I think at some point, everyone who works in the historical Mill District here in Manchester wonders who used to occupy their space and what their days were like. These buildings were built to allow for large cotton looms and machinery, and left us with incredible spaces to expand our company into.
Recently, I made an appointment with the Manchester Historic Association to see what our 150 Dow Street location — the one that has become a second home to so many Dyners and a destination for those that don’t work here– was previously used for.
The Manchester mills started operations in 1879 with 150 Dow Street becoming part of the Amory Manufacturing Company, the company that owned most of the millyard. “Amory” is in honor of a manufacturing pioneer by the name of William Amory, who resided in Boston. Many of the buildings are supported by beams constructed from Georgia pine, while the brickwork is from Hooksett, NH, and stone in the foundation is from the Amoskeag Company’s quarry.
At the end of our building was a “picker house” where dirt was tediously picked out of cotton before it was ready for the loom. Each floor within our building was devoted to stages of production. The first floor was primarily used for weaving, the second to “carding”, the third to “ring spinning”, and the fourth to “mule spinning”.
Roughly 900 people worked here when the mill first opened eventually growing to over 1,000.
High grade sheeting, shirts, and denim were produced in our space. Below is my favorite picture that I came across showing that where train tracks exist today, there used to be a canal. (Hence, why the street is called Canal Street.)
The Dow Street buildings were built between 1879 and 1880 with a cotton “store house” added on in 1913.
It’s nice that a building which previously housed some of the most advanced technology over a century ago is now being occupied again by an innovative technology company like ours. When doing research, I was reminded of the phrase “if walls could talk” and wondered what they might be able to say after the next 100 years about our impact in powering the internet.