Great excitement accompanied the establishment of the route of the railroad, communities where the trains were to stop envisioning the added commerce and prosperity it would bring to them. A depot was built by the DH&I before the town of North Adams was even platted. In the “post village” of North Adams a station, freight house and dedicated siding were built because it was a larger and more developed community than the other towns (or planned towns) along the route.
Henry Taylor, the North Adams blacksmith and "strong man," had been a slave prior to the Civil War. His muscular feats were legendary in the North Adams area. He would pick up his anvil and carry it around under his arm. Once he was offered a large pot-bellied stove by a local merchant if he could take it out of the store. The story is that he put his arms around the stove, picked it up and carried it home.
Baseball was an extremely popular sport in the early days, whether formerly organized or on the spur of the moment. Ball diamonds were common throughout the county. The North Adams High School Baseball team were champions of southern Michigan in 1909.
Opera houses were also common in the various towns in Hillsdale County.
Carol A. Lackey