G. McGee. In the building now owned by John Burrington as a dwelling Winslow Buck had a store. In the northern part of the town a man named Thompson had a store after 1820.
      In the old red house at the hamlet taverns were kept by Shepard, Thompson Smith, David Thayer, and Augustus Smith. For many years past the town has been without a public-house.
      The Heath post-office was established after 1820, and was first kept by Sylvanus Maxwell, in a building nearly opposite the Baptist meeting-house. Usually the merchants of the place have also been the postmasters. Hugh Maxwell is the present official. Three mails per week are supplied from Shelburne Falls.

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21 Jun 2005