Pepperell Mills, the Melting Pot
Pepperell Mills, the Melting Pot
Pepperell Mills, the Melting Pot

Pepperell Mills, the Melting Pot

The Saco Iron Works was started in 1811 by Col. Thomas Cutts and Josiah Calef to make nails, spikes, and hoops on property on Factory Island in Saco.  It was the first of many companies that would build on the Saco River in Biddeford and Saco.

The Saco Manufacturing Company, incorporated and organized in 1825, bought the Saco Iron Works and continued iron works and started manufacturing cotton textiles in Saco.

Wednesday, April 20th at the First Parish Meetinghouse c. 1759, a presentation by Dana Peck on "Pepperell Mills the Melting Pot".

Dana is a retired teacher, coach, businessman, historian and past president of the Biddeford Historical Society.  He lectures at the Biddeford Adult Education Program and is actively researching local history.

This lecture will cover the History of the Industrial Revolution in America and how it pertained to Biddeford.

  • Labor for the new mills:  history of the workforce 1830 through 2009.
  • Mill Girls: their presence brought us from two struggling communities to an awakening of a vibrant, worldly, exciting community.
  • Working in a weave room: the workday was from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 1/2 hour for breakfast, supper was after 7:00 p.m. Learn more about labor in the mills.
  • Child Labor in the mills: Child labor was not an invention of the Industrial Revolution. Poor children have always started work as soon as their parents could find employment for them.
  • Immigrants - the expanding work force: an overview of the immigrant population and its impact on the communities.

April 20th

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with refreshments
Lecture at 7:00 p.m.

View a video created by one of our Board Members:
Click to view video: Pepperell Mills, the Melting Pot


Please refer to our website and facebook page for future events.

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