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Oliver Street, 035, Ames House, Governor Oliver, 35 Oliver Street, North Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society -

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posted by alias Historical Images on Tuesday 20th of October 2020 07:15:48 AM

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/albums . The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related classes created an integrated geographic network. The housing on perimeter edge with factories and business affairs in the center creating the village concept in North Easton. Other important concepts were the Furnace Village Cemetery, Furnace Village Grammar School and the Furnace Village Store, which explains Furnace Village and other sections of Easton. source: Massachusetts Historical Commission As you may have heard by now, Mrs. David Ames, Sr. passed away on September 2, 2018 at the wonderful age of 99 (just a few months shy of 100!). Mrs. Ames was a frequent visitor at the Museum, very interested in history, and always supportive of what we were doing. She was a wonderful encouragement to a fledgling curator such as myself. Many years ago, she donated our sign, and when that needed replacing she again donated one in memory of her late husband, David. That is just one visible example of the way she supported the Society through the years. Mrs. Ames was full of wisdom. She spoke in carefully measured words that were always worth listening to. One Sunday afternoon, shortly after I became Curator, she attended an open house at the Museum. I accompanied her as she viewed the exhibits, pausing to look at a series of photos of the Ames houses in North Easton. Next to us was a young couple who were marveling at the same house photos. I can remember them remarking about living in such circumstances, beautiful homes, lovely grounds and gardens, not having to worry at all. Mrs. Ames, standing next to us, was carefully listening to what they were saying (they did not know that it was Mrs. Ames standing next to them). When the couple finished their remarks, Mrs. Ames turned a bit, and spoke a few well-remembered words. She simply said, "When you have your family, you really have everything." With those few words, she put everything into perspective, and she had it right. And I think, at least for me, that is the perfect way to remember her. She had such a great love for her family, and she knew full well that family was much more important than anything else in one's life. Those well chosen words will stay with me for many years to come. source: Easton Historical Society's Blog, Frank Meninno, Easton Historical Society, September, 2018 , In 1815, Easton Manufacturing Company, a cotton cloth manufacturer, owned a six-acre parcel of land on the north side of Lincoln Street. In 1850, the area on the north of Lincoln Street was woodland owned by the Ames family. The house of Oliver Ames Jr., (1807-1877), located northeast of this area was fronting Main Street. From the years ranging from 1860 to 1930, Ames Shovel and Tool Company at 28 Main Street owned the two buildings on the north side of Lincoln Street between Day Street and Reardon Way. These buildings provided housing for shovel workers at the shovel shops, shoe shop workers, and worker and domestic helpers for the Ames family. Around 1871, the properties #55, #59, #63, #71 and #73 Lincoln Street were built the same in construction and style. There were four properties #45. #49. #85 and #89 that were moved from the shovel shop area of operation. The last three houses #41, #79 and #81 were built on or moved onto properties on Lincoln Street. In 1839, the dissolution of the Easton Manufacturing Company saw David Macomber who obtain ownership of the parcel followed by a sale to Howard Lothrop. Lothrop sold the same parcel to Oakes Ames (1804-1873), the son of company founder of the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation, Oliver Ames, Sr., (1779-1863). In 1845, Oakes Ames, (1804-1873), transferred ownership of the six-acre parcel to his father, Oliver Ames, Sr., (1779-1863). Later, Oliver Ames, Sr. moved ownership of the parcel to his company, Oliver Ames and Sons. In 1875, the six-acre property and other properties were deeded to Frederick Lothrop Ames (1876-1921), followed by moving ownership back to the company. In 1901, the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation transferred all of its real estate to Ames Shovel and Tool Company. In 1886, in his book, History of Easton, William L. Chaffin wrote, - forty-five Roman Catholics, virtually all born in Ireland, lived in Easton in 1849, 150 by 1852, and 400 by 1860. In 1850, at least thirty-five of ninety-seven Irish-born males in the Easton workforce, or 36 percent, worked at the shovel shops; another seven were furnace men, either at the Ames shops or at other forges. - In his history of the Ames company, historian Gregory J. Galer noted by the late 1820s, the company’s need for labor had begun to exceed what the region could supply. By the late 1840s, Irish immigrant men began to satisfy that demand. In the 1820s, Oakes Ames, Sr. started to build housing for his employees. In 1820, the first of two houses Oakes built was for the manager of his plant in Braintree. The second a house for workers at his shops, now, War Memorial Park on River Street in West Bridgewater in 1832. In 1836, Oakes Ames built a boardinghouse big enough for twenty