Western Gateway Heritage State Park
|Western Gateway Heritage State Park|
|Massachusetts State Park|
|Area||8 acres (3 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: Western Gateway Heritage State Park|
Freight Yard Historic District
|Location||North Adams, Massachusetts|
|NRHP Reference #||72000131|
|Added to NRHP||June 13, 1972|
Western Gateway Heritage State Park is a history-focused Massachusetts state park in the city of North Adams managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Exhibits at the park, which is located in a former railyard, tell the story of the creation of the Hoosac Tunnel. The freight yard was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 as the Freight Yard Historic District.
The city of North Adams was relatively isolated in the early 19th century, separated from the rest of Massachusetts to the east by Hoosac Mountain, and on the west by the Taconic Mountains. With the advent of the railroad in the late 1820s, proposals were developed for rail connections to other parts of Massachusetts and eastern New York. In 1846, the first rail connection was made, with Pittsfield to the south. The Troy and Greenfield Railroad was chartered in 1848 to develop a rail line that would connect Troy, New York, to Greenfield, Massachusetts, via North Adams and a tunnel through Hoosac Mountain. Work on the Hoosac Tunnel began in the 1850s, but would not be completed until the 1870s; its construction alone provided an employment boom to North Adams.
Rail service between North Adams and Troy was inaugurated in 1859, with this rail yard as its eastern terminus. Between 1859 and the opening of the tunnel in 1875, this rail yard served as a freight and passenger depot. The focus of activity moved around the turn of the century across the Housatonic River to the Union Depot, while this rail yard continued to serve as a freight handling and storage area. Portions of the railroad properties were subjected to urban renewal in the second half of the 20th century. In the 1980s, preservations restored the surviving properties and adapted some of them for use as a state park and museum.
- "2012 Acreage Listing". Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Western Gateway Heritage State Park". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- "Freight Yard Historic District". The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Paul, Bradford. NRHP nomination for Freight Yard Historic District (1972). Available by request from the National Park Service.
- Western Gateway Heritage State Park Department of Conservation and Recreation