LOST MANSFIELD # 8: THE MILLS IN MANSFIELD HOLLOW.
The village of Mansfield Hollow grew up around various mills powered by the swift-running waters of the Natchaug River. John Arnold had a grist mill there as early as 1728, and other water powered enterprises were added over the years, including a sawmill, a blacksmith shop with a trip hammer, an oil mill (for extracting linseed oil from flax seeds), and a fulling mill (for finishing homespun woolen cloth). Zephaniah, Barzillai, and Fearing Swift owned the mills in the later 1700s, leading to “Swift’s Hollow” becoming a common name for the site.
In the 1830s, Zalmon Storrs and his associates, Edmund Golding and Nathan Rixford, established a mill there to produce silk thread using innovative winding and doubling machinery. The Storrs-Golding-Rixford partnership was followed by a succession of owners, including the Paisley Silk and Thread Company, which added cotton thread to their output. The last owner was the National Thread Company which demolished the wooden mill complex and, in 1882, built the still standing stone mill on its site.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.