This entire site has been upgraded ‘under the hood’ and Ed has thousands of local history images of our Franklin County MA area. Some of these are viewer gallery sets, while others are more detailed, single exhibit items with more historic context.

Erving and Millers Falls once hosted a newspaper in the years between 1883 and 1887. It editor and creator was a local son, Willie Strong, born midway between Erving Village and Millers Falls in 1874. His first issue of the Erving Gazette was published before his TENTH birthday on December 10, 1883. He continued to regularly circulate issues of the Gazette and later Millers Falls News until December 1887.

Today’s reader will be amazed at the quality and body of this work! We may only guess at his resources or assistance in support of this multi year project. The paper’s content is well organized and filled with gems of wisdom and community gossip.

Sadly, Willie’s life ended in 1902 from Scarlet fever. We hope that these documents survive as a testimony to his legacy and serve as an example to all of us as to what our individual imaginations may lead us to achieve in life. The Montague Historical Society offers the available issues of this young man’s publications, and we hope everyone with an interest takes the time to enjoy them.

The Erving Gazette 1884

Erving Gazette and Millers Falls News 1885

Millers Falls News 1886

The Erving Gazette for 1885

Willie L. Strong biography


This link gives you a close-up tour of the lost Griswold Cotton mill / Rockdale / Railroad Salvage building which was in Turners Falls

Did you miss the 2007 fire at the old Keith Paper / Strathmore mill in Turners Falls? Here is your chance to see it again.

All this and more is inside our repository.Use the Search and browse features to find thousands of local history items. I’ll try to provide more detailed ways of finding things soon..

Try out our new image gallery menus!
Click a topic bar to reveal the galleries in that category

The Flood of 1927
It all began on November 2nd with a steady rain that contributed to an early snow-melt. That combination of natural occurrences would create a freshet that would lead to a 25-foot raise in water level. November 6 the floodwaters crested and the clean-up begins. A Gallery of 33 Images

The Flood of 1936 – Part 1 32 images  The Flood of 1936 – Part 2 37 images
The 1936 Flood (March 17 to 23) wreaked havoc in New England and Franklin County, MA.

The Hurricane of 1938 – 26 images
The September 21, 1938 Hurricane “stormed” its way up the east coast of the United States. See what it did in Franklin County.

The Flood Event of 1984 – 35 images
OOPS! Nature makes a surprise on May/early June 1984


Franklin County Fair – circa 1922
The goings-on relative to the Franklin County Agricultural Society’s annual Fair that’s held at their fairgrounds at Wisdom Way. 28 images

County Fair Coaching Parade 1897
A Gallery of 35 Images – Participants at the Franklin County Fairgrounds prepare their entries prior to parading them through the Main streets of Greenfield, MA

Greenfield Illustrated – 1881
A Gallery of 28 Images – Zoom into these intimate photos of Greenfield as it appeared in 1881

Mill Street Bridge Rebuild 1983 – Part 1 33 images
Mill Street Bridge Rebuild 1983 – Part 2 33 images
The Mill Street “cement” bridge over Green River was begun on July 16, 1910. It replaced the covered bridge that was erected in 1853 and burned, May 7, 1910. The concrete bridge is replaced in 1983-84 with the span we cross in 2022.

Greenfield Recorder Building 1967 – Part 1 36 images
Greenfield Recorder Building 1967 – Part 2 36 images
In 1967 the local newspaper–Greenfield Recorder–is growing and in need of modern office space and facility to accommodate its new Goss printing press.

Swimming and Recreation 1937; 40s & 50s
A Gallery of 37 Images – Locally known as the “Greenfield Swimming Pool”, this facility provides picnic grounds, volleyball, and kids activity areas.


Turners Falls aerials 1974-1981 – 27 images
Turners Falls is built on three terraces.

Bicentenial Parade 1954 Part 1 – 32 images     Part 2 – 33 images
The Town of Montague, MA commemorated its 200th Bicentennial Anniversary during the week of June 6-13, 1954.

Business District at Turners Falls
A Gallery of 26 postcard items

Canalside Rail Trail – Unity Park to the “Patch”
(from 2007)The Canalside Rail Trail (aka Bike Path) is a 3.8-mile paved trail Part 1 – 29 Images

Canalside Rail Trail – to Montague City and Back
(from 2007)The Canalside Rail Trail – The”Patch” to Montague City and Back – Part 2 – 33 Images

Churches at Turners Falls – 8 images

Migratory Way-Canal Walk – 25 images
Migratory Way flanks the west edge–west end section–of the Power Canal at Turners Falls, MA.

Couture Brothers in Turners Falls 30 images
A historic gallery from one of Montague’s legacy family businesses.

Douglas “Dug” Smith 1912 Red Sox – 12 images
Douglass “Dug” Smith from Millers Falls, MA was a baseball pitcher of extraordinary talent.

General Pierce Bridge – Early – 25 images
Genral Pierce Bridge Erection & Before

Lake Pleasant Time Machine Part 1 – 29 images    Lake Pleasant Time Machine Part 2 – 28 images
A collection covering over a century at Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant; Assorted – 24 images
Lake Pleasant enjoyed its developmental period in the late 19th century as a resort community.

The Bluffs at Lake Pleasant – 4 images

Millers Falls Postcards – 20 images
Early Postcard Views

Millers Falls Tool Co. Canal – 30 images
Factory Canal Gate Re-Build

Millers Falls, MA 1977-1987 – 40 images
Second in size among Montague’s five villages. First overture for Millers Falls’ establishment was made in 1685.

Montague Center 1978-1985 – 24 images
Including Martin Machine Co. (the ‘Bookmill’ site) & Montague Old Home Days

Montague City – Rod Shop – 55 images
Personnel & Production photographs

Montague City Rod Shop Fire 1985 – 34 images
Fire, Aftermath, Recovery & Demise

New Fire Station at Turners Falls 1975 – 17 images

Residential and Schools at Turners Falls – 23 images
Turners Falls postcards – Buildings and Places

Mills and Factories at Turners Falls – 12 images
A Gallery of 12 postcard items

Turners Falls-Downtown 1981 – 39 images
Downtown TURNERS FALLS in Two Seasonal Settings

Home of the Western MA History Collective database.

Located in the North Western third of Massachusetts, on the Connecticut River, one of the five villages in our town became the important industrial hydro-power community, known as Turners Falls.

Our website contains two major parts. You are now viewing our primary pages, which will present many interesting articles, videos and other media related to our area's history. The second section is our research database, the Western MA History Collective.


Western MA History Collective

A Research Database for our Home Area, now Online!

This database is an ongoing digital repository of photographs and articles, which may not be directly available on this main website. We encourage researchers to explore and take advantage of this resource. We also encourage local area historical societies and private collectors to assist us in adding to this valuable archive!