Maverick/Merchants Woolen Company Mill - Dedham, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 15.045 W 071° 09.327
19T E 322189 N 4679866
Quick Description: This location, the first to have a mill along Mother Brook, and one of four along the Brook controlled by the Merchants Woolen Company, has a dam, a stone marker, and one building related to the latter still standing.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 9/18/2005 6:20:56 PM
Waymark Code: WM1M2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
Views: 64

Long Description:

A new historical sign has been installed that tells of Mother Brook, and I have uncovered additional information that identifies one building as being from the Merchants Woolen Company, which was originally the Maverick Woolen Company. I present these as hope that this makes for a stronger entry in this category - though still not perfect. Also, remember that when this waymark was submitted, there were far fewer categories.

The building is identified on a map from 1876 that is shown online at Ward Maps (link below). This building was detached from the other mill buildings and likely did not have a water wheel, though the channel did pass by this building. The map shows the rest of the complex and the channels just after the complex. The baseball outfield is where the buildings would have been. One of the channels still exists and can be accessed by a trail from the field into the woods. The company lasted until around the 1950s.

The sign provides general history along the five privileges of Mother Brook. The sign has information about the original mill that was located at about this site, but it doesn't have much about the Merchants Woolen Company. The sign was put in 2009.


Ward Maps:
(visit link)

Previous Text:

East Brook, as it was known in colonial times, was a tributary of the Neponset River. The residents of the newly settled parish of Dedham looked for a suitable location for a corn grist mill. The Charles River, itself is a slow moving river in Dedham. However, the residents noticed that the difference in height between the Charles and the Neponset River about 1.5 miles away was about 50 feet, and if they dug a canal .5 miles long, then they could use water from the Charles to power mills there. The canal was dug in about 1639, the oldest dug canal for used for power in the United States.

Elderkin came from Lynn to Dedham and built the first mill on the brook near the present day Bussey Street. The only thing left is the dam, left over from years of mill activity, improved by Bussey, and, later, the Maverick Woolen Company, which controlled mills both here and upstream.

Today, there is a stone marker less than a foot high that states "Near this spot the first DAM and MILL were built 1640" near where Bussey Street crosses the main brook channel, by the intersection with Colburn Street.

[Description edited 10/25/05 to make this a single mill site entry]

There was once a descriptive historical sign at the site. It was water damaged and the content was taken down and "Condon Park" put in place, instead. The stone marker is still there.

10/2/2008 [Edited text to change references to sign]
Current Status: Plaque Only

Current Use: This mill site is now a baseball park and playground, one building from the Merchants Woolen Company still stands, used for commerical purposes and a residence.

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DavidB29 wrote comment for Maverick/Merchants Woolen Company Mill - Dedham, MA 10/25/2011 DavidB29 wrote comment for it
1701eh wrote comment for Maverick/Merchants Woolen Company Mill - Dedham, MA 10/9/2005 1701eh wrote comment for it
SRD525 visited Maverick/Merchants Woolen Company Mill - Dedham, MA 9/28/2005 SRD525 visited it

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