Blackinton Village


 

History of Blackinton

Sanford Blackinton

Blackinton Mill

Slideshow of Blackinton Mill Over the Years

Blackinton Railroads

**Picture courtesy found on the work cited page. 

Within Blackinton Village there was a lot of different places. This is taken directly from Elizabeth Baker, found in the work cited page.

 "1822:

The Store: The store was one of the first landmarks to ever be in Blackinton.

The Boy's Factory: Built in 1821 by Wells, Blackinton and White. It was 25' by 50' and was 33' (2 rods) from the other mill using water from the canal.

Artemas Crittenden Factory: Built in 1813 by Crittenden. It was 25' by 60' and was approximately 50' west of the saw mill.

David Darling's Saw Mill: Built by David Darling in 1811. Its location has been determined as being beneath the canal as it emerges from the pond and close to a spring brook which entered from the north near the mill. By referring to a topographic map and remebering that Rufus, Sanford and Joseph changed the course of the spring brook in 1832, it was easily conceivable that the brook ran into the pond at its most westerly point thereby placing the saw mill just bellow the point.

The Canal: Was constructed during 1815 by Artemas Crittenden. It was built of stone and measured 20'in width. A description of its course from the pond to the woolen factoy can be found in a deed between Artemas and Darling. The same deed also mentions a stipulation concerning the water flow which allowed Crittenden to "work two carding machines, one Ricking Machine and a fulling Mill..."

1842:

In 1842, the old Foot Mill burned down and a Stone Mill, 106' by 44' and three stories high was built.

The Dye and Picker Houses: The dye and picker houses were most probably built at this time to compliment the expanision incurred by the building of the Stone Mill. An Insurance Map of Blackinton Mills, July 21,1919 is my major source. An earlier Insurance Map (Sept. 11, 1894) cities 1858 as the date of construction for the dye and picker houses which isn't surprising considering they supposedly burned down during the fire of 1857. The surveyors for the July 21, 1819 Insurance Map relied on the vocal verification for the dates of construction it's not inconceivable that the dates they did receive were the original buildings and not for the reconstructed ones.

 1853:

The Middle Mill: The Middle Mill was built in 1853 and was connected to the Stone Mill by a second story bridge. The measured 126' by 44', it was two stories high, and it was built of wood.

The Boy's Factory: The building is the same one represented by #2 moved a "few rods" west of its original position. At this time it was used for storing wool.

The Railroad: During the late 40s Sanford was involved in the building of the North Adams to Pittsfield extension (built in 1846).

1863:

The Office: Built in this year according to an Insurance Map of the Blackinton Mills, Sept. 11, 1894.

There was a section between the main mills and an engine room.

Soap House: The period of the Civil War was characterized by a general expansion in the mills both of small buildings and machinery.

A Store Room: Built in 1830. It measured 35' by 60' and was two stories high. I tend to dismiss the construction only because there are no written sources confirming the existence of a building larger that either the Foot Mill or the Boy's Factory before the erection of the Stone Mill. Since the war years did witness expansion thus the need for added storage capacity, I included this building at the 1863 date.

Coal Houses: With the construction of an engine room and boiler house, coal was probably used to assist or at times supplement the water power.

1872:

The Boy's Factory: By this date, it was probably moved to the other side of a road (now Ashton St.). This is arbitrary on my part. It may have been in 1886, the date the Weave Shed was constructed (Insurance Map, Sept. 11, 1894). In any case, by 1889 it was there and still being used for storing wool.

Canal Put Underground: By this date, the canal was running underground much the way it's pictured in the 1889 copy of the insurance map. This is my hypothesis based on the premise that the middle to the late 70s was a depressed time economically and that, except for the weave shed, most of the buildings pictured in the 1889 Map existed in 1872 which seems to have been the highest point of the mill.

1889: The earliest map known for the mill to date (spring 1974) is an Insurance Map dating June 18, 1889. A copy of the map is positioned on the back side of the front copy of the overlay so as to give a complete picture of the mills as they existed four years after the death of Sanford Blackinton.

This does an excellent job breaking down what was in the village each year.