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Barrows Mill

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1835; 1977, Bergmeyer Associates. South Stone Mill Dr. off Milton St.
  • Barrows Mill (Keith Morgan)

Built to produce cotton cloth by the Norfolk Manufacturing Company using waterpower from Mother Brook, this three-story structure of locally quarried granite marks one of the more significant industrial sites in the metropolitan area. Replacing an earlier wooden mill, the current building developed in several stages between 1835 and about 1900 and continued to house textile production until 1986. Converted to condominiums by the Bergmeyer Development Company and restored to a nineteenth-century appearance, this is one of the relatively few surviving buildings from the considerable early textile industry, which once flourished in the towns immediately surrounding Boston.

The mill's builders, James Read and Ezra Taft, based their facility on designs for stone mill buildings common in Rhode Island, rather than the brick mills of the lower Charles and Merrimack rivers. The original ten- to twelve-foot-wide breast wheel running off a sluiceway through the center of the structure was most likely replaced by turbines and a steam engine about 1863, when the mill's new owner, Thomas Barrows, also built a large three-story granite ell to the northeast and switched over to the production of wool cloth. Barrows sold the mill in 1872 to the Merchants Woolen Company, which then operated the mills at all four of the Dedham privileges. Two of these somewhat altered mills still stand at 180 Bussey Street and 297 High Street. Across from the entrance to the Barrows Mill complex stand two former duplex mill workers' houses at 73–75 and 81–83 Milton Street.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Barrows Mill", [Dedham, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 536-537.

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