Brown and Ives was founded by Nicholas Brown, Jr. and Thomas Poynton Ives. Ives was born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1769. Ives was sent to Boston to live with relatives after his father died. At the age of thirteen, he began an apprenticeship with Nicholas Brown, Sr. of Providence. That is how he met Brown’s son, Nicholas Brown, Jr.
Brown and Ives decided to invest in the new textile industry. Their first mill was the Blackstone Manufacturing Company, built in 1809 in what is now Blackstone, MA. While most mills built during this period had a few hundred spindles to make thread, the Blackstone Mill had 5,000 spindles. This gives us an idea of how much money Brown and Ives had to invest in the new industry.
In 1867 the Lonsdale Company built a new mill village at Ashton. Brown and Ives also owned other villages, including Berkeley (1871). They were known for their production of high-quality textile products. They also expanded Lonsdale, building the “new village” across the Blackstone in Cumberland. This included building the Ann & Hope Mill in 1886. This mill was named after Nicholas Brown and Thomas Ives’ wives, Ann Brown and Hope Brown Ives. It had earlier been the name of Captain Kelly’s ship as well.
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Last updated: December 14, 2021