The Thorndike Mills project was prompted by an ongoing study of the architecture and manufacturing processes in small area of south-central Massachusetts. I continually roam certain areas; visiting and photographing sites for a third or fourth time. I never seem to see everything and find that repeat visits, often during different seasons, help to give a more complete perspective on structures and their settings. The Thorndike Main Mill is based on it’s namesake in Thorndike, Mass. This area once had several stone mills.  The prototype was unfortunately destroyed in a fire a few years ago. Set on the Ware River, this mill and the survivors use a raised canal to drive power turbines inside the mills. As I can never resist composite designs, I added a wood framed extension based a section of an old shoe factory in Spencer, Massachusetts.

The scene is set in the late 1930's.......carpet production had outgrown the original stone mill and several additions were built. A wooden annex added production space and a retail outlet. The canal, dam and sluice gate, originally built to supply mechanical and electrical power, were supplemented by a modern three phase power supply. A watchman's shanty "evolved" to guard the facility. A rail spur from the single mainline was shoehorned in and space was found for several vehicular loading docks.