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James Kellogg, a member of one of Amherst, Massachusetts', leading families, became a merchant on the east side of town in 1814. In 1835, he purchased a shop in South Amherst from Eli Dickinson, where he began the manufacture of planes; woodworking tools used to either smooth or shape a board. His firm made both bench planes (used to smooth) and molders' planes (used to create moldings, or boards with curved surfaces). Kellogg's company was one of hundreds of small-town manufacturers in western Massachusetts in the period. Kellogg's company thived and expanded. The firm expanded to two buildings, one wood, the other brick, and eventually employed twenty men. Together with their families, they lived in a neighborhood known as "Kelloggville." James Kellogg retired in 1867, living in his substantial home on Pleasant St.; near the site of the present downtown Post Office and Kellogg St. His son William continued the business, which produced, on average, 150 to 200 planes a day. The company suffered a fatal blow in 1866 when a dam on the pond where it was located was swept away. Without its main source of water-power, the company closed down.


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