Friday, April 25, 2014

Waterside Woolen Mill- Attic

I recently visited the Waterside Woolen Mill with a Dave Hammaker Photography tour. The mill is one of the oldest operating woolen mills in the US. In 1806 John Snider built the mill on the bank of Yellow Creek in Morrison Cove, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

My interest in the Mill was twofold: Photography and historical manufacturing. Certainly this location will warrant another visit to pursue both. While this location is similarly tweaks my interests as the Silk Mill in Lonaconing, Maryland, it has a more "lived in" feel as much of the equipment still operates and is in use today. The mill has all the equipment, dating back to the late 1800's, needed to process raw wool into woven products. More on that in future posts as I descend from the attic in the photo journey.

After a very early departure from home I arrived at the mill before the other photographers who would have all day to explore the four story building. I was meet at the door by the current owner Dennis Wile, who took me on a brief tour of the place. Denis suggested I start in the attic as it warmed up quickly. With spring being late this year, the locals were looking forward to a pleasant day after yet another frosty start. It didn't take long to shed my jacket after starting in the attic. The early morning light was fantastic shining through a window in the far end, the side and three copulas in the roof.

The first scene that demanded attention was from the far end of the attic. The opening photo was from the right of here.

Thousands of old bobbins are stored in the attic. The wool was spun into yarn onto these bobbins which were then loaded one at a time into the loams to weave wool blankets. 

Part of the power train from the third floor intruded into the edge of the attic.

Ropes, an old production tag were among the many things left in the attic.

A smallish elevator shaft connect the floors of the mill. Presumably used to transport materials during the manufacturing process. Bulkier items were hoisted outside the end of the building using ropes and block and tackle. Access to the attic is through the door shown below. It has the earliest date found in the mill. The stairs are very narrow and steep.

Next time, I'll continue my exploration on lower floors.

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