Boston: O.H. Bailey, 1877. Large lithograph, framed to 23.5 x 29.5 inches visible area. Uniformly toned, some light creasing. Light dampstain along lower edge. Not examined out of frame. Good plus. Item #1533
A scarce bird's eye view of Turner Falls, Massachusetts, published by the prolific viewmaker of northeastern towns, O.H. Bailey. "In concentrating on the towns of New England, Bailey encountered problems that rarely troubled such artists as Ruger, Koch, Glover, and others who worked mainly in the rectilinear towns of the Midwest and West. For them it was easy to construct perspective grids of the checkerboard towns they depicted. In attempting to delineate the far less regular patterns of older Massachusetts or Connecticut communities, Bailey's task must have been far more difficult and time-consuming. His remarkably productive career is thus all the more noteworthy" - Reps.
This depiction of Turners Falls reflects that assessment. The view looks west across the Connecticut River at this young, northern Massachusetts town, whose plan was conceived by Alva Crocker in 1867. Crocker, a Fitchburg businessman, envisioned a great manufacturing city along the lines of Lowell, powered by a dam across the Connecticut and a canal bordering prospective mill sites. The canal and mills along the banks of the river were to backed by the town's commercial area and houses for mill workers. The present bird's eye shows the plan ten years after its inception, with several mills and the central village constructed, and with the remaining street grid plotted out in the hills above, though Turner Falls never became the manufacturing powerhouse that Crocker imagined. Three vignettes at the lower edge of the print area depict the Farren House, the town's grand hotel, and the mills of the John Russell Cutlery Company and the Montague Paper Company.
Six copies located in OCLC, four of them in Massachusetts -- the American Antiquarian Society, Boston Public Library, University of Massachusetts, State Library of Massachusetts, Library of Congress, and Pennsylvania State University.