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View of Cheapside

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Deerfield River port of Cheapside in Deerfield, Massachusetts, became part of Greenfield in 1896 after many petitions by residents of Greenfield. This painting by a German artist gives an unusual glimpse of everyday life in the 19th century among the Irish and German immigrant community that developed at the laying of the railroad in 1846. Note the modest style of the houses and their proximity to the railroad. Struggling immigrants found lower housing costs in this noisy, less desirable residential area. A growing network of railways transformed the landscape throughout the 19th century. Expensive and sturdy truss bridges like the one in this painting spanned local waterways and linked outlying communities to a wider world. The railroad replaced the bustling wharves, warehouses and water traffic that had once lined the river at Cheapside.


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