The Boarding House

Eli Whitney Museum

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Preliminary appraisals suggest that the social microcosm that Whitney created at Mill Rock fits no easy model. We know that the buildings on the west side of Whitney Avenue had a primarily social rather than a manufacturing function. Despite some ambiguity concerning its date and construction, the boarding house for unmarried workers, located at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Armory Street, was probably one of the first structures that Whitney built after completing those structures essential to the gunmaking operation. The series of buildings on Armory Street that Whitney built for his married workers no doubt followed close behind. Benjamin Silliman wrote that they were "beautifully constructed and arranged upon one plan. And William P. Blake, a son of Whitney's nephew, Eli Blake wrote that there were ten or more dwellings besides the boarding house, erected for the convenience and comfort of the operatives. The village, built by the elder Whitney (the first 'Whitneyville') consisted of six houses of stone, covered with stucco... Some of these buildings were removed when the construction of the high dam rendered a change in the direction of the road necessary.

The remaining houses were torn down in 1912.

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