Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Goodall Mills, Electric Railways and the Mousam River

Mousam River Electric Railway equipment c1910 - click to enlarge
Photo: Kennebunkport Historical Society via

  Thomas Goodall had immigrated from York, England, he started a woolen mill in Massachusetts to supply blankets to the Union Army.  His sons came to Maine to build more mills in the (then) Town of Sanford, on the banks of the Mousam River.  They needed supplies to make more of their textiles, therein lies the rub.
  The Rochester Railway ended at the border with Maine, they weren't interested in running a line in to Maine.  So...the Goodalls built their own railroad; The Mousam River Electric Railway to forerunner of the Sanford and Eastern Railroad I've written about last year.
  A dam was needed to supply electricity to power the railway and the mills - no problem they built dams three of them (only one remains).
  With all that up and running the mills expanded and grew.  By the time the mills closed in 1955 and the Goodalls left for the fertile fields of the Carolinas for tax break and cheaper labor the mills were really expansive.  They aren't in the Carolinas anymore either the search of cheaper labor lies in China.  What a sad tale.
The first dam in 1915, still standing. - click to enlarge
Photo: Sanford Historical Society via
The Goodall Mills in Sanford in the 1930s - click to enlarge, it's big
Wilbur think four sizes of building 5 (O&R) everyone else, just think

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