workers. In 1845, Oliver Ames and Sons owned twenty houses for workers, by 1861, thirty houses, and by 1884, ninety houses for workers. Occupancy of these houses were short-term, and some tenants stayed long enough to be listed in one or more census years. In 1901, as previously mentioned, Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation transferred all of its real estate to Ames Shovel and Tool Company. The action was taken as a result of a merger of the Ames company with other shovel and handle companies. In June of 1930, looking toward the future of selling their tenement houses, the Ames Shovel and Tool Company registered two sets of plans outlining lot boundaries for sixty-two properties. The large set of plans including the twelve parcels 34 to 45 Lincoln Street and parcels on Pond, Mechanic, Day, Barrows, Main, Canton, Elm, and Oliver Streets and Picker Lane off Canton Street. In 1933, Ames Shovel and Tool Company transferred properties to John F. Neal, a lawyer from Malden as the company owners may simply wanted to pass the burden of individual transfers to an attorney. source: Easton Historical Society source; Massachusetts Historical Commission source: Ancestry source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995 source: Forging Ahead: The Ames Family of Easton, Massachusetts, Gregory J. Galer, 2002 . The Ames Family & the North Easton Village below Description of Oliver Street below ' 35 Oliver Street In 1862, the Governor Oliver Ames House was built at 35 Oliver Street on a thirty-six-acre parcel of land. The Governor Ames Estate is bordered by Mechanic and Oliver Streets on the West, Elm Street on the North, - Langwater, - a little west of the Olmsted Bridge at – Langwater, - on the East, Shovel Shop Pond and – Langwater - on the South. The original building at 35 Oliver Street was built in 1862, was demolished in 1937, and a dwelling was built on the foundation of the original house for David and Elizabeth Motley Ames in 1950. Governor Oliver Ames was the thirty-fifth Governor of Massachusetts from 1887 through 1890. In 1850, Oliver A. Ames was residing at 25 Main Street with his parents, Oakes Angier, a manufacturer, and his mother, Eveline Orville Ames, with his two brothers, Oakes A., a manufacturer, and Frank M. Ames, and his sister, Susan E. Ames, and a worker, Jane McKenna. In 1860, residing were Oliver A., a manufacturer, and his wife, Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with a domestic servant, Ellen Shay. On February 4, 1831, Oliver A. Ames was born to Oakes Angier, and Eveline Orville Ames. On March 6, 1860, Oliver A. Ames married Anna Coffin Ray, in Martha's Vineyard, daughter of Obed J., and Anna W, Joy Ray of Martha's Vineyard. Anna’s father, Obed J. Ray was the first and only teacher of navigation on Martha's Vineyard at the time. In 1865, residing at 35 Oliver Street were Oliver, a manufacturer, and his wife, Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with their son, William Hadwen Ames, and their daughter, Catherine Ames, and a domestic worker, Eden Carney, and his son, Eden Carney. In 1869, the Easton High School at Eight Lincoln Street was built by the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation. At the time of its construction, Easton High School had twelve rooms with up to fourteen grades in its history. During that time, the building Easton High School, the school training program, a kindergarten, grammar and primary classes. In 1863, Oliver’s grandfather, Oliver Ames passed away, he became a partner in the shovel making business along with other members of the family. In 1870, residing at 35 Oliver Street were Oliver A., a shovel manufacturer, and his wife, Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with their son, William Hadwen Ames, and Oakes Ames, and four daughters, Lena, Anna Lee, Susan E., and Lilian A. Ames. On May 6, 1873, Oliver Ames' father, Oakes Ames passed away in Easton, with his burial in the Village Cemetery. Following his father’s passing, his activity in the business of the company came to an end with the responsibilities becoming one of the executors of his father’s estate valued around six million dollars. During this time, Oliver Ames created his respected legacy as a businessman handling management of the many enterprises left behind by the passing of his father. By risking his own fortune, he was able to satisfy the immediate demands of collectors. Oliver Ames was a member of the Easton School Committee and was first, Treasurer, followed by Chairman of the Easton Republican Party Town Committee. In 1879, it was an accident rather than a desire by Oliver Ames to enter public life. Oliver and Anna Ames owned a residence in Cottage City, which was part of Edgartown. There was an effort to incorporate as a separate entity from Edgartown. The Legislature refused to pass the bill for incorporation for Cottage City. Later in 1879, Oliver believed Cottage City was unjustly denied and he accepted an election to the State Senate. As a result of his efforts as a Senator, the bill came out in a favorable manner as Cottage City became an independent town. In 1880 and 1881, Oliver was a member of the Senate serving as a member on committees on the railroad and education. In 1880, residing at 35 Oliver Street were Oliver A., a shovel manufacturer, and his wife, Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with their two sons, William Hadwen, worked in the shovel shop, and Oakes Ames, and