Remaining New England Factories…
1.) Somerville Ford Assembly (Converted)
Address: 5 Middlesex Ave, Somerville, MA 02145
Today Somerville Assembly has been torn down and converted into the Assembly Square shopping mall complex. It’s the actual original mill where they produced Ford cars during the 1950’s and 60's.
2.) Framingham Assembly (Converted)
Address: 63 Western Ave, Framingham, MA 01702
Original Framingham Assembly plant bill that pumped out GM cars in Massachusetts for five decades. Converted into a warehouse for online shopping and auctions. Currently employs 1/10th as many workers.
3.) Timex Factory (Abandoned)
Address: 39 Cherry Ave, Waterbury, CT 06702
Original Waterbury Clock factory buildings sit abandoned on Cherry Avenue. Originally employed 3000 unionized workers making them the second largest watch or clock factory in the world. Today sits abandoned.
4.) Waltham Watches Factory (Converted)
Address: 185 Crescent St, Waltham, MA 02453
Original Waltham Watch factory, the largest watchmakers in the entire world at one point. Originally housed upwards of 5000 workers. Today the original factory site has been converted into what is advertised as luxury loft apartments with spectacular views of the Charles River.
5.) Baker’s Chocolate Factory (Converted)
Address: 1220 Adams St, Boston, MA 02124
The second largest chocolate factory in the world, partially inspired Charles Dickens story he decided to write we now know as Willy Wonka. Today they have been converted into luxury studio apartments. Originally houses 1000 workers who’s sole job was shaping and forming chocolates. Around the buildings you can still see the abandoned hydroelectric turbine on the dam.
6.) Chelmsford Ginger Ale Factory (Converted)
Address: 14 Littleton Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824
Last remaining resemblance of original Chelmsford Ale headquarters in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Once the largest soda company in the world, rivaling Coca Cola and employing 1000 workers at this one plant until they dissolved in 1959. The original factory was torn down and turned into a mini mall. This is all that remains that a factory once stood in its presence.
7.) Necco Candy (Converted
Address: 135 American Legion Hwy, Revere, MA 02151
Originally the second largest candy company in the world employing 1400 workers. This was their last location. Today it’s been converted into an Amazon warehouse. Some remnants of its existence still remains.
8.) Schrafft’s Chocolate
Address: 529 Main St, Charlestown, MA 02129
Original headquarters of the largest chocolate and candy factory in Massachusetts history. Once employing 1600 workers. The factory building still remains but it has been converted into office buildings called the Shrafft’s City Center campus. The clocktower still remains.
9.) Iver Johnson Factory (Abandoned)
Address: 143 River St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Original Iver Johnson factory in Fitchburg that once housed 1,165 union workers making them the largest firearms factory in the world at one point. Today there is no plaque designating it. It sits next to a Dairy Queen abandoned. City has no plans to rebuild or revive it.
10.) American Brass Company (Abandoned)
Address: 75 Liberty St, Ansonia, CT 06401
Once the largest foundry in the entire world, American Brass once was the premier king of brass. They existed from 1802–2013. 10,000 unionized workers at their three Waterbury, Torrington, and Ansonia plants, 1800 workers at the Buffalo plant, and 1500 workers at the Detroit plant. Today the giant mill complex sit abandoned and dilapidated.
11.) Draper Foundry (Abandoned)
Address: 82 Freedom St, Hopedale, MA 01747
At one time Massachusetts was home to the three largest textile loom companies in the United States, and Draper was one of the “big three”. They were the largest builder of power looms in the world during their time. Once housing 2300 workers in a community with only 3900 residents. They existed from 1816 to 1977. Today the entire factory still remains abandoned.
12.) Hersey / Pioneer (Abandoned)
13.) Whitin Machine (Abandoned)
Address: 29 Main St. Northbridge, Massachusetts
Out of the “big three” loom manufactures, this company grew to be the largest during its prime and revolutionized the industry. Whitin Machine Works (WMW) was founded by Paul Whitin and his sons in 1831 on the banks of the Mumford River in South Northbridge, Massachusetts. The village of South Northbridge became known as Whitinsville in 1835, in honor of its founder. The company was operating at peak capacity, employing 5,615 men and women. Today it remains half abandoned and half redeveloped into condos.
