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"Erving & Wendell"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In 1871 Erving, Massachusetts, was just beginning to experience the population growth caused by the growth of Millers Falls on its western edge, where the majority of the early factories of that village were located. The remainder of the town was quite rural, with logging, wood products, and agriculture the major industries. Prominent on this map is the "Erving Castle or Hermit's Cave." There, an imposing cliff formed a natural cave that was inhabited in the late 1860s by John Smith, a Scotsman, who became something of a celebrity for his rugged lifestyle. Local fashionable ladies came to visit him on summer days. He lived there for more than twenty years before being taken into a Montague home, where he died in 1900. <BR>In 1871 the population of the town of Wendell, Massachusetts, was widely dispersed. Dependent on logging or agriculture, there were few other industries. In 1871, more intensive logging was beginning that by the 1890s would almost entirely strip the hills of their trees. Ten years after this map, the village of Farley would be located across from the Erving home of A.R. Albee on the Millers Falls River and the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad.


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