their four daughters, Evelyn C., Anna Lee, Susan E., and Lilian A. Ames. In 1881, Oliver was elected Lieutenant- Governor with a Democratic Governor thus chairing a Republican controlled Executive Council which was a challenge for him. In 1882 and 1883, Oliver A., and Anna Coffin Ray Ames had a building built at 355 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston as the Oliver’s ever-increasing political activities kept him in the State House during the cold winter months. Oliver and Anna divided their time residing in Easton and Boston. The building at 355 Commonwealth Avenue is located at the northeast corner of Massachusetts Avenue. The building was designed by architect, Carl Fehmer, built by stone masons, Norcross Bothers, and Morton & Chesley, carpenters for the building. Following the passing of Anna Coffin Ray Ames in 1917, Oakes and Blanche Ames purchased the building at 355 Commonwealth Avenue, and still owned and resided at - Borderland – at 259 Massapoag Avenue in Easton. In 1883, 1884 and 1885, Oliver won re- election each year with increasing plurality each year. The Commonwealth was going through difficult financial days as his career drew the attention of the leaders of his party. Out of the thirty-two Lieutenant-Governors, only six had become Governor. In 1886, the incumbent Governor declined to run and Mr. Ames was nominated without opposition and won the general election by 8,000 votes in November. He won re-election as Governor by 17,000 votes in November of 1887. In 1888, Governor Ames started making an annual donation to the Town for planting shade trees along the highways much to the delight of the residents in the Town. In 1889, the Easton Massachusetts City Directory listed Oliver A. Ames as residing at 35 Oliver Street and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In January of 1890, Olive Ames ended his term as Governor with expressions of approval of his administration and returning to private life with every reason to congratulate himself. In 1889, the Easton Massachusetts City Directory listed William Hadwen Ames as residing at 35 Oliver Street and an employee of the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation. In the mid-1890s, Governor Oliver and Anna Coffin Ray Ames had the Spring Hill mansion built for William Hadwen and Mary Elizabeth Hodges, which was designed by Architect Carl Fehmer. In 1893, Governor Oliver Ames of 35 Oliver Street in North Easton offered to build a new high school on the site of the former Easton High School. The Town would build the foundation and do the grading on the property. The structure, made of wood, was moved back, and used as an elementary school. In 1930, the older building was demolished and an addition was added to the Oliver Ames high School which was built in 1893. The Oliver Ames High School was a gift to the town by Oliver Ames and dedicated December 12, 1896, with impressive exercises. Like the gift of the Mansion at – Wayside – with the passing of John S. Ames, Governor Oliver Ames passed away fourteen months before the Dedication of the school named for him, Oliver Ames High School. Although Mrs. John S. Ames did not want any kind of recognition at the time of the gift to the Town in 1960, the Historical Commission felt it should have a more appropriate plaque. In December 1991, the plaque was dedicated where Mrs. Ames' son, David Ames, was supposed to be the speaker. However, he died ten days before the 1991 dedication. On October 22, 1895, Governor Oliver A., Ames passed away in Easton, with his burial in the Village Cemetery in Easton. The Governor’s widow, Anna Coffin Ray Ames was very interested in the Town and focused in on the well-being of the boys and girls in Easton. In addition to gifts listed below, Anna worked hard on behalf of the school children so the Easton School Committee added courses for music, stenography, and typewriting, and she furnished the typewriters. Her donations were given following her extensive investigation of the need. Anna would much rather - lend a hand - than to encourage mediocrity of the working class. She would teach better ways of domestic economy, have ambition to earn higher pay, to use extra money to improve comforts of home life, to improve their moral, physical, mental, and social well-beings. Around 1900, Anna Coffin Ray Ames started the original Oliver Ames High Band. Anna brought members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra to Easton to instruct and assist the group. In the1890s, Governor Ames was the owner of the Booth Theatre in New York City and raised funds for the Boston Athletic Association to send athletes to the 1896 Summer Olympics prior to his passing in 1895. He was one of the investors in one of the largest wooden sailing ships in the nineteenth century and the first oceangoing, five-masted schooner on the Atlantic Ocean coast. His name, Governor Ames, was the name of the ship, as well as a small town in Oliver, Nebraska. During the early 1900s, John E. Dyer would take his ice- cream from Union Street, in his horse-drawn wagon, to A. C. Ames Band Concerts next to the Frederick Law Olmsted Rockery, held on Saturday nights during the spring and summer. In 1900, residing at 35 Oliver Street was widow Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with her two daughters, Evelyn C., and Susan E. Ames, and her son, Oakes, and his wife, Blanche Ames Ames, and her household staff, Fredrick W. Goode, a butler, Martha