Thursday, April 2, 2015

Linen Thread Donation

I saw some familiar faces at the Battenkill Inspired exhibit a couple of weeks ago, but I also met some new people! One such person was Nancy Hand Higby, a garden designer from Salem. Nancy told me that her great-grandfather worked at the Dunbarton Mill & she had a bit of linen twine. Would the Town be interested in having it? Of course, I said "Yes!" & here it is...

Spool of linen twine from the Dunbarton Mill, Greenwich, NY

Nancy writes, "This spool of linen thread was given to me by my grandmother, Florence Wallace Hand, whose father managed the Dunbarton Mill where the thread was made."

In looking through William T Ruddock's book Linen Threads and Broom Twines... Volume 2- The Directory, I was able to find the man in question. James Wallace was born to Hugh & Elizabeth (nee Hunter) Wallace in Loughbrickland, County Down, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in 1859. After graduation, Wallace spent 7 years at Dunbar, McMaster & Co. in nearby Gilford. In 1888, he was promoted to General Manager of the Dunbarton Mill in Greenwich, NY & married Jennie Arnold. The couple had one daughter, Florence (Nancy's grandmother). Mr. Wallace also held important positions after leaving the Dunbraton. He was director of the Mahican Pulp & Paper Company, Consolidated Electric, & the Adirondack Trust Company. He died in 1909 due to complications after contracting ptomaine poisoning. His wife, Jennie, died in 1940. (pp.376-8)

Ruddock's 2 volume set about the Dunbarton

For more information on the Dunbarton Mill & the people involved, I highly recommend William T. Ruddock's 2 volume set, Linen Threads and Broom Twines.