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Hampshire House, Ware, Mass.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The town of Ware, Massachusetts, was home to three major manufacturers of textiles and clothing. The mills were powered by water from the Ware River where a dam was built in 1824. By the early 20th century the mills employed around 6000 people. This picture shows a bustling downtown, with retail businesses on the ground floor, and rooms on the second and third. When the mills looked like they would be closed after the depression, the citizens of Ware banded together to buy shares in the companies. This was the first employee buy-out of a manufacturer in America, causing Life Magazine to call Ware "The Town that can't be licked."


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