Sutton, a cook, Anna Manson, a laundry worker, Theresa M. Hayden, a parlor maid, Catherine Doherty, a kitchen maid, Mary Dineen, a chambermaid, Annie Doherty, a chambermaid, and Patrick J. O’Connor, the family farmer. In 1900, Oakes Ames grew up at 35 Oliver Street, married Blanche Ames, sister of his classmate Butler Ames of Lowell, two years after graduating from Harvard. On October 22, 1895, Oakes' father, Oliver Ames, of 35 Oliver Street, passed away. In 1900, Oakes and Blanche Ames began their marriage by living at his childhood home at 35 Oliver Street in North Easton with his widowed mother, Anna Coffin Ames, and his two sisters, Evelyn C., and Susan E. Ames. On December 3, 1902, Anna Coffin Ray Ames hosted the opening of the Ames Gymnasium at 15 Barrows Street with a starting time of 7:30 - Prompt. - The building was for physical education classes, athletic events, and band practice for students at Oliver Ames High School across Barrows Street. Mrs. Ames provided teachers and equipment for educational enhancements for the students. In 1910, residing at 355 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston was widow Anna Coffin Ray Ames, with her daughter, Lillian Ames, and her husband, Harry Chatman, with their daughters, Anna R., and Lilian A. Chatman, and their son, Harry Lorenzo Chatman, a book and bindery salesman, and Anna's household staff, Martha Sutton, a cook, Anna Monson, a laundry worker, Mary Dineen, a chambermaid, and Frederick Good, the butler. In 1916, Anna Coffin Ray Ames organized a medical aid effort on behalf of the American Red Cross at the Ames Gymnasium at 15 Barrows Street. On March 11, 1917, Anna Coffin Ray Ames passed away at her home at 355 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, with burial in the Village Cemetery in Easton. On June 12, 2012, the Trustees of Reservations in its announcement on the purchase of 36-Acre Governor Ames Estate, David Ames Jr. expressed the feelings of the Ames family, - Our family connection with the Trustees goes back to their beginnings, as the Trustees were founded in the Boston offices of Frederick Lothrop Ames, the builder of the Langwater Estate and the cousin of Governor Ames. We are very proud of the work the Trustees have done over their long history and we could not be more pleased that they will be the stewards of this property in the years to come. We have no doubt that they will make a great contribution to preserving the special character of North Easton Village. – source: Easton Historical Society source; Massachusetts Historical Commission source: Ancestry source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 source: The New England States: Their Constitutional, Judicial, Volume 1, William Thomas, 1897 source: American Biography, William Richard Cutter, The American History Society, 1918 source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995 , Oliver Street Oliver Street runs south from Elm Street in North Easton to about the northwest corner of Shovel Shop Pond. The street turns sharply west to intersect ultimately with Main Street. According to local historian William Ladd Chaffin, the east section of Oliver Street, running from Elm Street south, was accepted as an official street in 1857. It was extended to Main Street in 1863, with the east-west section of the street is shown on the 1855 map of North Easton Village. This section was called Depot Street on the map of North Easton Village in 1871. In 1871, the Oliver Ames and Sons carriage house, the main industrial complex of shovel manufacturer, Oliver Ames and Sons, and the railroad depot, were built in 1855. The section was built by the Ames’ to connect its factory to the Boston and Providence Railroad at Stoughton. The street goes along the south side of the street between Main Street and the street’s sharp turn northward. On the north side were the first home of hinge manufacturer Edwin W. Gilmore, a shovel shop building, a railroad building, and five tenements owned and operated by Oliver Ames and Sons. One of them, 24 Main Street, was a house built about 1830 that the company acquired and rented from at least the mid-1860s to 1911.The remaining four were 10, 14-16, 26-28, and 30-32 Oliver Street and were reputedly former factory and residential buildings moved to the street after 1852. , Ames Shovel and Tool Company, Ames Family & the North Easton Village, info, Easton Historical Society www.flickr.com/photos/historicalimagesofeastonma/33260380... , The Ames Family & the North Easton Village One of the well-known Ames properties, Sheep Pasture estate, was owned by Oliver Ames (1864-1929), son of Frederick, (1835-1893), and Rebecca Caroline Blair Ames, (1838-1903), and Oliver's wife, Elise Alger West Ames, (1867-1945) Oliver was born on October 21, 1864. Oliver was a great-grandson of Oliver Ames, (1779-1863), whose father, Captain John Ames, started making shovels just before 1774, older than the United States, in West Bridgewater. In 1803, Oliver came to Easton, purchasing a forge, a nail-making shop, a house and the Shovel Shop Dam with surrounding land on Pond Street. Oliver's siblings were Helen Anglier Ames Hooper, (1862-1907) who married her husband, Robert, and residing in Manchester, MA, Mary Shreve Ames Frothingham, (1867- 1955), later at Wayside, Frederick Lothrop Ames, (1876-1921), later at Stone House Hill House and John Stanley Ames, (1878-1959) later at Langwater. Henry Shreve Ames died in infancy. Shortly after his