Old Mill

 

 

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……………………………………………………………..Old mill

……………………………………………………………..open to the heavens

……………………………………………………………..has only the industry

……………………………………………………………..of birds to

……………………………………………………………..fill its emptiness

……………………………………………………………..with their chatter.

……………………………………………………………………………………..R.K.Brown 2012

 

The other side of the mill shown above is housing units, but I think it might be too late for this stretch. Much of the roof is open or sprouting trees, the building has many missing windows exposing even more of it to the elements. www.massmills.net shows the ones that have been rehabbed, so maybe this one will be also. At one point there were 5 buildings in this complex, plus any smaller units added here and there. It must have been quite a sight in full motion, the noise must have been deafening inside, and no doubt could be heard outside as well. The next town over, Lawerence MA, had even more mills, the Wood Mill was massive, said to be the largest of its sort in the world. They have not fared as well as the ones in Lowell, which has the UMASS Lowell campus (university), the national park, and many museums as a result.  Both cities grew up around the mills and their industry, which then went south and then overseas, and became an outdated form of manufacturing as technology increased. The big mill strike in Lawerence in 1912 (often called “the bread and roses strike”) was a sign that times were changing whether owners and workers were able to see it or not. Once WW2 ended and machines could handle jobs with fewer people, and people would work union free in the south, the real decline of the northern mills began. Once the mills began shutting down there was little use or need for such huge buildings, some still filled with old equipment. Over the years some succumbed to fire, some to the wrecking ball, some to mother nature and a fortunate bunch to reuse of many sorts. If you are interested in reading or seeing more here are a few sites to check. (Or just search Lowell MA mills or Lawerence MA mills.)

www.nps.gov

www.lawerencehistory.org

www.youtube.com

www.flickr.com

 

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