Capron Knitting Mill

 Housing lining approach to plant

In 1820, Dr. Seth Capron and others erected the 2nd Cotton Mill in New York State. It was situated in the area along the Sauquoit Creek. As was the norm back in the heyday of Mills, communities would spring up around, and/or increase in size, when mills are built. Often too, many dwellings were company owned.

The "Capron" area of New Hartford was that area that stretched from the Mill towards what is now part of South Utica. Old newspapers often referenced the "Village of Capron" in New Hartford. At the time of its erection, it's not confirmed the Mill was called Capron Knitting Mill. However, during the era of tremendous expansion during the 1880's, it was called the Utica Cotton Company. In 1882, a massive 3-story building that housed 125 looms, was the center of an impressive industrial complex that included 25 two-family houses, a company owned school, boarding house, storehouse and carpentry shop.

The mill processed 325,000 yards of sheets and other cloth products per month! In 1922 the Capron area was annexed into the City of Utica. As the knitting mills began to move south, many were repurposed. This mill was no exception. In or around 1931 the mill was acquired by the Sitrue company and became a paper mill. In 1956 the mill was acquired by Doeskin and became Sitrue-Doeskin. The mill closed in 1968 after being bought by Consolidated Paper Corp. out of Montreal. It was destroyed 10 years later by a massive 3-alarm fire on November 8, 1978.

Photos from the John Burton Collection c. 1896

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