At the turn of the century, the North Village in New Hartford was lit by gas lights. These lights were powered, between the 1890’s and 1907, by gas produced at the Greenwoods Company’s gas plant. This plant had been installed to light the mills, which had gone to ten hour days in the late 1870’s and needed more artificial light. Another gas plant lit the cotton mills of D.B. Smith in Pine Meadow.
There were also at least two private plants generating gas in the North Village. Private gas plants were not unheard of; they tended to be built for large houses that were not close to industrial centers.
In 1907, the Greenwoods gas plant exploded due to faulty maintenance procedures. Two men were killed and a third severely burned. The gas plant was not rebuilt, since the mills were idle at that time. It is not know how the North Village was lit, or if it was, between 1907 and 1913 when electricity arrived. If anyone knows the location of the private gas plants, we would like to know.