North Canal Historic District
The North Canal Historic District of Lawrence, Massachusetts, encompasses the historic industrial heart of the town. It is centered on the North Canal and the good Stone Dam, which offered the waterpower for its many mill complexes. The canal was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, while the district was first listed in 1984, and then expanded slightly in 2009.
The town of Lawrence was founded by industrialist Abbott Lawrence and the associates of the Essex Company as a mannequin industrial city. In 1845 they company acquired land from then towns of Methuen and Andover and began construction on the North Canal and the great Stone Dam. The work included dredging and building out of “new land”, and effectively created a small island between the Merrimack River and the canal, whose outlet is on the mouth of the Spicket River. Work on these two main options was completed in 1848, and development of the city, which formally incorporated in 1853, proceeded from Stone Island there. The historic district encompasses, in addition to the canal and the dam, the mill-related buildings on the island and on the north side of the canal, as well as a number of buildings that front on Methuen and Union Streets, or the connecting side streets. The 2009 expansion of the district, included a single building, the Morehouse Bakery building at 5-9 Mill Street.
1 Canal and Great Stone Dam
2 Mill complexes
three See additionally
Canal and Great Stone Dam
The great Stone Dam was constructed throughout the Merrimack River at a place called Bodwell’s Falls, where there is a five foot drop. The dam was built to raise the height of the drop to 30 ft (9.1 m). It is fabricated from granite blocks laid on a mattress of hydraulic cement. At its base it’s 35 ft (eleven m) thick, shrinking to thirteen feet (4.0 m) at its top. It has three sections: the central span is 900 feet (270 m), a south wing 324 feet (99 m) directs circulate to the South Canal, and a 405 ft (123 m) wing directs water into the North Canal. It has a gatehouse, from which 24 gates in its sluiceway were controlled before the controls had been electrified. Nearby on the island are also the surviving gatekeeper’s house, an 1845 Greek Revival wood frame structure, and a c. 1860s barn.
The North Canal runs parallel to the Merrimack River, and is 5,330 ft (1,620 m) long. It ranges in width from a hundred feet (30 m) at its upper end to 30 feet (9.1 m) where its wasteway joins the Spicket River. The canal is trapezoidal in its cross-section, with walls lined by granite, and a bottom made of granite rubble that has been sealed with clay. It is capable of delivering 4,000 cubic ft of water per second; water power is still used in a few of the mills lining its banks. The canal used to have operable locks for navigation; the upper ones were removed and the decrease ones were stuffed in.
The Pacific Mills complex is an in depth array of buildings in the western (upper) and central parts of the district. The oldest standing building, a storehouse, dates to 1860, and there are remnants of an earlier 1852 construction. One of the more impressive buildings is the Weave Shed built in 1890; it is a two story brick constructing 300 toes (91 m) lengthy. Its main cotton complicated includes five buildings on the north side of the canal. In the central part of the district the Pacific Mills include buildings in which both cotton and worsted wool merchandise have been manufactured.
The Atlantic Mill Firm buildings stand subsequent to those of the Pacific Mills in the higher portion stone island gewatteerde lichtgewicht jas of the island. Only two notable buildings survive, the c. 1906 spinning mill, and a boarding home (one among two such buildings to survive within the district) that dates to 1847 and is the only surviving remnant of what was once a much more extensive housing district.
The central portion of the district includes mill buildings from a variety of manufacturers, including the Bay State Woolens Company (whose c. 1847 brick boarding house is now the customer heart of Lawrence Heritage State Park), the Washington Mills, and buildings of the American Woolen Company and the Pemberton Mill. Other notable buildings here include the Essex Company Offices and Yard (individually listed on the National Register). The decrease portion of the district is predominantly occupied by the mill complexes of the Everett Mills and the Kuhnhardt Woolen Mills.
National Register of Historic Places listings in Lawrence, Massachusetts
National Register of Historic Places listings in Essex County, Massachusetts
^ a b c National Park Service (2008-04-15). “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Locations. National Park Service.
^ a b c d e f g “NRHP nomination for North Canal Historic District (Boundary Enhance)”. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-01-05.