Factory under the Elms
This is a detailed history of one instance of a vanishing phenomenon, the small New England mill town. Source materials such as company records, newspapers, personal interviews, and indeed the town itself, which survives very largely as it did a century ago, were examined with assiduous scholarship. The resulting history is colorful and lively, its rich detail making it good reading as well as careful history.
In tracing this story of two centuries of New England life, this book provides us with a detailed description of not only the growth of the town and its mills but also of everyday life, disease and medical care, temperance and intemperance, modes of transportation, recreation, schools and churches, conflicts between mill owners, between farmers and mill population, between natives and immigrants, and through it all, the slow growth of a sense of community.