graduation from Harvard University in 1886, Oliver joined the Oliver Ames & Sons Shovel Works, becoming a director of various business, railroad and trust companies. Oliver and Elise were married in Boston on December 3, 1890. Their children were Elise Ames Parker, (1892-1979), Olivia Ames Cabot, (1893-1978), Richard Colwell Ames, (1897-1935) and Oliver Ames, Jr., (1895-1918). Their older son, Oliver Ames, Jr., was killed in service to his Country in France during World War I. Oliver's father, Frederick Lothrop Ames became a member of the firm of Oliver Ames & Sons Shovel Works in 1863, and when it was incorporated in 1876 as Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation, became the Treasurer. After the passing of his father, Frederick Lothrop Ames, (1835-1893), Oliver became one of the trustees of his father's estate and following in the footsteps of his father, becoming Director and Treasurer of the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation. From 1860 through 1930, the Ames Shovel and Tool Company at 28 Main Street owned buildings on the north side of Lincoln Street between Day Street and Reardon Way. These buildings provided housing for workers at the shovel shops, shoe shop workers, worker and domestic helpers for the Ames family and other factories in North Easton. The earliest tenement houses for employees were built close to the factories near ponds using the water resources. Example of housing were The Island and along Pond and Mechanic Streets, and south on Andrews Street and north to Oliver Street. The mixture was a combination of single- and multiple-family dwellings and boarding houses for unmarried workers. The elevated status in the social and economic factory hierarchy was shown by single dwellings which were inhabited by supervisory and skilled workers. Smaller housing units with two or more households were used by families of unskilled laborers. The houses had very basic accommodations, most houses were shared with strangers. The initial industrial development focused on improved ponds that provided motive power to the factory buildings. Eliphalet Leonard had a nail manufactory at The Island on the east side of Shovel Shop Pond and Asa Waters had a hoe factory on the south end of Hoe Shop Pond. In 1803, Oliver Ames came to Easton as this area around the Langwater Pond became the initial location for the shovel works. Later, Oliver Ames purchased the water privilege at the south end of Langwater Pond and expanded the water resource. By 1815, Oliver Ames and Asa Waters built a cotton mill on the current housing site of the Ames Shovel Works at 50 Main Street powered by canal dug from Hoe Shop Pond. In 1852, a devastating fire on The Island burnt down the wooden constructed shops which were replaced by the construction of the stone shops on the western side of the Shovel Shop Pond. The properties #55, #59, #63, #71 and #73 Lincoln Street were built for laborers similar in construction and style. Records show another four properties #45, #49. #85 and #89 Lincoln Street were moved from the shovel shop area. The parcels #41, #79 and 81 Lincoln Street were built on or moved onto properties on Lincoln Street. In 1815, the Easton Manufacturing Company, a cotton cloth factory, owned six-acre of land on the north side of Lincoln Street. In 1839, the Easton Manufacturing Company was dissolved which paved the way for David Macomber to purchase the six-acre parcel which he sold to Howard Lothrop. Later, Howard Lothrop sold the land to same parcel Oakes Ames (1804-1873), the son of company founder of the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation, Oliver Ames Sr., (1779-1863). In 1845, Oakes Ames, (1804-1873), transferred ownership of the parcel to his father, Oliver Ames Sr., (1779-1863) followed by Oliver Ames Sr., and deeded the parcel to Oliver Ames and Sons. In 1875, the six-acre property and other parcels of land were deeded to Frederick Lothrop Ames (1876-1921) and moving ownership back to Oliver Ames and Sons. In 1850, this area of Lincoln Street was woodland owned by the Ames family. In 1901, Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation transferred all of its real estate to the newly named Ames Shovel and Tool Company. The Ames family owned large parcels of land north, east and west of the factories. The Ames family built their residences in the middle of the work area on the west side of Main Street with two of those houses, Unity Close at 23 Main Street and Queset House at 51 Main Street near the shops. This was typical of factory village development in the period. During these times, owners and laborers interacted with each other in work and daily life where private locations were limited. The social status was shown in the size and styles of architecture, but they would be near or part of the work settings. The fancy iron fencing on the western side of Main Street was the only separation between the owner and employees. Later, the Ames family started create estates outside, but close to the North Easton Village. The estates featured large buildings called mansions, gardens, farm, other small buildings, passive conservation spaces, and recreational areas within their estates. In 1820, the Oakes Ames, Sr. owner of the O. Ames, began building worker testament housing for their workers. In 1820, the first two houses Oakes Ames, Sr. built were for the manager of his shop in Braintree. In 1832, Oakes Ames, Sr. built his second testament house