Mount Tom Railroad, Holyoke, Mass (3)

The trolley Elizur Holyoke approaching the summit on the Mount Tom Railroad, around 1905-1915. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2021:

The first photo shows the trolley Elizur Holyoke, one of two that operated on the Mount Tom Railroad. Together with the Rowland Thomas, these two cars formed a funicular railway; they were connected by a cable that allowed the descending car to use its weight to help pull the other one up the mountain. This cable, which is seen in the foreground in the middle of the tracks in the first photo, was not powered by a motor at the summit, but instead each car had its own motors, which drew power from overhead wires by way of a trolley pole, as shown atop the Elizur Holyoke in the photo.

The Mount Tom Railroad opened in 1897, allowing visitors to reach the newly-constructed Summit House atop the 1,200-foot Mount Tom. It was just under a mile in length, and it rose 700 feet in elevation, with an average grade of 14 percent and a maximum of 21.5 percent. Most of the route was straight, with the exception of a curve near the summit, which is shown here in this scene. The cars typically ran once every half hour, although they could be operated more frequently depending on demand. Each car could seat 84 passengers, and over the course of an average season the railroad typically carried about 75,000 people to and from the summit.

Aside from the railroad itself, this scene also offers a view of the northernmost portion of the Mount Tom Range, along with part of the Holyoke Range. Appropriately enough, the first photo shows the Elizur Holyoke directly below Mount Holyoke. Both the mountain and the trolley share the same namesake, and the mountain also lent its name to the city of Holyoke, where Mount Tom is located. Further to the left of Mount Holyoke is Mount Nonotuck, which is visible near the upper left corner of the first photo.

When the railroad and Summit House here on Mount Tom opened in 1897, both of these mountains already had long-established hotels at their summits, with the Prospect House on Mount Holyoke and the Eyrie House on Mount Nonotuck. Unlike those businesses, though, the Summit House did not offer overnight accommodations, and instead catered entirely to day visitors. In any case, the aging Eyrie House was never a major competitor to the Summit House, and it ultimately burned in 1901. As for the Prospect House, its 20th century history would largely mirror that of the Summit House, and both ultimately closed in the late 1930s amid declining business during the Great Depression.

The Summit House was demolished around 1938, and the railroad tracks were removed around the same time. Then, in 1944 the property was sold to the radio station WHYN, which built towers and buildings at the summit and converted the railroad right-of-way into a paved access road. Overall, though, this scene has not changed much, aside from the loss of the railroad tracks. The slopes of Mount Tom still look much the same as they did when the first photo was taken, as do the mountains in the distance, although some are obscured by tree growth in the present-day photo. Even the Prospect House on Mount Holyoke is still standing, and it is barely visible as a tiny white speck just to the left of the summit in both photos. Now preserved as a museum, this historic building is one of the few surviving 19th century mountaintop resorts in the northeast, having long outlived its newer competitors on Mount Nonotuck and here on Mount Tom.

Mount Tom Railroad, Holyoke, Mass

The trolley Rowland Thomas on the Mount Tom Railroad in Holyoke, around 1905-1915. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2021:

The early 20th century was the heyday of electric trolleys in the United States. In the years prior to widespread car ownership, most cities and even many small towns were served by networks of trolley lines that were generally run by private companies. In order to maximize profits, these companies often built picnic groves, amusement parks, and other recreational facilities along their lines. Known as trolley parks, these generated revenue not only through admission fees, but also through increased trolley ridership on otherwise-slow weekends.

Here in Holyoke, the Holyoke Street Railway Company opened Mountain Park in the 1890s. It began as a small park at the base of Mount Tom, but it soon added amenities such as a dance hall, a restaurant, a roller coaster, and a carousel. Most significantly, though, the company also built a summit house at the top of the 1,200-foot mountain, allowing visitors to enjoy the expansive views of the Connecticut River valley. Mountaintop resorts were popular in the northeast during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and there were already several in the vicinity of Mount Tom, including the Prospect House on Mount Holyoke and the Eyrie House on Mount Nonotuck. However, unlike those establishments, the Summit House here on Mount Tom was not a hotel. Instead, it catered to day visitors, with a restaurant, a stage, and an observatory equipped with telescopes.

