Old Woolen Mill entrance reconstructed in Warren

Jun 18, 2014
Local contractor Sterling Norwood, left, receives a congratulatory thank-you from Warren Historical Society Board Member Dick Ferren and President Jan MacDonald.

Warren — Visitors to the Warren Historical Society during Warren Day June 28 are invited to walk through the historic entrance doors of the old Warren Woolen Mill and to view the wool garments on display in the Dr. Campbell House & Museum.

In 1868, the seven buildings of the Warren Manufacturing Co. were destroyed in a fast moving fire. The busy mills had provided woolens for both the military and civilian needs during the Civil War.

A new, single building was erected to house all of the departments on the corner of Main and Factory streets —later to become Four Rod Road. Workers trouped into the new factory Jan. 12, 1869 to the summons of a new steam whistle.

Through two world wars, the factory filled orders for both civilian and military garments, some of which are still in the Warren Historical Society’s collection. After World War II, imports of woolen fabrics and clothing forced the closing of the mill in 1966. The vacant mill was reopened by Crowe Rope Co in 1966 and operated for another 30 years until its closure in 1996.

In 2004, the town obtained a Brownfield Grant with the help of state and federal agencies to remove polluted soil and the vacant building. During the demolition of the building, officers of the Warren Historical Society were able to save the recessed doorway and doors, and stored them for the past 10 years.

Local contractor, Sterling Norwood, has now reassembled the old mill door and constructed a replica of the base of the mill tower that faced Main Street. Historical Society volunteers have painted the new entrance as it was many years ago. Visitors are welcome to pass through these historic doors as many hundreds did in years gone by.

More on the story of the mill can be found in the book “Old Warren Maine,” which can be purchased from the Warren Historical Society and in local stores.

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