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Since first striking out on its own in 1734, Somers has been transformed from a community of diverse agriculture to a major manufacturing center for fine fabrics, accompanied by an influx of vital immigrants, to the present mix of commuting residents and active farmers. After Somers separated from the town of Enfield, it served mainly as the breadbasket for the two nearest cities, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut. In the early-twentieth century, the town changed dramatically as the Somersville Manufacturing Company expanded and became an important source of fabric for the military during the two world wars. Fine fabrics continued to be manufactured in Somers until the late 1960s, long after most textile factories had left for the South. Today, Somers still has tobacco, corn, potato, berry, and dairy farms, and also serves as a convenient home for commuters to cities and surrounding towns. In Somers, the unique history of this rural New England town is captured in photographs, postcards, and artists' renditions from the last half of the 1800s to the present. Each image is identified with extensively researched and informative captions. The chapters depict early homes and farms (many still in existence), families and individuals, businesses, schools, and churches. They show the transition from largely produce farms to horse farms and tree farms, and to residential developments, as well as the rescue from decay of the unique, century-old Free Public Library.
ISBN: 9780738504896
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Connecticut
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Jeanne Kenyon DeBell, curator of the museum and past president of the Somers Historical Society, has come up with an outstanding collection of images to tell the history of Somers. Many of the photographs have never before been seen in print. For generations to come, Somers will be a treasure, showing the town as it was.
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