My Uncle Bap is 93 years old. He retired almost 30 years ago, having worked as a welder for years for Hoyt Manufacturing Corporation at 251 Forge Road in Westport, Massachusetts.

Hoyt manufactured commercial laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing machines after opening in 1949. The company ceased operation in the 1990s or sometime in the early 2000s.

Hoyt may have operated under different names and owners over the years. I've found Hoyt Corporation and Hoyt Laundry Equipment & Supplies listed at 251 Forge Road.

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This piece is less about Hoyt than the building that housed the company, now occupied by Titcomb Brothers Manufacturers, makers of concrete forming products.

Westport Historical Commission member Anne "Pete" Baker discussed the history of the mill building for a 2007 article with Grant Welker for The mill is across from Forge Pond, and according to Baker, a dam at the pond powered the mill before there was electricity.

"We've got the Industrial Revolution right in that building," Baker told Welker. Over the years, the mill used grist mill, coal power, steam, wood and electric power, she said.

Westport's Last Mill Still Operational After More Than 300 Years
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

The area where the Hoyt mill is was known as the Westport Factory area. According to the Westport Historical Society, as many as nine mills were in the Head of Westport and Westport Factory areas. The Hoyt mill is the last mill standing and it's still operational.

Baker told Welker, that a sign above the front door of the Hoyt mill says, "Built in 1712 originally as a grist mill."

According to Westport Historical Society records, "George Lawton, Benjamin Waite, and John Tripp operated a grist and saw mill complex in 1712 on a 70-acre parcel at the Head." It could be the same place.

Who knew? A rural community that most of us associate with agriculture and the ocean also played a prominent role in manufacturing in the area.

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