To bring visitors to the Summit House, the company constructed the Mount Tom Railroad, a nearly mile-long funicular railway that rose 700 feet in elevation from Mountain Park to a station just below the summit. It had an average grade of 14 percent, with a maximum grade of 21.5 percent at its steepest section. The lower part of the route was straight, as shown here in this view looking down from the midpoint, although there was a gentle curve right before the summit station. Like most funiculars, it consisted of two cars that were connected by a cable. As one car descended, it pulled the other car up the mountain, allowing gravity to do most of the work. The cable itself was unpowered, but the cars each had their own electric motors powered by overhead wires, in order to compensate for weight differences and energy lost to friction.

The two cars were named the Rowland Thomas and Elizur Holyoke, in honor of the early colonists who became the namesakes of Mount Tom and Mount Holyoke. Each car was 36 feet long, 9 feet wide, and could seat 84 passengers. They were connected to each other by a 5,050-foot-long, 1.25-inch steel cable, which passed over a large sheave at the summit. This sheave was mounted on an A-frame that was, in turn, bolted securely into the rock. In addition, the cars maintained constant telephone connection with each other, by way of telephone lines that ran alongside the tracks just above ground level, as shown in the lower left corner of the first photo. The cars connected to these by way of brush-like shoes that ran along the top of the wires as the car moved.

Because of the steep grade of the railroad, the cars’ braking ability was of critical importance, as an uncontrolled descent would likely have had deadly consequences. To prevent this, the cars had several independent braking systems. Each car was equipped with standard trolley brakes, but the cable itself was controlled by a centrifugal governor at the summit that automatically slowed the cable once it began moving faster than 1,400 feet per minute, or about 16 miles per hour. This second feature obviously only worked if the cable remained intact, but there was yet another braking system in the event of a catastrophic failure of the cable. As shown in the first photo, a third rail ran inside the tracks next to the cable. In an emergency, the motorman could activate a lever that would cause the car to clamp on to this rail. This could also be done automatically, by a governor that was set to engage the rail once the car exceeded 1,500 feet per minute, or 17 miles per hour.

In any funicular railway, one of the other challenges is determining how the two cars will pass each other. The simplest solution is to have two parallel tracks, with each car operating on its own track at all times. However, this requires a wider right-of-way, along with significantly more materials than a single-track railway. One alternative is a three-rail funicular, in which each car has its own outside rail and shares the middle one, diverging only at a short passing section. The other option is to have one track for both cars, with a turnout at the halfway point. This requires the least amount of land and materials, but it requires a complex track arrangement at the turnout to ensure each car takes the correct path and safely crosses over the cable.

Here on Mount Tom, the railroad engineers chose the third option, as shown in the first photo. The two cars met at a passing loop, which is visible in the lower center of the photo. At first glance it looks similar to a standard railroad switch, but the key difference is that it has no moving parts. Instead, the cars and tracks are designed so that each one can only take one path, which remains the same regardless of whether the car is heading up or down the mountain. As such, the Rowland Thomas always took the tracks on the north side (the left side when viewed from this direction), while the Elizur Holyoke always took the south side.

To achieve this, the two cars had different wheel arrangements. The wheels on one side of the car had a wider tread than on the other side, which caused them to be guided along deflector rails onto the correct track. For the Rowland Thomas, these wide-tread wheels were on the left side when it was headed uphill, and for the Elizur Holyoke they were on the right side. On the same side as these wheels, each car also had an extra set of wheels that were slightly raised above the others and hung out about 15 inches from the main wheels. Because the turnout required gaps in the main rail to allow the cable to pass through, there was a short section of rail next to these gaps. As the main wheels approached the gap, the auxiliary wheels would roll along this additional rail, preventing what would otherwise be a derailment.

Work on the railroad began in March 1897, and it was completed in time for the summer season, opening on May 25. It operated throughout the summer and into the fall foliage season, before closing for the winter at the end of October. Round trip fare was 25 cents, and included the trolley ride along with use of the Summit House. The trolleys were scheduled to run twice an hour, with extra trips as needed. However, by September this schedule was insufficient to keep up with demand, as indicated by a Springfield Republican article that criticized the railroad for dangerously overcrowded trolleys.

