It’s All About the History
The mill building at One Cottage Street was built in 1859 and produced batten, twine, and elastic thread, powered by a dam at the mouth of Nashawannuck Pond. In 1976, textile giant J.P. Stevens Co. donated the building to Riverside Industries, who have helped nurture Easthampton’s creative community by restoring and maintaining the five-story building housing nearly 100 artists and artisans.
Riverside Industries is an agency that empowers people with developmental disabilities to pursue meaningful employment and fulfilling lives. The building was a perfect spot for artists looking for studio space.
Each room had large windows to let in an abundance of light, high ceilings, a loading dock, working elevator, heat, and reasonable rent. Plus a nice social and working environment for artisans who often work in isolation.
In 1986, five of the building’s tenants grouped together to create a “Holiday Seconds Sale”. They hung 100 fliers around Easthampton, placed an ad in the local paper, and displayed their wares in one small area of the mill.
But this was no ordinary group of artisans; each had national reputations and sold their works at galleries.
The original five Holiday Seconds Sale artisans were sculptor Denise Herzog, fine lighting designer Janna Ugone, glass artist Lynn Latimer, White Dog Pottery, and Kaleidoscope Pottery.
We sold our work wholesale and offered great bargains to people in the area. -Denise Herzog
It’s a nice way to educate people on how things are made. Many people may not have seen an artist’s studio before. It’s fun. – Lynn Latimer
It’s a rare and wonderful thing for this building to be a cohesive base for this group of artists who came together when they were young and are now all established. It’s amazing to live in a community like Easthampton with people who love and support art. It’s a rare thing and we’re all very appreciative of it. – Denise Herzog