Adams Free Library (1897)

Adams Free Library

In 1897, President Willian H. McKinley laid the cornerstone of of the Adams Free Library during his second visit to the town. The library, located at 92 Park Street in Adams, was built largely with funds provided by the Plunkett family, founders of the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company. It was built as both library and memorial to the veterans of the Civil War. The names Washington, Lincoln and Grant are listed on the building’s cornice. The building is constructed of buff-colored brick, trimmed by marble quarried at the former Adams Marble Company. The second floor was used as a meeting hall by Civil War veterans. An addition to the library was built in 1910.

Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church, Adams (1887)

Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church

In vol. II of The History of the Catholic Church in the New England States (1899), Rev. John J. McCoy relates the origins of Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs parish:

Just one year beyond a quarter of a century need we go to find the French-Canadian people of Adams assisting for the first time at Mass in a body by themselves. Then, January 4, 1872, Father Charles Crevier, the pastor of the Sacred Heart church at North Adams, gathered them into a hall on the third story of a building in the town, and said Mass for them and preached to them in their native tongue. Five years later, on Park street, upon land which he had already purchased for $2500, he built a frame chapel at a cost of $5000. The original yet serves the people as a school for the parish children. In September, 1882, Bishop O’Reilly made the Rev. John Baptist Charbonneau, then a curate of Father Crevier, the first resident pastor of the Canadians of Adams.

The parish acquired additional property at 21 Maple Street for $15,000 and

Father Charbonneau, in 1887, hardly five years from the time of his appointment, laid the foundation of the spacious and beautiful church which is the pride of the Canadian people today. Bishop O’Reilly is reported as having called the church of the Sept. Douleurs one of the most beautiful in his diocese. It is of Romanesque architecture, 150 feet long by 70 feet wide, and has seating capacity for 1500 people.

In 1998, Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Roman Catholic Church and St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in Adams formed a joint parish. In 2008, the two parishes merged to form Pope John Paul the Great Parish, now called Blessed John Paul Parish.