The Building

Overview

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Building Amenities

  • Paved parking lot
  • Energy-efficient windows and doors
  • Landscaped grounds
  • Durable and long-lasting roof
  • Elevator
  • Updated fire suppression and alarm system
  • Additional storage space available for purchase
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Mill History

Rural Lancaster, formed in the mid-1600s, originally included the area now known as Clinton. The first industries in the region were combs and textiles. The Bigelow brothers, Horatio and Erastus, originally from West Boylston, came to the Lancaster area to set up a new textile business for weaving an ornamental cloth bordering known as coachlace. Erastus invented a power loom to mass produce this cloth and Horatio created a company to manufacture it. They chose the name, “The Clinton Company,” because of their love for the DeWitt Clinton Hotel in New York. Thanks to this new industry, the district first became known as Factory Village, then Clintonville. Bigelow’s invention dropped production costs of coachlace from 22 cents a yard to 3 cents a yard and created many new jobs in the area.

Within ten years another Bigelow loom was invented for the power weaving of counterpane, a heavy raised-design cloth. This brought even more people to the area seeking employment. In 1845, Erastus Bigelow received a patent on a new loom that revolutionized the making of gingham cloth, and the brothers went to work and created a new company, Lancaster Mills on Green Street, to manufacture this bright, plaid cloth. The influx of engineers, merchants, and professionals brought about a building boom to the area. New roads were laid out, houses and tenements built, and stores and shops formed – Clintonville had its first major industry!

It was becoming more and more evident that Clintonville was taking a completely different path than her “mother” town, Lancaster. Clintonville was a hustling, bustling little manufacturing village; Lancaster was a quiet, farming community. Lancaster’s population was scattered over many miles; Clintonville’s population was very highly concentrated – 90 percent of the population lived within ONE square mile! Clintonville had fresh young blood and intense enthusiasm; Lancaster was a rather settled, static, and conservative community. Finally, in 1850, Lancaster accepted the inevitable division and “Clinton” became legally incorporated on March 14, 1850.

The Bigelow brothers influence was far from over, however. Their crowning achievement was the development of the carpet loom. The Bigelow Carpet Company in Clinton manufactured the world’s best carpets from 1849 to 1933. Its carpets could be found in the White House, the U.S. Senate and House, the State House, the Waldorf-Astoria, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the SS Titanic, and many of the finest restaurants and theaters in the world. The Bigelow brothers final company, the Clinton Wire Cloth Company, produced woven metal screening and fencing.

Erastus and Horatio Bigelow not only gave Clinton its name, but actually created wealth in this village that would prove to be our economic base for many years.

Although Erastus was the famous inventor, Horatio had an even greater impact on this community. The school department, fire department, library, local banks, and many churches in town all got their start thanks to Horatio Bigelow. Central Park, the town common, was given to the town by Mr. Bigelow.

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Gallery