During the early years of the railroad, perhaps its most distinguished passenger was President William McKinley, who visited Mount Tom along with his wife Ida on June 19, 1899. A number of onlookers gathered at the lower station to catch a glimpse of the president, who sat in the front seat of the Elizur Holyoke trolley for the ride up the mountain. At the summit, he and Ida were likewise greeted by a large crowd, and they spent about an hour there, where they ate a light lunch at Summit House before heading back down the mountain.

As it turned out, the McKinleys would be the first of at least two presidential couples who would travel up the Mount Tom Railroad. About five years later, a young Calvin Coolidge and Grace Goodhue visited the mountain on a date. At the time, Calvin was a lawyer in Northampton and Grace was a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf. While at the Summit House, he purchased a souvenir plaque of the mountain, which became the first gift he ever gave her. They subsequently married in 1905, and he went on to become governor, vice president, and then ultimately president in 1923.

In the meantime, the original Summit House only lasted for a few years before being destroyed by a fire in 1900. Its replacement opened the following year, but this too would eventually burn, in 1929. By contrast, the Mount Tom Railroad itself appears to have avoided any major incidents throughout its history. However, there were occasional breakdowns that forced passengers to walk down the mountain, and in at least one instance causing a number of people to spend the night in makeshift accommodations at the Summit House.

On July 24, 1928, at around 9:15pm, the Rowland Thomas had to stop about 150 feet from the upper station because of a broken journal on one of its axles. This likewise caused the Elizur Holyoke to stop the same distance from the lower station. The passengers on the Elizur Holyoke were able to easily return to the station, but about 50 people were  stranded at the summit. Many chose to walk down the mountain in the dark, guided by railroad employees with lanterns, but 22 remained at the Summit House overnight. Some stayed up all night, playing bridge and dancing, and most descended the mountain after sunrise, although four guests stayed at the summit until railroad service was restored later in the day. A similar incident occurred less than a month later, when a spread rail stopped the trolleys at about 9:00pm. This time, 35 people walked down in the dark, but it does not appear that anyone spent the night at the summit.

After the 1929 fire at the Summit House, the railroad quickly constructed a temporary replacement at the summit. It had intended to then build a more permanent structure, but by the early 1930s the mountain faced declining numbers of visitors. Part of this was because of the Great Depression, which began just months after the fire here. Another factor was increased car ownership among the middle class, which meant that recreational activities were no longer limited to places that people could access by trolley.

At the base of the mountain, Mountain Park would remain a popular amusement park for decades, but both the Mount Tom Railroad and the Summit House closed in the late 1930s. The temporary Summit House was dismantled for scrap metal in 1938, and around the same time the railroad tracks were taken up and removed. The rails and other metal components were presumably reused or scrapped, but the wooden ties were discarded in piles alongside the right-of-way. More than 80 years later, many of these ties are still in remarkably good condition, and a few are visible in the lower right corner of the second photo.

The railroad ultimately sold the summit area and the right-of-way to the WHYN radio station, which constructed radio towers and transmitter buildings on the site of the old Summit House. The old railroad grade was paved over, and it became an access road for the radio station. As a result, the present-day scene looks very different from the first photo, although there are still a few remnants of the old railroad, including the ties, some discarded spikes, and metal support braces for the old utility poles that once supported the electrified trolley wire.

Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company, Adams, Mass

Workers outside of the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company, facing east on Hoosac Street at the corner of Depot Street in Adams, in August 1911. Image taken by Lewis Wickes Hine, courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Child Labor Committee Collection.

The scene in 2020:

The first photo was taken in August 1911 by prominent photojournalist and social reformer Lewis Wickes Hine. In the early 20th century, Hine traveled across the country on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee, taking thousands of photos that documented and exposed child labor conditions in factories, mines, farms, and other workplaces. He made several trips to New England during this time, including a lengthy visit in the summer and fall of 1911, when he investigated the region’s prosperous textile industry. Among his stops was the town of Adams in the northwestern corner of the state, where the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company had a large factory complex along the Hoosac River. This photo shows the view looking down Hoosac Street toward the river, with Mill No. 1 in the distance on the left and the corner of Mill No. 3 in the foreground on the right side.

The Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company was established in 1889 by the prominent Plunkett family. The family patriarch, William C. Plunkett, had owned several local cotton mills in the mid-19th century, and he also served for two years as the state’s lieutenant governor in 1854 and 1855. He died in 1884, and five years later two of his sons, William and Charles Plunkett, organized the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company. They built a new mill, which became Mill No. 1 here on the left side of the scene. The building featured some 35,000 spindles and 700 looms, but the company quickly outgrew this facility. Just two years later, the company began construction of a second mill directly behind this one, which more than doubled the number of spindles and looms.

The second mill was completed in 1892, and it was dedicated in a ceremony that included a speech by William McKinley, who was then serving as governor of Ohio. McKinley was a close friend of the Plunkett family, who supported his platform of high tariffs to protect American manufacturers. He would later return to Adams several times as president, including in 1897, when he spent the night at William Plunkett’s house and then toured the factory buildings the next day. By this point, the facility had been further expanded with the completion of Mill No. 3, which was built in 1896 on the opposite side of Hoosac Street, as shown in the foreground of the first photo. The company would make one more major addition in 1899, with Mill No. 4, located beyond Mill No. 3 on the other side of the railroad tracks. President McKinley was again on hand for this project, and he laid the cornerstone of the building in June 1899.

McKinley was ultimately assassinated in 1901, but he was commemorated here in Adams with a large statue just around the corner from here, at the intersection of Maple and Park Streets. In the meantime, the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company continued to prosper, thanks in large part to the protective tariffs that McKinley had championed as a congressman and as president. By the turn of the 20th century, the company employed over two thousand workers, representing about half of the town’s entire workforce. The October 1908 issue of the trade journal Textile American included an article about the company, which described the facility as “the largest plant manufacturing fine goods at this time.” These fine goods, according to the article, included “carded and combed cotton goods, comprising lawns, organdies, mulls, India linens, etc.”

The first photo was taken only a few years later, and it was one of at least 25 photographs that Hine took during his visit. Most feature interior scenes of the factory, showing teenagers working as spinners and spooler tenders, among other jobs. He identified the ages of most of these workers, who were typically between 14 and 16 years old. This particular photo was one of the few exterior views that he captured, showing a group of workers gathered around the entrance. He does not provide any ages, but most of the employees appear to be adults, with the exception of the child in the center of the scene. Regarding this child, Hine wrote in his caption:

While I was photographing these workers (Berkshire Mills) the watchman dragged out the smallest boy, saying, “Here, photograph ‘Peewee'” Location: Adams, Massachusetts.

“Peewee” appears in one of Hine’s other photos, were he is sitting on the curb outside one of the factory buildings. Neither caption identifies his name or age, which is somewhat unusual for Hine, who typically provided at least one of these pieces of information about his subjects. However, his appearance is characteristic of many of Hines’s subjects, particularly his small size and his lack of shoes. This is further emphasized here in this photo by contrasting the boy with the otherwise well-shod and relatively well-dressed adults who are gathered around him, laughing and smiling.

It is unlikely that any of the workers in the 1911 photo would have realized it, but by this point the textile industry in New England was nearing its peak, and within the next few decades it would face a steep decline. Much of this was brought on by competition from the southern states, in addition to overseas competition that McKinley and his tariffs had sought to stave off. Many textile companies closed in the 1920s, and those that survived were typically hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company lasted longer than most here in New England, and in 1929 it merged with four other textile companies to form the Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. In consolidating, the company hoped to be in a better position to compete with southern manufacturers, and over the next few decades it continued to acquire other mills. Most significantly, in 1955 it merged with Hathaway Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, forming Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Despite these many mergers, though, the textile industry in New England was in an irreversible decline. Berkshire Hathaway produced textiles here in Adams for only a few more years, before ultimately closing these mills in 1958, leaving some 1,200 workers unemployed. The company closed many of its other facilities around this time, before ultimately being acquired by a young Warren Buffett in 1965. Under his ownership, the company steadily moved away from textile manufacturing and into the realm of insurance and finance, eventually becoming the modern-day holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

