Stacks And Steeples

Stacks And Steeples Storytelling the history of working America, one mill town at a time.

American labor history is written, partly, in the bricks of the abandoned mills and factories that thread across the country like the stitching of a quilt. Immigration and migration from nation to nation, region to region and state to state followed the establishment of mill towns from Massachusetts to Texas. These mills are largely abandoned now. Many sit empty on the shores of the rivers that once fueled their industry. Some have been reclaimed and repurposed into places where people live, conduct business, and produce art. Stacks and Steeples welcomes any information, photos, stories and memories beginning with the mill town of of North Adams and gradually embracing stories from other mill towns as we grow. We are presently actively seeking stories, photographs and recollections from North Adams during the heyday of the mills or at any other time since.

Berkshire Food
01/06/2016
Berkshire Food

Berkshire Food

Oh! I nearly forgot! Did you have any this year?

Something new about something old
09/29/2015
North Adams Teacher Writes Book On City's History

Something new about something old

North Adams teacher Deborah Sala shows off the book she has just self-published on the history of North Adams. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Deborah Sala remembers the...

It's that time of year.
12/02/2013
Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas - Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce

It's that time of year.

THE 24TH ANNUAL STOCKBRIDGE MAIN STREET AT CHRISTMAS December 6 – 8, 2013 The town of Stockbridge, made famous by Norman Rockwell’s painting of the village during the holidays, becomes a magical New England setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights, as the town celebrates the 24th an...

12/02/2013
Northern Berkshire Community Television

Northern Berkshire Community Television

program schedule for Monday December 2nd on Channel 17:

5:30PM: Common Sense
7PM: Something You Should Know
8PM: Crossfire (Live)

08/28/2013
Northern Berkshire Community Television

Community TV is good TV

Program schedule for Tuesday August 27th on Channel 16:

9AM: Brayton/Greylock Science Project
10AM: Adams Library "Caps For Sale"
11AM: Hoosac Valley Today #4
12PM: Eisenhower #2
2PM: Artists of Berkshire #4
7PM: North Adams Public Library - Moonshine Holler (taped 8/9/13)
9PM: Top Ten Countdown with Ryan Pause

Time to change the landscape of downtown North Adams
08/28/2013
Sleepy's Closes in North Adams

Time to change the landscape of downtown North Adams

The Sleepy's mattress store that's anchored the corner of the L-shaped mall since about 2007 has closed up. This all apparently happened on Tuesday morning.

06/03/2013
St Ann's Church Demolition

Every brick laid by a working man. Every banner, vestment and linen sewn by a working woman. Our history as working people, written in stone.

When these churches are taken down, we lose our stories.

We are more than just consumers and we need to remember that.

Demolition of St Ann's Church West Springfield, MA. The Music is the Lamentations of Jeremiah for Holy Saturday. The Lamentation of Jeremiah the Prophet begi...

06/03/2013

When you look at a church from the early 1900's or before, you are seeing the work of hundreds of craftsmen and women. In many cases, people worked over generations to build the great European cathedrals. These were the workers and the craftsmen of the day - the unsung artists of history.

Unlike fine artists, they did not sign their work. They lived and died, often without ever receiving credit for their labor and they certainly were not praised for their creativity.

These were average, working folk. They did it to feed their families and make a living. In my opinion, this elevates the work to an art form that is more "pure" than fine art because it is influenced only by the need to create the best, most beautiful expression of the craft. There is no ego in it.

When you look at one of the demolition videos, please think of the craftsmen who poured their lives into building a place where their community could come together to worship, yes but also a place that could provide refuge, shelter, inspiration and work for many who were not devout.

Keeping these buildings intact and restoring them to useful lives in the community honors the working man and woman as much as it preserves something beautiful and historic.

People like you and me built these places. In the days when the church was the center of community life, people like you and me went to these places when times were hard as well as when they had an event to celebrate.

They are a reminder that ordinary people can build something timeless and magnificent if they work together to do it.

We will not have these buildings again. Their time has passed but we can keep them and we can remember that every brick was laid by hand by a man who followed his craft, learned on the job, was guided by his mentor and needed this work to feed his family and support his town.

These are buildings built by hand and heart.

We can rebuild our community in much the same way. And these buildings can be a part of it; the beating heart and strong hands of a working town.

Here is the entire collection of videos about the paintings in the Mill Children show and about the life of mill childre...
01/10/2013
The Mill Children on Vimeo

Here is the entire collection of videos about the paintings in the Mill Children show and about the life of mill children in general.

A collaborative and evolving project on the centennial of the child labor photographs by Lewis Wickes Hine.

01/09/2013
The Mill Children Project: "Standing Mill Girl" gouache, by William Oberst.

