Gloucester Net and Twine Company

Gloucester Net and Twine Company
Photo courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Commission
Incorporated in 1884, the Gloucester Net and Twine Company is associated with the intense development of fisheries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Gloucester. As Gloucester's fishing industry grew, so did the demand for local suppliers of lines and nets. The Gloucester Net and Twine Company's early product line focused on cotton and linen netting and lines for all the leading fisheries. Most net-makers in the 19th century were small scale. The Gloucester Net and Twine Company was distinguished from its contemporaries by its large-scale organization and output, inland location and reliance on the railroad. The site originally extended back to the Boston & Marine Railroad, which was connected by a spur line to aid delivery and shipping of products. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, advertised products included fishing lines, cotton lines, rope and cordage, leads, gill nets, mackerel nets, seines and seine repairs, shipped throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In 1919, Gloucester Net and Twine Company sold its business and property to American Net & Twine Company, which continued to advertise nets, twine and fittings for fisheries. The property changed hands in 1934 and again in 1960, and continues in industrial use today.

Situated on 1.2 acres, the existing main building and rear power house are some of the city's best examples of industrial architecture. The main building is a large 6-by-16 bay, wood-frame structure dating to 1884. It is currently sheathed with asbestos shingles added in the mid-20th century. Rising three stories from a brick foundation to the low-pitched roof with simple wooden cornice, these architectural features of the main building are typical of this period and of this type of industrial architecture. A one-story wing on the Grove Street elevation retains the original clapboard siding. The one-story, brick power house topped with a gable roof, also built in 1884, is centered behind the main building.

The Gloucester Net and Twine Company is located on the southeast corner of Maplewood Ave. and Grove St. in Gloucester. The buildings are used for industrial production today and are not open to the public.

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