The museum’s mission is to celebrate our industrial heritage through preserving, collecting, and educating the public, with emphasis on our own neighborhood to tell a national story. At the heart of this story—are the people who created and lived this history, and how their work and lives can inform ours today.
The museum was founded by local resident, Leon Weeks, and incorporated in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The board and dedicated volunteers have been hard at work preserving, collecting, and documenting artifacts and related archival material—from the smallest tap and die to the large 19th century machines made right at our own site.
Our collection seeks to preserve the “raw materials” of Franklin County history. We are pleased to invite researchers to ask questions of our collection. As resources permit, we are also digitize and prepare research access to our collection online. By preserving and providing better access to our collection, we hope more fellow spirits join and to help explore the history!
Important local history still exists, yet remains undiscovered. Any home with old family photos might have rare pieces of the incomplete jigsaw puzzle of history! We welcome inspections of old media which may hold local history, and are happy to share what we know.
Nobody need part with precious family heirlooms! We welcome donations but may be just as happy for the opportunity to produce digital copies of privately loaned materials. We return loans often cleaned and conserved better than received, and the owner is provided with a digital copy of our efforts.
Lost history certainly exists as written materials, but there is also photography (including movie films) and sound recordings. These first analog witnesses of time were created over the 1800s and 1900s. Instead of just printing ink on paper, antique media relied on chemistry. All of our photographs, home movies, sound recordings, and other media eventually disintegrate with time. Home movies were first available in 1921, yet few home movies still exist that were made before 1950. The younger films will also age and crumble. Tell us if you think you have history to save!
The Newell Snow factory, the site and the building, by its association with the beginnings of Greenfield’s most important industry and with one of the town’s leading businessmen, ranks as one of the more significant buildings in town. (Massachusetts Historical Commission, 1984)