Category Archives: Industrial

Wauregan Paper Company (1879)

Wauregan Hall

Located at 418-420 Dwight Street, between the first and second level canals in Holyoke, is an old mill building constructed by James H. Newton in 1879. Newton had purchased the land from his brothers, David H. and John C. Newton, in 1871. The Newton family established many industrial concerns in Holyoke. The Wauregan Paper Company purchased the mill from Newton in 1880 and used it to produce book papers. In 1899, the company was incorporated into the American Writing Paper Company. The building, known as Wauregan Hall, continued to be used over the years for light manufacturing. It was acquired in 2009 by three artists from San Francisco who have plans to transform it into a European-style in-door market for artisanal food producers. (more…)

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Laundry and Machine Shop, Hancock Shaker Village (1790)

Laundry and Machine Shop

The oldest part of the Laundry and Machine Shop building at Hancock Shaker Village dates to 1790, when the structure may have been used as a dwelling by the Goodrich family, whose owner became a convert. The Shakers positioned this building to take advantage of the penstock, or incoming water supply pipe. The building was moved in 1829 to make room for the brick dwelling. The Laundry and Machine Shop is unusual in that both the Shaker Brothers and Sisters did their work under the same roof, albeit separated into the female laundry and the male machine/woodworking shops. Both groups utilized power provided by an 1858 water turbine. An addition was built on the machine shop in 1839. (more…)

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Hired Men’s Shop, Hancock Shaker Village (1820)

Hired Men's Shop, Hancock Shaker Village

As the numbers of Shakers at the Hancock Shaker Village began to decline in the second half of the nineteenth century, farm workers were hired. These men ate and received their daily work assignments at the Trustee’s Office and lodged in a separate building. After the original Hired Men’s building at Hancock burned down, the Shakers utilized another structure, built before 1820 and originally used as a seed shop, which they moved to its current location to become the new Hired Men’s Shop in 1907. (more…)

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Harvard Shaker Ministry Shop (1847)

Shaker Ministry

The Ministry’s Shop at Harvard Shaker Village was built in 1847-1848. For half of each month, it was the residence and workplace of the Ministry–the Elders who governed a bishopric that included both the Harvard and Shirley Shaker villages. The building, at 84 Shaker Road in Harvard, is now a private residence. It has a wing and ell that were added in the 1930s by architect Stanley Bruce Elwell.

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Ministry Shop, Hancock Shaker Village (1873)

Ministry Shop

Shaker communities were guided by two Elders and two Eldresses who together were known as the Ministry. Hancock Shaker Village was overseen by a Ministry that also had responsibility for the Shaker communities in Tyringham, Massachusetts and Enfield, Connecticut. Like the Shaker brethren and sisters, the Elders and Eldresses were also required to perform hand-labor. The Ministry had an early workshop at Hancock Shaker Village that was moved to north side of Route 20 in 1829 when the Brick Dwelling was constructed. By 1848 there were two Ministry shops, one for Elders and one for Eldresses. A new Ministry Shop was built in 1873 on the foundation of one of these earlier shops. The Ministry Shop was later used as a home for Shakers who had been displaced by the closure of the Enfield, Connecticut community in 1917. (more…)

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Boston Manufacturing Company (1814)

BMC

It can be argued that at least one of the places that the Industrial Revolution in America began was in Waltham in 1813, when Francis Cabot Lowell and The Boston Associates established the Boston Manufacturing Company, which produced cotton textiles. They hired mechanic Paul Moody of Amesbury to design and build the machinery and mill along the Charles River in Waltham. The BMC mills employed a method of production called the Waltham-Lowell System that was later duplicated by the Boston Associates on a larger scale at the famous mills in Lowell and would be copied by other industries. The image above displays the long factory building of the Boston Manufacturing Company which was constructed in three sections. The section on the far right, up to the tower, was built in 1813-1814. Closer to the second tower (seen in the distance) is the mill constructed in 1816. These two buildings were later joined by the middle section, built in 1843. Beyond the second tower, at an angle to the earlier buildings, is a mill constructed in 1852. The 1813-1843 buildings now contain senior housing and artists lofts. The image below shows the 1873-1880 mill building with attached smokestack along the Charles River. This section is now the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation.

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation

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Tannery, Hancock Shaker Village (1835)

Tannery

An earlier building that had served the Hancock Shaker Village as a Cider House was enlarged in 1835 (the foundation wall has a stone inscribed with the date 1835) for use as a Tannery. By 1875, the Shakers were unable to compete with other large tanneries in the area. The building was then converted into a cider press and a forge was installed in the north end. The upper floor of the structure was later used as a carpenters shop.

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