Blackinton Historic District
The Blackinton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from the North Adams Multiple Resource Area nomination document . Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.
Blackinton remains the most intact mill community in North Adams. Sanford Blackinton and his partner, Rufus Wells, founded the mill in 1882 (the original stone mill building was replaced in the late 19th century). Gradually they erected both substantial mansions for themselves, on the hillside overlooking the mill and, for their workers, a number of well-proportioned, three-bay Greek Revival style residences, similar in appearance, alongside the factory. A company store was built in 1839 (still standing at 1446 Massachusetts Avenue). Blackinton's own residence, a 5-bay, center entrance structure with its eaves supported by brackets, was built ca. 1950 (1413 Massachusetts Avenue). It is one of a number of similar Italianate style houses in North Adams that together constitute a significant, regionally distinctive residential form.
Blackinton's mill continued to flourish through the 19th century. By 1905, the community also included 2 churches (Union and Episcopal) constructed by the owner and his family. Blackinton himself diminished his paternalistic relations with his workers in 1865, when he had an opulent mansion built in the center of town, some distance from his mill. Nonetheless, the owners and managers' houses in Blackinton continued to house the most important factory employees.