Ludlow Canal

1911 general Sanborn map for Ludlow. The 1906 does not show this area. The 1919 shows about the same as the 1911 map.

Mill No. 4 canal – Digital Commonwealth

View of canal adjacent to LMA – Digital Commonwealth

The Ludlow Mills’ very early buildings had to use canal power in order to generate hydromechanical energy. This canal took water from the Chicopee River to power some mills. The mills would have been located in between the canal and the river. This canal was built in the year 1821 which is a very early use of canal power in this style. The Lowell Mills started with this style also in 1821.

Charles Hubbard bought out the Ludlow Mills and renamed them the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates. In 1878 he sold to the Ludlow Manufacturing Company. The Ludlow Manufacturing Company made jute, flax, and cotton products since about 1878 in Ludlow. Since they had now a strong canal, a mill number 4 was built. In 1888 mill 5 was built and a canal was built on the upper dam. In 1889 mill 6 was built. In 1891 mill 2 was built. In 1894 mill 1 and mill 3 were built. In 1900 mill 8 was built (dedicated Feb 16 1901). In 1905 mill 9 was built. In 1906 mill 8 got an annex. In 1907 mill 10 was built.

After 1895 or so, electricity would have been available to the mills from an outside source and those it was no longer necessary to have the canal and thus later mills like 8, 9, 10, and 11 were off the canal. In 1900 the Red Bridge Dam was replaced with a larger one.

The Putts Bridge Dam that has been in place since 1919 is NOT the one that leads the water into the former canal. This dam was a direct power source. The Ludlow Canal is now gone but was a strong power source for the mills in that community during the industrial revolution.

Workers’ housing was available from the Ludlow Manufacturing Company. This look like regular homes.

Ludlow Manufacturing Company Mill Workers Housing

For other canals on the Chicopee River please see

Power Canals of the Chicopee River


The following pictures come from the book Jute – An Account of its Growth and Manufacture – 1928 publication.

Ludlow mill 10

Ludlow mill 11

Ludlow Manufacturing Company Mill Workers Housing

38 Winsor St1895
26 Winsor St1905
53-55 Joy St1880

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