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"F. E. Field" store sign

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The general store of F.E. Field burned on August 21, 1875, as part of a fire that damaged, but did not destroy, Union Block (also known as Taylor's Block) in the city of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Union Block was on the corner of Chapman and Main Street, in the center of the city. Another store, M.R. Pierce and Co., a seller of stoves, was also damaged. Before the disaster, Field's newspaper advertisements had promised that he would "make trade lively," by offering "very low prices." His store, he proclaimed, was "headquarters for fruit jars." The fire was apparently started accidentally, and Field, the local newspaper reported, was well insured. However, after the fire he never reconstituted his business and other firms moved into the Union Block. On May 6, 1883, the Field Block burned again, this time for good: a new building had to be erected in its place. This sign, which shows no signs of fire, was apparently rescued from the first fire and was recycled. It was used for a plaster patch in the Seth Wood house in Factory Hollow, Greenfield. It was rediscovered when the house was dismantled in 1990.


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