for the workers in his shops in West Bridgewater. The house of Oliver Ames Jr., (1807-1877), was northeast of this area, facing Main Street. In 1886, historian William L. Chaffin, in his book, History of Easton, wrote that forty-five Roman Catholics, most from Ireland, lived in Easton in 1849, 150 by 1852, and 400 by 1860. In 1850, at least thirty-five of ninety-seven Irish-born males were working in Easton, or 36 percent, worked at the shovel shops. Seven were furnace workers at the Ames shops or iron forges. In 2002, historian Gregory J. Galer wrote in his book, Forging Ahead: The Ames Family of Easton, Massachusetts that by late 1820s, the shovel shop company, O. Ames found out that this area could not meet the need for labor at the shovel shops. By the 1840s, the workers who immigrated from Ireland helped to meet the need of labor. In 1836, Oakes Ames built a boardinghouse big enough for twenty workers. In 1845, Oliver Ames and Sons built twenty houses for their workers. By 1861, building and owning thirty houses and ninety houses for workers by 1884. From the historical area of Canton, Massachusetts called South Canton. In 1847, the Ames Shovel Shop began operating at 160 Bolivar Street in Canton, Massachusetts at a location between Bolivar and Forge Pond. In 1792, a corn mill was built followed by a cotton factory in 1812. In 1841, the Bolivar Mill burned to the ground. In 1845, the property was purchased by Lyman Kinsley for purposes of operating a iron forge followed by Oliver Ames and Sons taking over operations in 1848. In 1847, the land was used by Lucius Buck as a hammer shop to help in the expansion of the shovel shops in North Easton. In 1844, the expansion happens when Oakes and Oliver Ames, Jr., took over as operatives from their father Oliver Ames. In 1845, the Stoughton Branch Railroad allowed the Ames Shovel Shop to shipped stamped shovels for finishing from Canton to Easton. In 1852, a fire destroyed the Ames factory in North Easton and the shop in Canton was in heavy use until the factories were rebuilt with stone in 1853. In 1901, Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation transferred all of its real estate to Ames Shovel and Tool Company, a merger of the Ames company and several other shovel and handle companies. In June of 1930, as part of selling its tenement properties, Ames Shovel and Tool Company submitted and registered two sets of plans detailing lot boundaries for sixty-two properties including the twelve on Lincoln, Pond, Mechanic, Day, Barrows, Main, Canton, Elm, and Oliver Streets and Picker Lane off Canton Street. Ames Shovel and Tool Company contracted Samuel T. Freeman and Company, an auction handler, from Boston and Philadelphia, to auction forty-one of its properties in Easton. The auction list consisted of eighteen cottages, sixteen with two-family houses, three with four-family dwellings, two stores, and two building lots. In 1933, Ames Shovel and Tool transferred properties to John F. Neal, a lawyer from Malden for individual disposal of the properties to future owners. source: Massachusetts Historical Commission source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 source: Forging Ahead: The Ames Family of Easton, Massachusetts, Gregory J. Galer, 2002 , Ames Shovel Company Chronology source: Easton Historical Society, 2004 1774? – The year is uncertain, but sometime before 1776, Captain John Ames began the manufacture of shovels on Town River in West Bridgewater. The site of his forge and adjoining land are now the West Bridgewater War Memorial Park. 1779 – Oliver Ames, youngest son of Captain John Ames, was born in West Bridgewater on April 13. 1803 – Oliver Ames came to Easton, and on August 1, bought for $1600 a forge, nail-making shop, dwelling house, and several pieces of land near the Shovel Shop Dam on Pond Street. This dam and the shops had been built in 1792-3. He used the forge as a shovel shop and the nail-shop for making shovel and hoe handles. The famous Ames bend was made by putting the handles in the dam. 1805 – The first recorded date of making shovels in North Easton is April 17 when a Mr. Randall charged him $1.00 for carting six dozen shovels to Boston. No doubt he made shovels as early as 1803, and hauled them to Boston, (himself). Captain John Ames died during this year, on July 17, in West Bridgewater, and Oliver inherited the forge and land there. 1807 – Oliver Ames moved to Plymouth, Mass., and for seven years supervised the shovel-making plant of the Plymouth Iron Works. Their forges were on Town Brook above the lowest dam, which still exists on Summer Street. Oliver Ames also manufactured cotton-spinning machinery and other machines at the Plymouth Works. He lived in the “Long House” nearby (now numbered 120-122 Summer Street) and here his third son, Oliver, was born. He continued the shovel-making plants at North Easton and West Bridgewater. In association with Asa Waters he also manufactured hoes in Easton near the Hoe Shop Dam behind the Unity Church Cemetery. 1813 – Oliver Ames bought the land in Easton on which he now began to build his homestead, 25 Main Street, together with several large adjacent parcels. 1814 – Owing to the depression as a result of the War of 1812, the Plymouth Iron Works closed and Oliver Ames returned to North Easton. 1815 – Oliver Ames bought the shop at Hoe Shop Pond, which had been manufacturing hoes under the firm name of Ames, Waters & Co. He used the shop for making shovels, discontinuing the manufacture of hoes. 1817 – Oliver Ames made the first back-strapped shovels. 