1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 13, 2016 10:54 AM by Joseph Keefe

    Trying to find information on Whitney Hall in Royalston, MA

    Newbie

      The area known as South Royalston, lying on the Millers River, had a number of large mills during the late 1800's.  This group of mills included a very large American Woolen Mill.  During much of this period there was one Colonel George Whitney who was prominent and, in fact, owned one of the largest mills.  There is a large building there that has always served two purposes:  The top floor has an auditorium with a small stage and a kitchen while the lower floor was a school.  It would have been common for the mill owners to build such a structure to keep the workers happy but I can find no information about when this building was constructed, who built it and/or paid for it or exactly why it was built.  There seems to be little or no written history on South Royalston partially because most of the mill owners lived in the Center and because many of the workers were immigrant Finnish people who would have written in their language and these writings do not appear to have been captured in any library.

       

      The only written history I've found is Caswell's History of Royalston, which spends much more time on people and families that subscribed and little or no time on buildings.  I have found that the South Royalston Grange met there from at least 1911 to 1913, moving then to the Methodist Church. If anyone has information on the Whitney family that lived in this area in the 1800's, that might have something of value.  Any local descriptions of the events surrounding the flood of 1936 or the hurricane of 1938 might have information.  Anything on any of the large mills located on the Millers River might also be helpful.