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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Wilson: 1908

The Wilson: 1908

Circa 1908. "North Adams, Massachusetts -- Wilson Hotel." With "first-class moving pictures" at the Empire Theatre. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

No. Adams Co-op. Ass'n.

Could that be the name of the groceries Association on Holden Street?

It just might be...

That might be a Drug Store on the corner, if only there was some way to be sure, like a sign, or two, or four.

Amateur work

Looks as if the Wilson House Drug Store didn't hire a first-class sign painter for their windows. One of the owner's kids probably did it a lot cheaper than a pro.

The Wilson: 1908

The Wilson burned down in 1912, and was replaced by a two-story block that still stands. I have written two books about the history of North Adams, and once interviewed a 97-year-old woman who witnessed the fire. See this article about the fire, published in the Lowell Sun:

In reply to "What's left, not a lot" below: The block contains several important social agencies on the second floor. On street level, there are several art galleries, one which displays wonderful work by Jarvis Rockwell, one of Norman's sons. There is a also a great bakery, a very popular restaurant called The Hub, a lovely antique store, and a boutique which carries gifts and toys for children.

What's left?

Not a lot:

View Larger Map

According to a local site:

"... just a couple of months after President Teddy Roosevelt visited, it burned nearly to the ground. Most of the first floor was saved. Floor tile-work on the first floor still remains in some of the business establishments located there today."

Multi-flavor drinks

We drank a modified version of those Cherry Coke concoctions, with one additional squirt each of lemon, lime, cherry, orange and even chocolate. We thought it was heavenly, even though it was named "A Suicide."

I later learned it basically tasted like the Dr. Pepper we know today, but it was pretty special back then.

That Five-Cent Coke

Almost 50 years later I could catch a 5-cent coke at a fountain. For 2 cents more you could get a shot of syrup fired into your glass of Coca Cola and you were working with a Cherry Coke. The expert soda jerk would mix your heavenly refreshment with a long narrow spoon but not so much as to damage the "fizz".

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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