Indian Orchard Canal

Indian Orchard Canal was built in 1846 in Springfield Massachusetts. It is 1400 feet long and 8 feet deep. It ranges from 60 to 80 feet wide since at its start it needs to draw in a lot of water but at its end much of the water has been released into tunnels below the mills. The walls are of brownstone.

1871 Beers

The design to build it had been set in motion in 1837 as the Indian Orchard Canal Company. The construction was by Charles McClallan who did the Holyoke Canal and both Chicopee Canals. He built the Indian Orchard Dam and Gatehouse at the entrance to the canal. The dam is to divert water into the Indian Orchard Canal. It is made of brownstone. Its dimensions are 20 feet high and 402 feet long. The gatehouse has 7 gates and lifts them via rack and pinion.

The first mill was not until 1854 so canal water was not used until then.

Lillie Company Mill – 1890 cotton and wool mill

Ward Manufacturing Mill – 1854 to 1859 cotton mill

Indian Orchard Mills Company – 1859 to 1890 cotton mill – made a mill 2

Indian Orchard Company – 1890 to 1938

United Electric Light Company – 1897


Cottage Hill Grove – 1850 park

Myrtle Street School – 1868

Indian Orchard Branch Library

Rieutord Block

Mill Workers Homes

Hampden Street – 1850s eight cottages for the foremen of the mills

Worcester Street at corner with Chestnut – 1859 four cottage homes

Water Street and Centre Street – many homes for mill workers

Link to the retail page of the Indian Orchard Mills.

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1911 map A and map B

Tour Route from west to east:

Gatehouse for the canal

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