Assabet Mills/American Woolen Company Mills - Maynard, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 25.868 W 071° 27.439
19T E 297864 N 4700571
Quick Description: Originally built for the Assabet Mills, then made part of the American Woolen Company, then became the headquarters for Digital Equipment Corporation, and now known as Clock Tower Place, was for a time the largest woolen mill in the world.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2015 6:38:18 PM
Waymark Code: WMN6QD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
In Maynard, prominently placed in the center of town, is a large building complex now known as Clock Tower Place, but once was the site of a large woolen texile mill operation and the headquarters of a well known high company.

The complex is hard to miss in downtown Maynard, especially if you go along Main Street. The best approach is from the south. First, you will pass by a mill pond and see some of the milti-story brick buildings lining the far edge of the pond. As you pass by, you will see that it is a rambling complex of buildings. Then you pass over a small bridge over the Assabet River. Near this bridge, the cupola with a multi-faced clock and bell tower is visible (best not be looking while driving). Turn right onto Walnut Street and continue to go along the mill and river.

The complex now known as Clock Tower Place, named for the clock, has a deep history attached to it.

According to documentation largely printed by Digital Equipment Corporation, the location was originally used to manufacture carpets. In 1847, Armory Maynard founded the Assabet Mills in what was then Sudbury and built wooden buildings and a diversion from the river and mill pond. The operations failed in 1857 during an economic panic, then the mill was changed to manufacture woolen textiles to supply the union army with flannels and blankets in 1862. During this time, wooden buildings were replaced with the present brick buildings. One of the wooden buildings was moved and made into a residential building. In 1871, a new town was formed out of parts of both Sudbury and Stow and the new town was named after Amory Maynard.

When the business failed again in 1898, the operation was bought by American Woolen Company, at the time one of the largest corporations in the world. American Woolen Company expanded the operations, adding most of the buildings that stand today. With this and other mills in the area, American Woolen Company would control 20% of woolen textiles being manufactured, and, for a period of time, this was world's largest woolen mill. 1918 was the peak of activity, but after WWI, the mills went into steady decline and after a brief uptick during WWII, the mills were closed in 1950.

In 1957, some engineers rented space in the mill and Digital Equipment Corporation was founded. From 1957 to 1993, Digital grew and maintained their headquarters here. Since then, the mills have been rented by various operations. A portion of the building is occupied by Verne Q. Powell Flutes.

According to one of the sources, water power was used well into the 1960s. By that time, a water wheel (turbine??) was used to generate power for outdoor lighting and the town Christmas tree.


Sources:

Town of Maynard (History of the Mill):
(visit link)

Wikipedia (Assabet Mill):
(visit link)
Current Status: Still In Use

Current Use: Various operations including a flute factory

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