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The dam at Chicopee Falls was built in the late 1800s and provided water power for the mills located in town. The town of Chicopee was originally part of Springfield and became a separate town in 1848 and was chartered as a city in 1890. It was the first city west of Boston to form a publicly funded library. Chicopee had many different industries including textile mills, cannon and shotgun manufacturing, iron and brass foundries, boot and shoe makers, and the producer of the first Lucifer matches.