1823 – Oliver Ames built a dam and shop in South Braintree as an adjunct to his North Easton plant. 1825 – Oliver Ames, together with the owners of other water powers on the Queset River, raised and enlarged the Long Pond dam to conserve more water. A smaller dam had been built there in 1763 by Stoughton farmers to flood the meadows above. Shortly after the dam was enlarged (in 1826), he built a wooden shop there. 1826 – Oliver Ames built a stone shop, 40 feet long and 25 feet wide, as part of the main plant at the Shovel Shop Pond dam. 1828 – Oliver Ames built a stone shop at the Hoe Shop dam to replace the former wooden one. During this year, Ames Shovels broke ground for the B & O railroad in Baltimore. 1837 – Oliver Ames manufactured shovels worth $108,000 during the year, employing 84 workmen. 1844 – Oliver Ames, now 65 years old, turned the active management of his business over to his sons, Oakes and Oliver, giving each 1/3 interest, and retaining 1/3 himself. The firm, previously known merely as “O. Ames,” now became a partnership as “Oliver Ames & Sons.” The shop in Canton was acquired at this time. 1844-1845 – The dam at Flyaway Pond was built by the Company to conserve the water supply. 1845 – Oliver Ames & Sons manufactured shovels worth $132,000 during the year, and employed 72 workmen in their Easton shops. Twenty thousand dozen shovels were manufactured. 1847 – The Company built a small brick office or “Counting House” on Main Street, replaced by a larger one in 1863. The Company replaced its old store on Main Street with a larger one, 60 by 35 feet. Additional water privileges were purchased on Bolivar Street in Canton, and the dam was enlarged and a stone shop built there. 1849 – A large wooden barn to house the horses and oxen owned by the company was built on the corner of Oliver and Main Streets with a carriage house built just north of it, for the partners’ private horses and carriages. This was originally called the “Chaise House.” At this same time, the Gold Rush was taking place in California. Ames Shovels were so valuable there that they were used as currency. 1851 – The Long Pond dam was repaired with heavy stone construction. 1852 – (March 2) Fire destroyed the wooden shops grouped near the Shovel Shop Pond dam in which most of the manufacturing had heretofore been done. One thousand dozen finished shovels stored there were also destroyed. Carpenters were brought in from nearby towns and in less than three weeks temporary shops were built and work resumed. These wooden shops were so constructed that they might later be divided into dwellings, and some of the houses made from them still stand on Oliver Street. The building of new, permanent stone shops was now begun, with most of the stone coming from a quarry behind Frothingham Hall on Barrows Street. The stone for the previously built shops had been brought from Quincy. The Long Shop (530 feet) was built first, and the first steam engine (60 horse power) was installed in it. Prior to this, water wheels had furnished all the power. 1853 – The trip-hammer shop was built, and a second steam engine installed there. A new and larger carriage house and stable were built on the site of the old one. 1855 – The Company reported that they manufactured shovels valued at $600,000 in Easton during this year and employed 330 workmen. A private railroad line (opened May 16) for the shipment of shovels was built by the Company from North Easton to Stoughton where it connected with the Boston and Providence Railroad. Previously, the shovels had been carted to Canton, Stoughton, or to the steamboats at Fall River by four or six horse teams. He also had carted shovels to Taunton for shipping out the Taunton River. 1857 – The machine shop was built. 1862 – Queen Victoria granted a patent to William Newton to make Ames shovels throughout the British Empire. 1863 – Oliver Ames, Senior, died in his 85th year. His one-third interest in the firms was divided among his grandsons. Frederick Lothrop Ames, Oakes Angier Ames, and Oliver Ames were taken into the partnership, while his youngest grandson, Frank Morton Ames, was later made manager of the Kingsley Iron and Machine Co. of Canton in which Oliver Ames & Sons had controlling interest. A new and larger brick office was built on the site of the previous smaller one on Main Street (torn down in 1951). On the second floor of the new building were the first two banks in Easton: the North Easton Savings Bank and the First National Bank of Easton. 1865 – The Antrim Shop was built. Just north of it on Main Street and behind a small pond stood the Company’s blacksmith shop. This shop was torn down in 1931. The Antrim Shop was remodeled into a private garage. The Company reported that during this year they made 65,500 dozen shovels in Easton, valued at $982,500, and employed 250 men. The use of steam power and machinery accounted for the drop in numbers of workmen. 1866 – The Old Colony Railroad ran a line through North Easton, taking over the Company’s private branch to Stoughton. During this year, the Handle Shop was built. 1867 – The Plate-polishing Shop was built. 1868 – A canal from Picker Pond to the Hoe Shop was built. This year 120,000 dozen shovels were made and 500 workmen were employed. Orders were received from Europe, Australia, South America, Africa, and China. 