Abandoned Vermont: Warren Mill

Found off Vermont Route 100 in Warren, this mill has gone through many reincarnations, and continues to be used today. (Editor’s note: the building appears abandoned from some angles, but the owner assures me that business is ongoing. It’s great to know a historic mill building continues with modern businesses.) A brief history of this site, from History of the Town of Warren compiled by Katharine Carlton Hartshorn.

Fire, as well as high water, plagued the mill business. Palmer and Wakefield lost a mill by fire. Henry W. Brooks lost his by fire in 1947 and again in 1949. And the Bobbin Mill originally built by Erastus Butterfield in 1878 burned down in the early 1930’s when owned by Parker and Ford. They began rebuilding on a shoestring in 1932, but fire struck again before completion. It was finally rebuilt and run as a mill for twenty-five years. Under the ownership of Barry Simpson and David Sellers in 1974, the Bobbin Mill was again damaged by fire. It was rebuilt and became the birthplace of several manufacturing businesses, including Union Woodworks, Vermont Iron Stove Works, Vermont Castings, North Wind Power Company, and Dirt Road Company.

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The mill showing damage and decay.

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Hunter Bobbin Mill appears on the exterior.

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The mill is composed of many blocks, likely additions from the various industries that have been located in the building.

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The Double Press Cornice Brake. Industrial archaeologists: who can shed some light on this one?

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The power source for operating the mill.

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Twin Motor Electric.

Another view of the exterior, missing a few walls.

Another view of the exterior, missing a few walls.

Around the corner.

Around the corner.

Lincoln Brook

Lincoln Brook Falls

Take a walk on the trail while you’re in the Mad River Valley. The water is blue and the rocks are worn from the falls, and even in the late fall, it was a peaceful (albeit chilly) place for a stroll. Note that this is private. Preservation in Pink does not encourage trespassing. Please respect the owner’s privacy and the business operating in the building.

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7 thoughts on “Abandoned Vermont: Warren Mill

  1. Heidi Clawson says:

    Apparently bobbins were also made in Townshend, VT, and as a result we retain the name, “Bobbin Alley Pond” on Peaked Mountain Rd ( see Stitch in Time –a bk by Castle Freeman, p 223). Our Townshend Historical Society (townshendvt.org) is in the process of moving, but there might be a tad more info in the files about bobbin making.

  2. richholschuh says:

    Kaitlin – nice post! I love these abandoned structure discoveries and the stories behind them are even more intriguing; rabbit holes are my “shiny penny” weakness 🙂 I noticed architect David Sellers’ name amongst the former owners – nice lineage. Here’s a bit more on the Double Truss Cornice Brake:
    http://www.oocities.org/toesheet/BRAKES/DTCB-48-185.html
    It’s an antique metal bending brake from the late 1800’s, manufactured in Buffalo, NY. Probably dubbed “cornice” because it could make a double bend, such as might be used when wrapping a roof overhang or trim detail.

  3. Barry Simpson says:

    Contrary to the assertions made here, this building is not abandoned and has been in continuous use as an industrial incubator and wood products manufacturing facility since 1970 when it was bought by Barry Simpson and others from a wood turning manufacturer, who sold bobbins to the textile industry. It has served as the home for numerous design and construction businesses, as well as Northern Energy Systems, Controlled Energy, Wall-Goldfinger, Vermont Iron Stove, Lincoln Brook Press, Lincoln Plastics, and currently Dirt Road Company. The first patterns for the Vermont Castings Defiant stove were made there. The brake is still used actively by the way, and the building is still owned by Barry Simpson

    • Kaitlin says:

      Hi Barry, thanks for the information about this site. The “Abandoned Vermont” doesn’t necessarily refer to buildings that are completely abandoned. Often it’s just the appearance or neglect that these buildings face.

    • Sheila says:

      I have a toy made by Dirt Road that I am trying to get information on. Was the Dirt Road a wooden toy company. I have a wooden boat rocking toy that has the Dirt Road on it.

  4. Eric Osgood says:

    This was actually one of a few Bowen & Hunter Bobbin Mills. The main factory was in East Corinth, burned to the ground in 1967, however you can still see remnants of the factory. Owner Ernest Bowen was my Great Grandfather.

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