Looking west on Elm Street, with the Agawam Woolen Mill to the right, around 1895-1896. Image courtesy of the Agawam Historical Association.
Elm Street in 2015:
The former Agawam Woolen Mill building still stands on Elm Street, although it is mostly hidden behind the trees from this angle. Agawam was never a major industrial center, but this site along the Three Mile Brook had been used by mills since the early 1800s. In 1857, the Agawam Company, later renamed the Agawam Woolen Company, established its first factory here, which was rebuilt in 1875 and destroyed in a fire in 1889. The present-day factory was built around 1890, and was subsequently expanded several times after the first photo was taken. However, by the mid 1900s, New England’s once thriving textile industry began to struggle amid increased competition, and like many others the Agawam Woolen Company closed in the 1950s. The building still stands today, not all that different from the 1890s photo except for the early 1900s additions. It is a contributing property, and the only industrial building, in the Agawam Center Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.