The City of North Adams is sited in the valleys created by the confluence of the north and south branches of the Hoosic River. In the mid-1800's, the regions rivers and woodlands helped spur the growth of the papermaking and textile industries. In the 1860's, the Hoosac Tunnel was engineered, a 3-mile train tunnel which was the longest in the world and considered an engineering marvel.


The tunnel connected the industries of Northern Berkshire with their markets in the east, and made North Adams the industrial and commercial center of Berkshire County by 1900.

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was established in 1894 and Sprague Electric Works opened in a former textile mill in 1929. Manufacturing, however, suffered terribly in North Adams in the 1970s and 1980s, with virtually all of the major mills either shutting down or moving.

Today, North Adams is building its future around a new breed of creative thinkers; Entrepreneurs with innovative ideas continue to find North Adams and the Northern Berkshires a conducive environment for turning dreams into reality. Serving as the hub of the Northern Berkshire region, North Adams distinctive downtown business district offers a variety of shopping environments and experiences. Main Street, with its historic multi-story buildings, banks, professional services and retail stores, provides a wide range of products and services. Eagle Street, with its small eclectic shops and restored store fronts, brings shoppers back to a by-gone era. MASS MoCA, the world's largest museum of contemporary art, opened its doors in 1999, and since its inception has drawn large crowds annually, and attracted a sundry, energetic population to this former mill complex.

The residents of North Adams are as diverse as the economy, ranging from world-renowned PhDs at local colleges, to successful farmers, artists, entrepreneurs and second-home owners. All of this makes the City rather remarkable, an increasingly popular place for families, business, and retirees to call home, as well as a destination point for discerning visitors.

City Trivia

North Adams Hospital was founded in 1884 with funds raised after a train wreck in 1882 that injured 35 workmen en route to the Hoosac tunnel project.

North Adams largest employers today are medical and educational institutions.

The Western Gateway Heritage State Park and the North Adams Museum of History and Science house many historic displays of the city.