In the meantime, the old Berkshire mills here in Adams were sold off to other owners. Mill No. 2 was demolished in the early 1960s to build a supermarket on the lot, and Mill No. 3 was demolished about a decade later. As shown in the present-day scene, the site of this mill is now a surface parking lot. However, Mill No. 1 is still standing today, partially hidden by trees on the left side, as is Mill No. 4, which stands further in the distance in the right-center of the photo. Mill No. 4 is currently vacant, but No. 1 was repurposed as an apartment building in 1987. Despite these many changes, the building’s exterior has remained well-preserved over the years, and in 1982 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Melvin Memorial, Concord, Mass (2)

The Melvin Memorial at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, around 1910-1920. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2020:

As explained in the previous post, the Melvin Memorial was created in honor of Concord natives Asa, John, and Samuel Melvin. These three brothers all died during the Civil War, and in 1897 their only surviving brother, James C. Melvin, commissioned prominent sculptor Daniel Chester French to design a memorial for them. It was dedicated here in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in 1909, and it features a relief sculpture titled Mourning Victory. The sculpture shows Victory draped in a flag and carrying a laurel sprig to symbolize the Union victory in the war, but it also shows Victory with downcast eyes, representing the loss of life that was required in order to win the war.

In more than a century since the first photo was taken, remarkably little has changed here in this scene. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was designed as a natural, park-like cemetery that could be used by both the living and the dead, and it has retained that same appearance over the years. Even the tree in the center of the first photo appears to be the same one that is still standing here in the 2020 photo. As for the memorial itself, it underwent a major restoration from 2018 to 2019, including cleaning, repointing, and repairing the marble, along with replacing the tablets beneath the sculpture of Victory. As a result, the memorial now looks essentially the same as it did the first photo, and it stands as a significant work by one of the nation’s leading sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Melvin Memorial, Concord, Mass

The Melvin Memorial at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, around 1909-1912. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2020:

This monument in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was dedicated in 1909 in honor of Asa, John, and Samuel Melvin, three brothers who died during the Civil War. All three were Concord natives, and they served in Company K of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Their deaths represented three of the leading causes of death in the war: disease, combat, and poor conditions prisoner of war camps. John died of dysentery in 1863, Asa was killed in battle during the siege of Petersburg in 1864, and Samuel died of disease and malnutrition in 1864 at the Andersonville prison in Georgia, following his capture after the Battle of Spotsylvania.

A fourth brother, James C. Melvin, was too young to join older siblings at the start of the war, but he enlisted later in the war once he was old enough. He was the only one to survive the war, and he went on to become a businessman in Boston, where he was involved in a cold storage company. One of his goals was to create a memorial in honor of his three older brothers, so in 1897 he commissioned prominent sculptor Daniel Chester French to design one.

Although a native of New Hampshire, French was no stranger to Concord. One of his first major works was The Minute Man, a bronze statue dedicated in 1875 at Old North Bridge, at the site of the Battle of Concord. That iconic symbol of the American Revolution has remained one of his most famous works, perhaps eclipsed only by one of his last works, the 30-foot marble statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

For the Melvin Memorial, French drew little inspiration from existing Civil War monuments, which typically featured some variation of a uniformed soldier holding a rifle. Instead, he took inspiration from classical art, creating a relief sculpture that he titled Mourning Victory. The design features a seven-foot-tall figure of Victory emerging from the marble, draped in an American flag and carrying a laurel sprig. These symbols express patriotism and the triumphant victory of the Union during the war, but French also portrayed Victory with downcast eyes, mourning the human cost of that victory. Directly beneath the sculpture are tablets for each of the three brothers, with inscriptions identifying them and the circumstances of their deaths. The other inscription on the memorial, located below Victory, reads:

In memory of three brothers born in Concord who as private soldiers gave their lives in the war to save the country this memorial is placed here by their surviving brother, himself a private soldier in the same war.

