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Special Features - Then & Now

Mount Sugarloaf

Mount Sugarloaf, 1910. William B. Hale, photographer. Sugar Loaf, 1833, by Orra White Hitchcock. Image courtesy of Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association/Memorial Hall Museum.

Click and hold down the black & white image and move it back and forth over the colored image beneath to see how the same view has changed over time.

Mount Sugarloaf was drawn by Orra White Hitchcock in 1833, and is shown in color from the same perspective on this 1910 postcard, a hand-colored photograph. Note the knob that appears on the right-hand side at the top of Mount Sugarloaf in Orra's image. It doesn't appear on the postcard. Parts of Mount Sugarloaf are composed of sandstone, which is soft and erodes easily. Sometime between 1833 and 1910, the knob eroded off. For a while during the mid-1900s, there was an outdoor dance floor at the base of the mountain for dancing under the stars. The broad, open fields visible in both images continue to be used for farming and look surprisingly similar today.