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Nothing but the footprint of Forestdale Mill remains, set deep in a hollow against the Branch River and obscured by growth. Built in 1860, it was one of the grandest stone mills in the state, boasting a monumental tower and an open cupola of superb proportion; a brick extension was added in the late nineteenth century. Its predecessor was a small scythe manufactory founded in 1824 by Newton Darling. Mansfield and Lamb built the large stone cotton mill, incorporating the adjacent scythe works. It was later taken over by the J. and W. Slater firm of nearby Slatersville, when French Canadians were brought to the town as its principal labor force, and still later, in the twentieth century, by a succession of owners. Textile production continued, sporadically toward the end, until the early 1970s. After the plant closed, it survived vacant for several years, until 1978. Then, with plans for rehabilitation for new uses underway, vandals torched it.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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