The Glover Building, c. 1850 -The Case for Support

 

Glover’s Mill at original site before storage
Glover’s Mill at original site before storage

Overview

You have an opportunity today to help Ipswich preserve and showcase a building of unparalleled historic significance, to benefit the Town culturally and aesthetically for generations to come.

The Life and Times of an Extraordinary Building

For well over a century, from the day George Washington famously visited Ipswich and bought lace for his wife Martha until the early 1900s, Ipswich was focused on textiles. The Heard family founded the Ipswich Manufacturing Company in 1828 to process cotton goods at the Upper Falls of the Ipswich River.

In 1845, entrepreneur George Washington Heard set up an additional “knitting business” out of a manufacturing building at the Lower Falls. His ace was a young man hired from England, James S. Glover, who brought not only his will to work but also a game-changing machine — a “long-warp hand-frame knitting machine.” Soon Glover was running his own textile manufacturing business, employing four men and six women running three hand frames, producing 400 dozen shirts, drawers, stockings, and frocks; 1,000 dozen scarves; and 12,000 head nets.
Glover’s house, at 78 East Street, had a small textile mill attached, at 80 East Street. Business was good. By 1870 he was capitalized at $100,000, employing 25 people, and running his operations not only with handlooms but also a four-horsepower steam engine. Demand was strong for Glover scarves, head nets, stockings, drawers, and shirts.
With the rise of large-scale mass-produced textiles toward the end of the 1800s, small enterprises like Glover’s declined. By 1904 it was all over. But the little factory building stayed in the family, handed down from one generation to the next, from 1856 all the way to 2006 — a total of 150 years.

Risk and Rescue

Officially designated as The James S. Glover Knitting Factory Building, c. 1850-1856, the structure has truly historic significance at the national level. Ipswich’s 19th century textile industry was the single most essential element of its economy, yet only a few buildings and artifacts remain to document this aspect of local history. Glover’s factory is the only known remaining example of a wood-framed textile mill building in New England where hand frames were used. As such, it is literally irreplaceable.
Even so, the Glover factory was nearly destroyed in 2006. The Fahey family (descended from James Glover) applied for a demolition permit, with plans to construct a new multipurpose structure on the site. The Ipswich Historical Commission swung into action, invoked the Demolition Delay Bylaw — to buy one year’s grace — and began searching for a way to save the historic building. A rapid-fire fundraising campaign made it possible for Great Marsh Preservation Advocates, a non-profit organization newly formed by Town residents committed to preserving historic Ipswich, to take possession of the Glover Building, disassemble it, and move it into storage on the grounds of the Heard House. Periodically inspected and sprayed for insects, the separate pieces of the factory structure remain in good condition.

Now the Marini family has agreed to let this important building be rebuilt and situated permanently in a prominent position on Marini Hill, home to their farm operation for more than a century. The Marinis have consented to the terms of a preservation agreement on the factory’s historic elements.
With the help of locally distinguished preservation experts Susan Nelson, Mathew Cummings, and James Whidden, the long and important history of the Glover Building will finally have a beautiful showcase, in plain view of Linebrook Road. The building will be open to the public during popular Marini events such as the Corn Maze, Christmas boutique, Annual Dinner at the Farm, CSA sales, and more. The building will feature historic displays and an ongoing educational exhibition for the benefit of local schoolchildren and the general public.

Artist’s rendering of Glover's Mill

Artist’s rendering of Glover’s Mill

 

The Challenge Before Us

To move the disassembled building to Marini Hill, reassemble it, and prepare it for public use will be a complex process. The effort will be expertly executed by a team of dedicated specialists, most of whom served on the highly successful construction of the Alexander Knight House in central Ipswich.
Already, enthusiastic supporters are stepping forward to contribute to the project. The outstanding housewright Matt Diana will lead the assembly work at a 50% discount. Architect Mathew Cummings is donating his services. Major donations have been pledged or received from various vendors. Others are working at cost.
The remaining project budget is $59,800. This includes moving the house to Marini Hill, excavating, laying a new foundation, erecting the timber frame, roofing and walls, windows and doors, siding and trim, chimney, electric, paint, publicity, and permitting.
Our goal is to have the Glover Building ready and open to the public by August 15, 2013. We invite every household in Ipswich and the surrounding area to participate by giving generously toward this unique, historically significant effort.

Number of donations              Amount of donation                                  Total

1………………………………………. $10,000……………………………. $10,000

1………………………………………… $5,000……………………………. $5,000

2………………………………………… $2,500……………………………. $5,000

5………………………………………… $2,000……………………………. $10,000

10………………………………………. $1,000……………………………. $10,000

10………………………………………..$500………………………………. $5,000

20………………………………………. $250………………………………. $5,000

50………………………………………. $100………………………………. $5,000

many………………………………….. various……………………………. $4,800

TOTAL………………………………………………………………………. $59,800

 

A Final Word

The Glover Building, when it finally stands on Marini Hill overlooking Linebrook Road, will beautifully enhance the Town of Ipswich and the North Shore. This structure of unparalleled historic value will be a treasure for decades to come.
But to achieve this worthwhile goal will require the willingness of many to get involved, to give generously, even sacrificially. Even so, we believe the result will be priceless.

Please feel free to ask any questions or offer feedback on this project by contacting Mathew Cummings via mat@cummingsarchitects.com or 978-356-5026. We look forward to hearing from you.