Turners Falls is another little gem of a mill town. It’s actually a village in the town of Montague. When I was taking pictures of the International Paper mill along the canal, I was told to leave by a security guard. I convinced him to give me five more minutes. He asked why I would want to take pictures of the old facade. I explained it to him as best I could. After a couple of minutes of following me around suspiciously, he pointed to a spot and said, “You should see that one. There’s a pink fire hydrant. I walk by it all the time, and I think it’s beautiful.” See the bottom photo.
The neighborhood known as “The Patch” was settled in the early 20th century by Polish immigrants, who came to Turners Falls to work in the mills. This section of town is actually an island, with the canal on one side and the Connecticut River on the other. So entering and exiting the neighborhood requires traversing a bridge, unless you take a detour across another bridge a half-mile away. The richly ordinary look of this spot reminds me of several neighborhoods I lived in as a child. On almost every visit to Turners, I take a quick detour over the bridge and walk or drive around for a few minutes. I’m not sure why, but “The Patch” just makes my heart melt.