1869-1870 – The new east wing to the Long Shop was built (sometimes called the “storehouse”). 1870 – Owing to business depression and failures of other firms, Oliver Ames & Sons was forced to ask its collectors for a temporary suspension which was granted. The liabilities were about $7,000,000.00. Within two years they paid all indebtedness with interest. During this time, Oakes Angier Ames invented the handle-bending machine. 1873 – Oakes Ames, the senior partner, died, and his sons, Oakes Angier and Oliver 2nd, inherited his interest in the partnership. 1875 – The Company reported that they made shovels valued at $1,500,000 employing 500 workmen. The rate of production was 450 dozen shovels per day. 1876 – The firm was changed from a partnership and became Oliver Ames & Sons Corporation: Oliver Ames, President; Oakes Angier Ames, Superintendent; Frederick Lothrop Ames, Treasurer; Oliver Ames 2nd, Secretary. Ames shovels won first prize at the Philadelphia International Exposition. 1877 – Oliver Ames died and Oakes Angier Ames succeeded him as President. 1879 – Ames shovels totaled three-fifths of the world’s production of shovels. 1880 – The New Plate-polishing Shop was built. Ames shovels won first prize in the Australian Trade Exposition. 1881 – During the year 127,000 dozen shovels were made and 422 workmen employed. 1886 – Production was 117,500 shovels a year (451 shovels each working hour of 10 hour day) with 500 workmen employed. A great freshet on February 12 nearly undermined the Long Pond dam. 1887 – The large barn on Main Street, built in 1849, was burned. Owing to the railroad facilities, fewer horses and oxen were now used, and these were stalled in the nearby carriage house. 1892 – The shop in South Braintree was sold. 1893 – Frederick Lothrop Ames died and his son, Oliver Ames, succeeded him as Treasurer of the Corporation. Ames shovels won first prize in the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. 1897 – A new barn was built on the same site to replace the one that had been burned in 1887. The carriage house, which had been at the corner of Main and Oliver Streets, became part of the new barn. Also, Ames shovels were used to create the country’s first subway which opened in Boston. 1899 – Oakes Angier Ames died, and his son, Hobart Ames, succeeded him as President of the Corporation. Ames shovels were used in the building of the New York subways. 1901 – The Corporation was reorganized and the Ames Shovel and Tool Company, Inc., under a merger combined with T. Rowland’s Sons of Cheltenham, PA; the Wright Shovel Co. of Anderson, IN; the St. Louis Shovel Co. of St. Louis, MO; the H.M. Myers Shovel Co. of Beaver Falls, PA; and the Elwood Steel Plant of Elwood, IN. Handle-making plants in St. Albans, ME, Paris, Texas, and Warren, PA were also acquired. Hobart Ames was elected President and William Hadwen Ames, Secretary. 1903 – A part of the Long Shop was electrically lighted by a dynamo built by Hobart Ames and William Hadwen Ames. Previously all of the shops had been lighted by kerosene lamps. 1904 – Louisiana Purchase World Exposition honored Ames shovels as “Best Made.” 1906 – Rate of shovel making was 376 dozen per day. Employees included English, Irish, Swedish and Portuguese. 1924 – Hobart Ames resigned as President and was succeeded by A.C. Howell. 1926 – The Easton plant was now completely lighted by electricity. Electricity was also used to replace steam. Electrification was completed in 1929, when the last steam engine was dismantled and the last water wheel discontinued. 1927 – The shop in Canton was sold. 1928 – William A. Ready succeeded A.C. Howell as President. The barn on Main Street, built in 1897, was remodeled into offices and occupied in the autumn of the year. 1928-1929 – A new shop of steel, glass, concrete, and asbestos, called the new Blade Shop, was begun August 28, 1928 and completed in 1929. 1929 – Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison laid the cornerstone for Greenfield Village outside Detroit with an Ames shovel. 1931 – The Ames Shovel and Tool Company was reorganized and combined with other plants as the Ames, Baldwin, and Wyoming Co. Richard Harte, great-great-great-grandson of Captain John Ames, was elected President. 1932 – The main office of the Ames, Baldwin, Wyoming Co. was removed from Easton to Parkersburg, West Virginia, owing to the latter’s more advantageous geographical position. The Easton works, however, continued in operation. The Company entered the garden tool field. Five thousand different types are made. 1935 – The land on which Captain John Ames’ forge in West Bridgewater stood was deeded by the Ames family to the Town of West Bridgewater for a Memorial Park. (Opened July 4, 1936) 1952 – North Easton plant began to close down. Name was changed to O. Ames Co. 1972 – North Easton plant sold to Tofias Real Estate of Brockton. 1976 – The Ames shovel display, which had been honored in the centennial exposition in Philadelphia, was also honored in the bicentennial exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. The display was on loan from the Arnold B. Tofias Industrial Archives at Stonehill. 2004 – The headquarters of the company, now Ames True Temper, is located in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. 2007 – The buildings were sold to Easton Shovel Shop LLC. source: Easton Historical Society, 2004 Easton Historical Society 80 Mechanic Street North Easton, Massachusetts 02356



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