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Mt. Tom Railway and Summit House
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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A summit house was first built atop Mt. Tom, in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in 1897. It was one of the last of the central Connecticut hills to get a summit house. That structure was two stories high and was seventy-six by ninety-two feet with a twenty-five foot high cupola. But, like so many other mountain houses, it burned in 1900. A new hotel was built in 1901, more grand than any of its neighbors: it was seven stories high, 101 feet long, with a hall that seated 300. That building (in the distance in this photograph) stood until it, too, burned in 1929. The railroad was completed in 1897. The cars that ran on it were built in Springfield, Massachusetts, and held eighty people. They gripped a cable that was wound around an eight-foot steel drum at the summit. The railway ran until 1938 and that year, the last Mt. Tom summit house closed. Both the third summit house, built of metal, and the railroad were sold for scrap and dismantled.
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