The Moss Brook Mill, at Dawsonville, formerly called Delaneyville, was, prior to 1854, the property of Colonel Samuel
Damon, and was originally a shingle mill. It was then disposed of to Benjamin Franklin, who manufactured forks of all kinds there.
In 1862 or 1863, the property was sold to Ashworth and Day. Mr. Day soon took it alone and manufactured shoddy for several years.
The first shoddy made in town, was made here, "a company of Englishmen with machinery imported from England" having been engaged
in the business as early as 1857. In 1866, it was owned by Kimball and Talbot; in 1867, by John O'Brien; in 1868, by Crompton a
nd Dawson of Worcester, who were engaged in the mill supply business. In 1873, Mr. Charles Dawson became the sole owner of
At first satinets and melton flannels were made, then fancy cheviots and cassimeres, and the mill's reputation for "quality
goods" became such that night and day "shifts" were unable to supply the demand.
For more than twenty-five years, Mr. Dawson continued at the head of this business adding from year to year new equipment,
and building new homes to accommodate the increased number of workers.
He served the town as selectman for several years.
The Dawson home was the large house at the junction of Salisbury and Main Streets, now owned and occupied by the Frank H.
Cates, Mrs. Cate, being a granddaughter of Mr. Dawson.
In 1910, he sold the mill property and it was in the hands of the Darling Woolen Mill Co. for a number of years. Persons
holding an interest here were Albert H. Stone, Frank H. Viele and William Battye.
From 1915 to 1926, when it was taken by the Metropolitan District Water Commission, it was owned by the Holden Woolen Company.
In 1922, the property comprised a group of frame and brick mill buildings, one four-family house, six two-family houses, and
six cottages, valued in 1926 at $34,000.
All buildings of this village were on the east side of the highway. The H.H. Munger house near the junction of Newell
Road was the oldest in the village.
The older group of houses were south of the present swimming pool, and the mill buildings were at the rear of the pool.
North from the pool were a number of attractive homes built more recently, six of them during 1919.
Nearly opposite Newell Road stands the Lindquist formerly the Paddock Homestead.
Source: Florence Newell Prouty, History of the Town of Holden, Massachusetts,
16671941 (Holden, Mass.: 200th Anniversary Committee for the Town of Holden, 1941), 164166.