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The Historical Commission also discussed the possible preservation of a tunnel on West Mountain Road.

'Mill Children' Exhibit May Come to Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Boys taking a break at the Berkshire Mills in Adams in 1911.

ADAMS, Mass. — The "Mill Children" photography exhibit could come to Adams.

William Kolis, owner of the Firehouse Cafe, and Ralph Brill of the Brill Gallery in the Eclipse Mill have proposed bringing the photojournalistic photo exhibit to the Mother Town.

The pictures were taken by Lewis W. Hine for the National Child Labor Committee in the early 1900s to bring attention to the horrors of child labor and first exhibited by Brill in a project he began in 2010.

Some of the photos were taken in Adams and show children in the local mills. Berkshire Cotton & Manufacturing Co., established by W.B. Plunkett, once employed thousands of area residents. The company, now part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, closed its last mills here a half-century ago.

"This exhibit has been in New Bedford, North Adams and I think it’s going to be in Holyoke, but they want to bring it to Adams this summer," Historical Commission member Eugene Michalenko said at Wednesday's meeting

Michalenko said the plan is to install the exhibit in the former Waverly Fabrics building across from the Visitors Center. He added that the project will cost nearly $9,000 and that funds are being raised to support it.

In addition to the possible photo exhibit, the Historical Commission was approached by the Conservation Commission about preserving a tunnel that dates back to the early 1900s near West Mountain Road.

Michalenko explained that the tunnel was once used to transport manure. The manure would be collected at a farm on the mountain's side and placed in a cart for transport down the tunnel.

"It's pretty cool," commission member Jody Fijal said. "You can see what it used to be."

The tunnel is in bad shape and has collapsed at one end, and commissioner believe the only thing able to be preserved is the 1918 stone carving on the tunnel

"If it's something that should be preserved, let's preserve it," Chairman Ryan Biros said.

Tags: historic preservation,   Mill Children,   photography,   

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