Land-use maps
Killingly present

Killingly past

Maps and images

Danielson, 1877

This 1877 map shows the town center, then known as Danielsonville. The Danielsonville Cotton Mill is at the confluence of the Quinebaug and Five Mile Rivers. The Quinebaug Company Mill is at the bottom to the West of the Quinebaug River in the Town of Brooklyn. Note the rolling, open farmland in the background. The Industrial Revolution was almost 90 years old when this map was drawn. Samuel Slater started the revolution in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1790. Slater's nephew opened up a textile mill in Putnam in 1806, and he was quickly followed by a series of Rhode Island industrialists seeking water power in the Quinebaug River valley. By 1815, 169 textile mills within a 30-mile radius of Pawtucket had 135,000 spindles in motion. Killingly would never be the same.

Himes Mill

The Himes Mill is one of the many mills that sat along the Whetstone Brook in the middle of the 19th century. A wooden mill was built on this site in 1828, but it burned down in 1847 and was replaced by a stone mill in 1850. John Himes moved his operation into the new mill and operated it for the next 29 years. The mill produced woolen goods in the early 1900s and closed in 1930. Today the mill houses the Whetstone Mills condominiums.

Danielsonville Cotton Mill

A view looking south from the File Mile River towards the Danielsonville Cotton Mill on the corner of Main and Maple Streets and a view from the top of the same mill looking north along the Five Mile River and across Danielson. James Danielson farmed this land in the early 1800s. In 1809 Danielson built a frame cotton mill on the east side of the Five Mile River. A stone mill was added eight years later, and by 1819 the mill was weaving with power looms. Cotton shortages forced the mill to close in 1864. The brick mill in the picture was built in 1868 on the other side of the river. In 1897 the mill held 451 looms and 21,080 spindles and employed 210 workers. This area is one of the oldest textile mill sites in the entire U.S. Nearly 160 years of continuous textile production on this site ended in 1964 when a dyeing firm went out of business. The footbridge across the river was originaly built in 1850 by a local doctor as a shortcut to his house on Maple Street and was replaced several times. The footbridge on the site today was built in the 1930s.

Ballouville

The village of Ballouville was founded by Rhode Island industrialist Leonard Ballou in 1826. Ballou operated a mill until 1860 when he was bought out by the Attawaugan Manufacturing Company. The mill in this picture was built by the company in 1860 and still stands today. By the mid-1880s the company had 800 looms and 36,000 spindles in operation in its three mills in Attawaugan, Ballouville, and Pineville and employed 500 people.

Many more old photographs can be found in the Killingly book by Natalie Coolidge and Robert Spencer from the Images of America series published by Arcadia. The book is available from the Killingly Historical Society library and museum on Main Street (open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10-4).