Located in downtown Millbury, MA, the town’s local post office stands as a great example of Art Deco and Colonial Revival architecture styles, showing how well different styles can be incorporated into a single, complimentary design. The Millbury Post Office building was constructed in 1940 from plans by Louis Adolph Simon, who served as Supervising Architect in the Office of the Supervising Architect for the U.S. Treasury from 1933 until 1939, when the office was moved to the Public Works Administration / Works Progress Administration. The post office was designed at the tail end of the New Deal programs to help stimulate local economies by building infrastructure and providing jobs to locals. Inside, a mural “An Incident in the King Philip’s War, 1670” was painted by Joe Lasker and installed in 1941 and was “revivified” in 1991.
The Cunningham Block in Millbury was constructed by, and named for Winthrop P. Cunningham (1820-1895), and his son and business partner, Russell Clark Cunningham (1845-1907). Winthrop Cunningham had come to Millbury in about 1837 and worked for Waters, Flagg & Harrington prominent gun manufacturers in town. His foundry work there brought him into a partnership with Matthias Felton in the Millbury Foundry Company. The Cunningham Block is sited on a prominent corner lot and built into the slope of the hill which drops down toward the river. I am especially fond of the curved corner facade and repetition of the paired round-arched windows on the second floor.
William “Willie” Winfred Windle (yes that is a real name) was born in Millbury at the height of the town’s industrial growth and prosperity. He ran the W.W. Windle Mill just west of downtown and with his wealth, was able to buy a house lot on one of the most fashionable residential streets in town. His home was built in the early 20th century and is a stunning example of Tudor Revival architecture. In 1911, Windle traveled to England to inspect mills there and was likely inspired by some of the residential architecture he viewed on the trip. The house elegantly blends stone walls with half-timbered wood, with a prominent entry. The timber and stone entrance porch which has decorative bargeboard and corbels, has been enclosed. The home remained in the Windle family at least into the 1940s, when it was occupied by William Winfred Windle’s son, Winfred Woodward Windle. By the 1970s, the home was occupied as the Millbury Society of District Nursing.
One of the many large brick mills in Millbury, the S&D Spinning Mill (originally Singletary Mill) sits on Singletary Brook, which historically provided power for the facility. The four-story mill building was constructed in 1846 and is believed to be the oldest extant mill structure in town. Beginning in the late 1820s, successive textile mills used the waterpower here, including the companies: Singletary Manufacturing Company, the Boston & Millbury Company, and Farnum & Jenks. Fires destroyed all mills on this site, sometimes within just a couple years of each other. The last mill was destroyed in 1846, and Mowry Farnum, who owned the site, rebuilt a brick mill here, which is what we see today. After a couple companies occupied the building, the Mayo Woolen Company (which was featured on here previously) purchased this mill in 1910, and renamed the structure Mayo Mill No. 2. In 1961 a newly formed company, S&D Spinning Mill Inc. occupied the building. They are best-known today as the sole-manufacturer of the yarn which fills Major League Baseballs! Manufacturing is not dead in New England!