“I with uncovered head
Salute the sacred dead
Who went and who return not”

The memorial was dedicated on June 16, 1909, in a ceremony that was well attended by surviving members of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The first photo was taken shortly after the dedication, and it shows the monument in its location in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. However, while it is in a cemetery, none of the brothers are actually buried here beneath the memorial. Only John’s body was returned home during the war, and he is buried elsewhere in the cemetery in the family plot, alongside his brother James, who died in 1915. As for the other two brothers, Samuel is buried in the Andersonville National Cemetery, while Asa lies in a mass grave in Petersburg.

Today, more than a century after the dedication of the Melvin Memorial, it still looks essentially the same as it did in the first photo, thanks to a restoration project that was completed in 2019. It is regarded as one of Daniel Chester French’s finest works, and a replica of it—which was also commissioned by James Melvin—is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Overall, perhaps the only thing that has changed here in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery since the first photo was taken is the number of gravestones, which has obviously increased over the years. Appropriately enough, one of these stones is for Daniel Chester French himself, who died in 1931 and is buried up on the ridge behind the memorial.

Barnard Mills, Fall River, Mass

The Barnard Mills from across the Quequechan River in Fall River, around 1910-1920. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

The scene in 2020:

The city of Fall River owes both its name and its 19th century population boom to the Quequechan River, which flows westward through the center of the city and into Mount Hope Bay. Along the way, the river drops about 130 feet in elevation as it passes through the city, making it ideal as a source of water power. During the 19th century, this led to the establishment of many different textile mills along the river, to the point where the river’s capacity had essentially reached its limit by mid-century. However, by this point Fall River was well-established as an important textile center, and more mills continued to open here, many using coal as an energy source rather than water power.

Fall River’s largest textile boom came in the post-Civil War era, when over a dozen new companies opened in the city. Among these was the Barnard Manufacturing Company, which was incorporated in 1872. This was not a particularly auspicious time to start a large corporation, given the impending economic recession caused by the Panic of 1873, but it was during this time that the company built this mill complex on the north side of the Quequechan River, just west of Quarry Street. The main building, a large five-story mill with a tower on the side, was completed in 1875, and like many of the other Fall River mills, it was constructed of locally-quarried granite.

Upon completion, the Barnard Mills had 28,400 spindles, 768 looms, and it could produce around nine million yards of print cloth each year. The company was named for its president, Louis L. Barnard, who was also involved in the Sagamore Mills elsewhere in Fall River. The first treasurer of the Barnard Mills was Nathaniel B. Borden, who came from a prominent local family. His father, also named Nathaniel, had been a mayor and Congressman, and his uncle Simeon was a land surveyor known for his work on the early 1830s trigonometrical survey of Massachusetts. However, he does not appear to be closely related to the most famous Borden in Fall River, Lizzie Borden, who would have been a teenager when this mill opened.

The facility was subsequently expanded in 1896, with the construction of a two-story weave shed to the southeast of the original mill. This new building increased the capacity of the mill to 66,480 spindles and 4,769 looms, and by this point the company employed 500 people. The first photo was taken a couple decades later, showing the original 1875 building in the distant center, with the 1896 weave shed in front and to the right of it. In the foreground is the Quequechan River, and further downstream in the distance on the far left side are a few other textile mills. These buildings feature similar architecture to the Barnard Mills, and they are likewise built of local granite.

Fall River’s textile industry was still prospering when the first photo was taken, but it entered a steep decline in the 1920s. Many companies moved to the south during this decade, and the remaining ones were hurt by the Great Depression, which followed the 1929 stock market crash. The Barnard Mills ultimately survived longer than most, closing in 1939.

Today, Fall River is far removed from its heyday as a textile manufacturing center, but many of the historic mill buildings are still standing, and have been repurposed for other uses. Here at the Barnard Mills, the buildings have been converted into commercial and retail use. The complex is now known as the Tower Mill, and its tenants include a Planet Fitness gym, a building supply outlet, and a party dress shop, as shown by the large advertisements on the building. Aside from these signs, though, the buildings have retained much of their historic exterior appearance, and many of the other mills in the distance are also still standing. Perhaps the most significant change to this scene is the river itself, which is now a narrow stream that winds its way through the reeds in what had once been the millpond.