Steven Borns has made some videos to explain the paintings in the Mill Children exhibit. They are accessible through QR codes that will be displayed with the work when the show travels to various locations this year or you can see them here.

Here's the first one:

The Mill Children Project: "Standing Mill Girl" gouache, by William Oberst. William Oberst, discusses his goache painting, "Standing Mill Girl," and his participation…

one of my favorites too
03/24/2012
John Singer Sargent Visits Fort Worth

one of my favorites too

John Singer Sargent is on my Top Ten List of best painters who ever lived. The Clark has lent four of his paintings to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, and one of them—Fumée d’Ambre Gris (Smoke of Ambergris)—is among my Sargent favorites...

MASS MoCA - Blog -   The Biggers They Come
03/24/2012
MASS MoCA - Blog - The Biggers They Come

MASS MoCA - Blog - The Biggers They Come

Director of Exhibitions Planning, Dante Birch, reminisces about some of the (crazier) exhibitions past. There’s never a dull moment at MASS MoCA!

Berkshire Food Project needs funding
03/24/2012
Berkshire Food Project needs funding

Berkshire Food Project needs funding

For the first time in the 25 years of operation, the Berkshire Food Project needs help to fund its daily free lunch program at the First Congregational Church in North Adams.

02/21/2012
"Paczki" Polish Cooking Class, PNA, February 5, 2012.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. In the Berkshires, there is a large Polish immigrant community, this is one of the traditions they keep and today's the day to keep it!

http://vimeo.com/37151191

"Paczki" Polish Cooking Class, Polish National Alliance (PNA), Adams, Massachusetts, with Melissa Langenback, http://thebakersguide.com Like many New England Mill towns, in the late 1800 and early 1900's, Adams, Massachusetts, drew a large immigrant...

01/20/2012
Square Roots Farm

Square Roots Farm

I think we should try this:
990GL Orangeglo Watermelon (90 days) Open-pollinated. A favorite of Glenn Drowns. No other melon we know is so orange. Like us, Drowns enjoys convincing people to try new things. Orangeglo was one of his big triumphs at farmers market. When he took them for the first time, some folks even refused his free samples. The next week people were waiting in line. Not the sweetest of our melons, Orangeglo nevertheless may be the most juicy and refreshing. One precocious 9-year-old called it “watermelon and cantaloupe all in one,” crisp tender bright orange flesh with an almost tropical flavor. Well adapted to the Northeast and every bit as good as Drowns promised, the striped oblong melons average 10 lb. and often achieve 15 lb. Some in 2010 were huge and even topped 20 lb. Let them stay in the field an extra few days when the stem is drying because they reach full sweetness only when completely ripe. Large, plentiful seeds.

01/20/2012
Square Roots Farm

Square Roots Farm

Chicks have arrived happy and healthy. Pictures soon!

01/20/2012
Northern Berkshire Community Television

Northern Berkshire Community Television

Weekend programming for Channel 16 for Saturday January 21st and Sunday January 22nd:

Saturday January 21st:
8:30AM: Eagle Sports Weekly
9AM: MMTV
10AM: Much Ado About Nothing-Shakespeare Taconic High School
1PM: Hoosac Valley Girls Basketball (taped 1/19/12)
5PM: 1350 West St. #4
7:30PM: Top 10 #4

Sunday January 22nd:
10AM: North Adams Public Schools Instrumental Concert
11:30AM: Hoosac Valley Girls Basketball (taped 1/19/12)
3PM: 1350 West St. #4
5PM: Top 10 #4
7PM: Berkshire Compact-Financial Literature
7:30PM: Drury Boys Basketball (taped 1/20/12)

01/06/2012
Holden StArt Time-Lapse, a public street mural, North Adams, Mass.

Holden StArt Time-Lapse, a public street mural, August 25, 2010, North Adams, Massachusetts. A project of Art About Town, www.ourartabouttown.org, facebook.com/artabouttown. The 100-foot long street mural was painted during the annual Downtown Celebration. The event was MC'd by legendary artist "Sidewalk Sam."

Holden StArt Time-Lapse, a public street mural, August 25, 2010, North Adams, Massachusetts. A project of Art About Town, http://www.ourartabouttown.org, http://facebook.com/artabouttown. The 100-foot long street mural was painted during the annual...

The Museum of the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall
11/03/2011
The Museum of the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall

The Museum of the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall

The Museum of the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall in Lenox to be housed in the restoration of the imposing Elizabethan Revival America's Castle built forSarah, sister of J.P. Morgan in 1893 by Boston architects Rotch & Tilden

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243 Union St
North Adams, MA
01247

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