The Northfield Hotel, Northfield Mass

The Northfield Hotel around 1904.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Northfield

The site in 2014:

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Northfield Massachusetts was never a particularly prominent town for much of its history, but this changed after one of its residents, D.L. Moody, gained worldwide fame as a Christian evangelist.  In addition to work that he did in Chicago and overseas in England, Moody also had an impact on his hometown, opening the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879.  This brought an increase in demand for services such as hotels, including The Northfield, which opened in 1887, just a short distance away from the Northfield Seminary.

Facing dwingling guests, the hotel closed in the 1970s and was demolished, although its well-landscaped grounds became home of the Northfield Golf Club.  A few reminders of the old hotel still exist, including the pond in the foreground, the stone wall, and the footbridge across the stream.

D.L. Moody Residence, Northfield Mass

The former residence of D.L. Moody, on the grounds of Northfield Seminary around 1904.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The house in 2014:

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D.L. Moody was an influential Christian evangelist throughout much of the late 19th century.  He was born in Northfield, Massachusetts in 1837, in a house just up the hill behind this building.  He later lived in Boston and Chicago, in addition to traveling around the country and to Europe as part of his evangelistic tours.  He returned to Northfield in 1875, and in 1879 he opened the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies, which later became the Northfield campus of Northfield Mount Hermon School.  This house, which he lived in after his return to Northfield, is part of the campus, which has been vacant since 2006, when the school consolidated to just the Mount Hermon campus in nearby Gill.

Dickinson Memorial Library, Northfield Mass

Northfield’s Dickinson Memorial Library, around 1900-1906.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The library in 2014:

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Northfield’s public library is the Dickinson Memorial Library, named after 19th century shoe manufacturer Elijah Dickinson, who had donated $20,000 to construct the granite building.  It was dedicated in 1898, with noted evangelist and Northfield resident D.L. Moody among the speakers at the event.  Today, the building looks much the same as it did in the first picture, which was taken only a few years after its dedication.