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"Trolley Wayfinder"

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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The electric trolley caught on quickly in the Connecticut Valley after its introduction in the early 1890s. By 1909, the date of this brochure, trolleys connected communities as far north as Turners Falls, Massachusetts, with Hartford, Connecticut. This inexpensive and far-flung system affected peoples' lives. Workers, for example, could now travel to jobs outside their own towns. The trolley system reached its height in the years before the United States entered World War I (1917-18). The newly widespread availability of mass-produced, less expensive automobiles following the war led many to abandon the electric trolleys. By the end of the 1920s most lines had been abandoned. Most often these street railways took a lane of traffic on roads. The bed of the trolley line that connected Amherst and South Hadley, Massachusetts, is faintly visible as one crosses The Notch. Elsewhere, trolley tracks have long since been pulled up and few traces of them remain.


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