Mill Record Chester

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Complex Name (Common)
M.S. Brooks & Sons
Complex Name (Historic)
  • M.S. Brooks & Sons
Address or Location
33 Liberty Street, Chester
County
Middlesex
Historic Designation
Associated Mill Community
n/a
Historic Information

Companies Associated w/Complex

  • M.S. Brooks & Sons 1848-mid-20th c.

Use (Historic)

Largest Documented Workforce

n/a

Historic Narrative

In 1848 Simeon Brooks began making wood screws and wood-screw eyes in a 2 1/2-story frame mill with gable roof, on the North Branch of Pattaconk Brook. His son Merritt soon joined him and they built another 2 1/2-story frame mill with gable roof onto the earlier one. They designed and built unique machines which combined metal-forming and metal-cutting operations to make screw eyes, S-hooks, J -hooks and other such hardware. In 1886, on the other (north) side of the stream, they built a 2 1/2-story frame mill. Power was generated by a horizontal turbine fed by a penstock mounted on ten piers of mortared fieldstone. The 1886 building gained a 3-story ell in 1902. Outbuildings include scale house and garage. All structures and equipment survive and, except for the water power component, are used for their original purposes. The mills are now sheathed in siding. Without the fluorescent lights and some guards on the machines, the interiors would look like they did in 1890. The machinery (including a dozen c.1870 machines made by Merritt Brooks), shafting, belts, pulleys, myriad tools and set-up pieces offer concrete evidence of the scale and texture of 19th-century water-powered hardware manufacture. (Roth) It is not known if the equipment still survives as of 2016.

Architectural Information

Number of Existing Buildings

Three (3) primary blocks.

Dates of Construction

c.1848, 1886, 1902

Architect

n/a

Builder

n/a

Building Type

n/a

Architectural Description

C.1848 S 2 1/2-story, 23' x 19' frame mill with gable roof, on the North Branch of Pattaconk Brook with 2 1/2-story frame mill with gable roof, 40' x 24' addition. In 1886, on the other (north) side of the stream, they built a 2 1/2-story frame mill, 120' x 40' with gable roof and hip-roofed stair tower, with 1902 3-story ell, 75' x 30' with near-flat roof. Outbuildings include scale house and garage. (Roth)

Exterior Material(s)

Structural System(s)

Roof Form

Roof Material

n/a

Power Source

Condition

n/a

Condition Notes

n/a

Property Information

Specific Location

south side of Liberty Street on Chester Creek west of North Main Street

Adjacent To

Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Parcel ID / Assessor Record Link

Acreage

2.93

Use (Present)

n/a

Sources

Form Completed By

n/a

Date

n/a

Bibliography

  1. Roth, Matthew, et al, Connecticut: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites (Washington DC: SIA, 1981).
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Photographer

n/a

Photography Date

n/a