Industrial History Center at Mill 2: The Past and Present
Updated: Sep 3
Nestled in the heart of downtown Amesbury, the Industrial History Center, also known as Mill #2, has undergone a variety of changes throughout its nearly 200-year history. Credited as the oldest textile building within the existing millyard, Mill #2 was built by the Salisbury Manufacturing Company in the mid-1820s as a textile mill, eventually shifting gears into the auto body manufacturing sector.
As decades passed, like many others, Mill #2 was left vacant within the millyard. However, in the 1980s, Greg Jardis, the owner of Amesbury Industrial Supply, purchased the building and transformed the 50,000 sq. ft. space into the industrial and commercial space that still stands today. In 2020, the Amesbury Carriage Museum (ACM) will be Mill #2's newest addition, honoring the tradition of welcoming new industries, organizations, and companies within the millyard.
ACM's new space will become a public venue fit for the Amesbury community, including spaces for exhibit galleries, events, a community reference area, program support, and educational materials for the locals, students, and visitors.
Construction began in early 2020, and while taking a break for a few months due to COVID-19, considerable progress has been made as the future home to ACM is underway. Inside the space, the original concrete floors, Georgia Southern Pine ceiling beams, and exposed brick and stone walls are scheduled to remain to maintain the industrial feel. While new interior walls, windows, doors, and fixtures will find homes within the space, all items have been selected to enhance the character and history of the mill.
The exterior of the building will receive a modern facelift through historical methods. BLB Custom Building's masonry team, Wilder Construction, has begun cleaning and repointing existing brick, along with installing restoration bricks for spot repair. The masonry team was tasked with mixing natural hydraulic lime and sand to achieve the accurate and historical look of the existing lime-and-mortar joints.
If you're interested in supporting or finding out more about the Amesbury Carriage Museum and the Industrial History Center at Mill 2, we recommend checking out these resources offered on ACM's website. Also, make sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages, which often feature updates on the space and spotlight each new trade!
Cover photo: Amesbury and Salisbury Mills, bird's eye view by E.H. Bigelow, 1880 (supplied by the Amesbury Carriage Museum)
Photo 1: Map of the Towns of Salisbury & Amesbury, published by Richard Clark, 1854 (supplied by the Amesbury Carriage Museum)