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The town of Whately, Massachusetts, in 1871 shows its rural and agricultural nature, with dispersed farms spread evenly along the major north-south transportation routes. Due to the rich soil of the Connecticut River valley, the farms along its eastern edge are regularly spaced, while the village of West Whately has most of the town's industrial works -several textile mills, turning shops, and, in the hills, a sawmill. The names of the town's proprietors still reflect its Anglo-Saxon roots, something that will change with the arrival, in the 1880s and 1890s, of a large number of Eastern European immigrants, especially from Poland. Their influence will change the character of Whately, enriching not only its culture but enlivening many moribund farms.
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