Artifacts & Documents: Pictures and Paintings

"Falls on the Connecticut River, at Gill," Port Folio magazine, Orra White

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Port Folio was a weekly magazine printed in Philadelphia "devoted to Useful Science, the Liberal Arts, Legitimate Criticism, and Polite Literature." Orra White was a single woman when she submitted her engraving to the magazine, after Benjamin Silliman declined to use it in the American Journal of Science. In it can be seen the waterfalls as they once looked on the Connecticut River between the towns of Gill and Turners Falls, Massachusetts. The falls are still there today and are recognizable. A bridge constructed in 1937-1938 connects the towns just slightly below the falls, so pedestrians on the bridge can stop to take in the view. From the 1870s and for decades afterward, the area was highly industrialized, due to the water power from the falls, but the industries faded away, all but a few of their brick buildings are gone, and the view today is recognizably similar to this picture. Orra's perspective is from the Gill side of the river.  

Orra White
Courtesy of:
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association/Memorial Hall Museum