The Kettle Brook Lofts Story
In 1861, Ashworth and Edward Jones formed a partnership and purchased the water rights on Kettle Brook called Valley Falls. A wooden mill building was constructed on the site in 1864 that served as the focal point of a small mill village containing “a handsome mansion and nine tenements” powered by its mill pond. In 1870 the partners built the initial section of the present factory (section “1” on figure 1) which was operated by Ashworth and Jones until their deaths in 1882 and 1885. Ashworth and Jones Woolen Textile Factory was 100 x 70 feet, 4 stories high, and used for the manufacturing of beaver clothe (a heavy woolen cloth, primarily used for over coats). Following the deaths of Ashworth and Jones, the business was sold to E.D. Thayer. Thayer expanded the mills (adding sections “2 & 3” on figure 1) as the business blossomed and continued to manufacture woolen goods until his death in 1907. In 1910, the business was sold to the George E. Duffy Manufacturing Company whose business served across the state in cities such as New York. Consequently, the business grew and expanded (adding section “4” on figure 1). Like the previous two companies, Duffy’s was a woolen mill popular for the manufacturing of coatings and cloaking, however became a warehouse discount store proving company overstock. Its popularity allowed the company to prosper for many years until 2005, when Kettle Brook Lofts LLC purchased the historic building and finally, in 2008, renovated and converted it to modern luxury lofts ready for you to make home.
*All historical photos above were acquired from the collections of the Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.