(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Henry Ford believed the automobile could and would become part of American life. He predicted in 1909 that he would "democratize the automobile. . . everybody will be able to afford one, and about everyone will have one." Ford's bold prediction came true: by the end of the 1920s, car registrations totaled over 23 million, up from 8 million at the beginning of the decade. Wealthy and middle class Americans everywhere took to the road for business and pleasure. Scenic routes like the Mohawk Trail in western Massachusetts proved particularly popular destinations. The Trail was graded and improved for motor traffic, although it was not paved until the 1920s. This car drives along the Cold River, which cuts down from the towns of Florida and Charlemont before joining the Deerfield River in the Connecticut River Valley.