Keywords: York Textile Mills
The largest textile factory in the country reached seven stories up on the banks of the Saco River in 1825, ushering in more than a century of making cloth in Biddeford and Saco. Along with the industry came larger populations and commercial, retail, social, and cultural growth.
Cultivation of silkworms and manufacture of silk thread was touted as a new agricultural boon for Maine in the early 19th century. However, only small-scale silk production followed. In 1874, the Haskell Silk Co. of Westbrook changed that, importing raw silk, and producing silk machine twist threat, then fabrics, until its demise in 1930.
Street railways, whether horse-drawn or electric, required the building of trestles and tracks. The new form of transportation aided industry, workers, vacationers, and other travelers.
A historic mill museum dedicated to creating exhibits that will educate the community and highlight mill history; as a research collection to assist the public in locating information on the mill’s buildings, history and employees; and to ensure the story of Biddeford’s economic and industrial revolution remains relevant and accessible to diverse audiences.
Saco Water Power Company of York Manufacturing, built the Laconia Mills on the Biddeford side of the river in 1844, then started Pepperell…
… Saco "divisions" or move them down South to the textile production centers of Georgia and Alabama, where the help was cheaper and the raw materials…