The Porches Inn
Unlike many surrounding communities, North Adams source of prosperity law in its abundant water supply rather than in agriculture. An aggressive program of infrastructural improvements and the accessibility of the railroad helped make industry boom. Textiles and shoes were the top products of the day and by the middle of the 19th century, the town was booming both in population and size. Floods of Italian, Irish and French Canadian immigrants were drawn to the area and greatly influenced the area’s cultural makeup. The Great Depression brought hard times, forcing many of the area’s industries to shut down. After World War II, North Adams had become known as a company town, given that 25% of its population worked for the only remaining industry in town – Sprague Electrics. Eventually, it too shuttered its doors and closed for good. The downtown area was filled with scores of modest homes that housed the workforce and dozens of industrial buildings, mills and warehouses. The 1990s brought a resurgence of industry with the advent of the high-tech revolution and a rebirth began.