14.) Yankee Rowe Nuclear Plant (Abandoned)
Address: 49 Yankee Rd, Rowe, MA 01367
Home to the first commercial nuclear power plant ever built. Yankee Rowe once employed upwards of 250 engineers. Today the site and waste was left abandoned and nuclear power station demolished in 2006.
15.) American Pad & Paper (Abandoned)
Address: 56 Canal St. Holyoke, MA 01040
This was once the company headquarters of AMPAD in Holyoke. In July of 1992, the Boston Globe reported that the Mead investors (Mitt Romney) chose to shed an estimated 1,000 jobs from the region and shut down a factory. n the year 2019 a recreational marijuana company based out of Florida bought the abandoned mill complex for the company’s growing rooms.
16.) Borden Chemical (Abandoned)
Address: 511 Lancaster St. Leominster, MA
Borden Chemical had a short but substantial history in the Leominster area, as they were the pioneers of PVC plastics in the region along with Dupont. The Massachusetts EPA in 1987 stemming from a lawsuit that began under the Carter administration shut them down for air violations in 1987. This laid off 350 workers at the plant. Today the original factory building in the back remains abandoned, and the front entrance was turned into a mini mall.
17.) Foster Grant Factory (New Business)
Address: 320 Hamilton St. Leominster, MA 01453
Foster Grant was once the world’s leading manufactures of sunglasses. Originally employed 11000 union workers. New company only employs 135 workers and most of them according to reviews of the company are migrants workers that are getting abused. Pretty shocking.
18.) Parsons Paper Company (Abandoned)
84 Sargeant St. Holyoke, Massachusetts
90 Sargeant St Bridge. Holyoke, Massachusetts
This is the company that would become a direct competitor to St. Regis. Perhaps even larger, they would have the Massachusetts city of Holyoke become known as “paper city”. Observers might have attributed the phenomenal success of Holyoke paper mills to the expert skill and knowledge of paper making of the men at the head. It should also be known that up until the mid 20th century, over half of the capital which funded these paper operations came from residents of Holyoke themselves. The company existed from 1853 to 2005. All together the Parsons empire after the equation employed upwards of 4000 factory workers who lived in the city.
20.) American Print Works / Iron Works (Abandoned)
Address: 36 Water St, Fall River, MA 02721
American Print Works was at one point the third largest textile plant in the world in turns of the machinery operating at any one time. 15,000 looms and 500,000 spindles. From 1829 to 1934. During that year in Massachusetts the company laid off all 6,000 workers abruptly which caused a massive panic in a city which was already trying to recover from a Great Depression under the Roosevelt administration.
21.) American Woolen (Converted/Abandoned)
Address: 5 S Union St, Lawrence, MA 01843
Home to the second largest clocktower in the world. American Woolen factory was by and large the largest textile factory in the world. At their peak there were 18 factory sites in cities across Massachusetts, 9 locations in Rhode Island, 15 factories in Maine, 4 in Connecticut, 3 factories in New Hampshire, and 2 in Vermont. One of their largest mills the Ayer and Wood buildings in Lawrence were responsible for doubling the population of the city between 1895 and 1920, from 42,000 to 85,000. The Lawrence mills alone employed 12,000 CIO Textiles Workers Union workers. The Ayer factory was distinguishable by its clock tower which has never been photographed from the top. Would make a good drone flying project.
22.) Amoskeag Manufacturing (Converted/Abandoned)
Address: 200 Bedford St, Manchester, NH 03101
During their time of power they were the second largest textile factory in the world. The 64 buildings spanning 1.5 miles were equipped with 24,200 looms and 662,000 spindles. By 1910 they had 17,000 workers churning out 237 million yards of yarn every year as the second largest textile factory in the world. The factory itself was 100% powered by hydro turbines along the Merrimack River. Now converted to luxury condos.
23.) Mount Hope Finishing (Abandoned)
667 Spring St. Dighton, Massachusetts
The bleachery buildings required ten million gallons of river water each day, and regularly employed 1400–1500 workers who received the highest wages of anyone in the region. This included free healthcare at their hospital. It was a company town where the company paid for everything. As early as 1915 all living quarters were equipped with hot and cold water, baths, electric lights, gas, sanitary closets and sewer connections which was one of the earliest areas to have electricity. The company owners would send workers out to mow lawns, trim trees, and plants flower gardens. Free food delivery happened once a week, and workers supplied free snow removal in all driveways. From 1901 to1951. The company went under laying off 700 workers and the community never recovered.