Bridgewater Shoe Corporation

42 Spring St

1915

Architectural Style

Significance

Archaeology, Historic, Architecture, Industry

Use Type

Shoe Factory

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Industrial/Transportation Corridor

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is an interesting industrial utilitarian L-plan survivor from the early 20th century with possibly earlier components.

Historical Significance

During the 19th century, Bridgewater was an internationally important center for the manufacture of cotton gins. As early as 1817 Carver Washburn began manufacturing cotton gins on Summer St. near Carver Pond. 42 Spring St.'s lot was the site of the Southern Cotton Gin Co. from 1840-1880. The present 3-story structure apparency incorporates part of the old gin works. The 1873 map indicates an L-plan structure on this site—its configuration is similar to that of the present building. The 1885 Sanborn Atlas shows a 1-2 story frame, L-plan building on this site. This structure housed the Brockton Lasting Co. (rear) and the J. J. Cooper Nail Factory (front). The front portion contained nail cutting facilities, the rear segment housed a machine shop and boarding house and the side ell contained a blacksmith shop. Three small square buildings on the property are labeled "shed", "DWG" and "pickle room". By 1891 the Holmes Bros. Shoe Mfg. Co. was located in the front portion while the Bridgewater Spring Co. Machine Shop and Steel Shank Mfg. Co. was located to the rear. The side ell is labeled "temporary". During theearly 1900s the Shawmut Lead Co. was located here—a brick engine house (with chimney?)was added to the southeast wall and the side ell is shown as constructed of brick and containing a furnace. In 1915 the Bridgewater Shoe Corp. or "The Coop"'purchased this property and enlarged the building to its present 3 stories. Operations began in March 1915 with Lithuanian and Polish workers. Today this plant continues to house shoe manufacturing.