Location: Dedham, Massachusetts
Steam Mill, Dedham-Norwood, MA
- An ongoing project (of Igor Rowen) to identify and create profiles for people that were in Dedham (later Norwood) Massachusetts during the 1850-1865 time period. Specifically families linked to a tenement referred to as "The Steam Mill."
Contributions WELCOME. GEDCOM is uploaded and profiles cleaned up. Rowen-9 21:01, 14 March 2016 (EDT)
- Project Progress
- To Do (in approx sequence of priority)
- Still missing 2 maiden names for Roach & Crowley.
- Announce project on G2G
- Create profiles for remaining surnames and wives when appropriate
- Finish writing "The Story" narrative
- Find County in Ireland for as many Table 1 & 2 names as possible
- On a recent genealogy trip to Norwood (Oct 2010) I had a chance to look through some of the manuscripts and information about the Irish who settled in Norwood. These were document collections at the Norwood Historical Society.
- One three ring binder caught my eye. It was labeled as a checklist of early Irish and German families. The binder was compiled by Willard W. Everett, a Norwood Historian. Among the papers he had compiled was a list of “Norwood’s Irish “Steam Mill Apartment” Residents.” Subtitled “Irish immigrants who lived with their families in the old Steam Mill” it was compiled by Patrick J. Pendergast in January, 1918. The list was created at the request of Fred Holland Day, another Norwood Historian. The list may have become part of a newspaper article
- The list was extracted from an informal genealogical sketch titled “SOUTH DEDHAM, MASS. In 1854.” By Patrick J #Pendergast, dated Jan 2nd, 1918. (typed and edited with a date of March 23, 1936.)
- In the book, “Norwood: A History” , the Steam Mill is discussed as an Irish Tenement converted from a steam powered Playing Card Factory (hence the name Steam Mill) which itself was a converted two story warehouse for wagons and equipment owned by Moses Guild for his freight business.
- Within the narrative of Pendergast’s sketch is the observation: “At that time there were nine families living there. ...” The list, on the other hand, had 30 male names and two widows. So it is probably the case that the turnover of tenants in the nine apartments was quite high.
- I decided that I’d take a look at the 1855 Massachusetts State Census, since Pendergast’s sketch calls out 1854. The Steam Mill should have been in full swing at that time. And, indeed, I got lucky.
- For one thing the census is on-line at FamilySearch.org. The census taker recorded two important items, in addition to the names and ages, and that was a sequential dwelling number along with a separate sequential family number.
- In the 1855 State Census the following [see Table 1] is a single dwelling (#5) and there are nine families (#5 – #13). [ref 3] Eight of the families listed are on the Steam Mill list. James Crowley (#11) isn’t on the Pendergast list.
- Also note that Mrs. Nugent isn’t a widow in 1855. Her husband, Patrick, heads family #9.
Table 1 1855 Steam Mill Apartment
Table 1. Nine families same building, the Steam Mill
South Dedham, Mass. in 1854
March 23, 1936. A.B.U.
- The spot now occupied by the Band Stand was then covered by a large building. It was called the Steam Mill. It used to be a Card Factory. When I lived there, I can remember seeing cards pasted in the cellar overhead, - Kings, Queens, Jacks and Aces covered the boards.
- At the time there were nine families living there:
- Mrs. (Griffin) Smidy, widow, three sons and one daughter.
- William Launders, married the daughter Ellen (Smidy). William Launders worked in the old cemetery. Otis Morse was the undertaker and had the care of the cemetery. The sons of Mrs. Smidy worked for Captain Guild.
- James Pendergast, the father of twelve children, six boys and six girls:
- Patrick Roach worked for Otis Morse. He had two sons and three daughters: Patrick and John, Mary, Ellen and Bridget. Ellen married Daniel Lee.
- Mrs. (Cuff) Nugent), widow, had two sons & two daughters: John and Thomas, Catherine and Mary. Mary married John Leonard.
- Philip Daley had two sons and (a) daughter: Henry and Horace and Mary. He worker for Tyler Thayer.
- William Cuff had one son William and daughter Mary who married John Bell. He (William Sr.) worked for Spencer(?) Fuller.
- Bartholomew Cuff had one son William and two daughters Ellen and Catherine. Catherine married Sumner Ellis. Bartholomew Cuff, (a)Tailor, worked for Oliver Morse. Note: John Cuff's brother William lived in Steam Mill) per Fred H. Day.
- John Dower had one son Thomas and two daughters Mary and Helen. He worked at the ink mill.
- Patrick Higgins worked for the Railroad Company.
- Patrick Higgins 2nd worked for the Fisher Talbot Carpet Shop. He had two sons, Dennis and John and one daughter, Anna, who married John Coughlin, the Priest Father.
- John Coughlin's son: James Coughlin lived there a short time. They moved to Mylod Street.
- Captain Guild owned a great deal of the land in Norwood (South Dedham). There was a great deal of woodland along Winter Street. One time he cut a very large oak. It was so heavy, they got stuck bringing it home. Then one moonlight night, all the men with yokes of oxen, helped him bring it home. He made them a present of it. They rolled it in front of the Steam Mill for a settee and every night they sat on it and told stories. Happy days!
Table 2 1918 Pendergast Name List
Norwood's Irish "Steam Mill Apartment" Residents
Irish immigrants who lived with their families in the old Steam Mill
compiled by Patrick J Pendergast in January, 1918
at the request of Fred Holland Day
- Source: FANN2002 Fanning, Patricia. Norwood: A History, The Making of America Series. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002
- Source: MA1855C "Massachusetts State Census, 1855," database with images, accessed via FamilySearch, Massachusetts, Secretary of the Commonwealth, State Archives, Boston,
- ↑ Source: #FANN2002 Fanning, Patricia; see pages 63 & 64.
- ↑ Source: #MA1855C Year=1855; Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts
- ↑ Source: #MA1855C Year=1855; Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States, GS film: 000953954, DF: 004279372, image= 00065, Dwell=5
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