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Home > Oregon > Salem > Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, 260 Twelfth Street, Salem, Marion County, OR



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Item Title


Location
260 Twelfth Street, Salem, OR

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS OR-54
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-15).
Significance: The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Company was founded in 1889 by Thomas Kay, Squire Farrar, and C.P. Bishop, incorporators. The existing mill was constructed in 1896. At one time, it was the largest woolen mill in the state, and it was the longest-lived manufactory of the type ever established in Salem. Until its sale to the Mission and Mill Museum Corporation in 1965, it had been under continuous ownership and management by the family-controlled Thomas Kay Company. The Company began to close down operations in 1959, with the result that most of the machinery was dispersed before the sale. The finishing process was continued during the last phase of the mill's activity, however, and equipment and machinery used in burling, fulling, napping, and dyeing remains in situ and in operable condition. The mill and its subsidiary structures are substantially intact. The mill is a unique survival in the Northwest of an industrial type-specimen based on English and Atlantic seaboard models. The mill's architectural style, however, reflects its period and the predelictions of the architect. The complex has the potential of illustrating woolen manufacture as performed between 1890 and 1910. It is one of few plants in North America capable of demonstrating direct-drive water power. The dye house is a rare resource, for its type is usually the first to be supplanted by modern improvements.

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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