Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weathervane Wednesday ~ A Mill Yard Landmark

Every Wednesday for more than two years  I've been posting photographs of weathervanes located in or near the Nutfield area (the former name for the land where Londonderry, Derry and Windham, New Hampshire are now located). Most are historically interesting or just whimsical and fun weathervanes. Today's weathervane can be seen somewhere in the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts. Have fun guessing where you may have seen this weather vane.

Do you know the location of weather vane #123? Scroll down to see the answer....

Today's weather vane can be seen on top of the New Balance Factory building on Merrimack Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  This very large clock tower is visible for miles around the Merrimack Valley, and is only one foot smaller than Big Ben in London.  It is the second largest four sided clocktower in the world.  It is part of the former Ayer Mill, which was the home of the American Woolen Company, built in 1909.  The American Woolen Company owned 60 woolen mills in New England, and "in the 1920s it controlled 20% of the nation's woolen production."

The American Woolen Company closed in 1955.  The Ayer Mill clock tower fell into disrepair, but was saved in 1991 when the community raised over $1 million to restore the clock.  The Essex County Community Foundation, New Balance Corporation, and the Wood and Ayer families continue to maintain the clocktower.

Essex County Community Foundation, information on the Ayer Mill Clock Tower

"Ayer Mill Clock Tower, A Lawrence Icon, turns 100", Eagle Tribune, Lawrence, Massachusetts, by Keith Eddings, 18 September 2010

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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. I remember this clocktower and building from the early 1960s when my family lived in Salem Depot, NH, just across the line from Lawrence. My father was the Assistant Manager of the Lawrence Sears store then and my mother worked part-time as an RN at the Lawrence Hospital. I would go into Lawrence on Saturday mornings with my father when he went to work and I would spend the day in swimming and other programs at the Lawrence YMCA. I still recall some of the prominent buildings in Lawrence and the clocktower building is one of them. Thanks for the memories and the additional interesting info about the closktower!