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View looking down from North Main Street, Orange, Mass.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Orange, Massachusetts, is located on the Millers River. The river's fast-flowing and steady water power led the village to become a thriving industrial town. This street scene gives us a fascinating glimpse of a summer's day sometime between 1890 and 1900, when this photograph was taken. Leaning up against a building to the right is a "safety bicycle," so called because it was not the high-wheeled style of earlier years. Above it run electric, phone, and probably telegraph wires: Orange was a progressive town, well equipped for the coming 20th century. The cobbled sidewalks are also evidence of civic improvement, although the streets remained dirt. By 1900, more than 6,500 people lived in Orange, making it one of the largest communities in Franklin County.


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