Forest River Lead Works

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Founded and incorporated in 1840 as the Forest River Lead company, the lead works were situated on Lafayette Street at Forest River. The company was active for 40 years under this name. In 1884, they were purchased by the Chadwick Lead works of Boston. After remodeling and enlarging the works, the name was changed to Forest River Lead works, to avoid conflicting with the original company name.

After a large fire on March 5, 1897, the entire main factory was destroyed. After rebuilding they became the largest lead mills facility, creating 6,000 tons per year to be used in paint and other trades.

On Feb. 22, 1968 the last of the Lead Mill buildings burned down in a spectacular fire.

Developers have eyed this area in 2001 and 2003 for building assisted living housing or condominiums, but clean up costs were too great and the project did not move forward.

In Oct. 2010, Woodward & Curran started a clean-up of the area.

In 2012, the town of Marblehead has received a PARC grant toward purchase of the former Chadwick Lead Mills property to create a recreation area. These state funds, through a PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant, have the potential to reimburse some of the municipal costs. The property will be used for "passive recreation" such as walking trails.

See Also

Vertical File in Salem Collection - Lead Mills (Forest River)

Historical sketch of Salem by Chas. Osgood, p. 231

Illustrated history of Salem and environs : issued as the souvenir edition of the Salem Evening News and describing and illustrating Salem, Massachusetts and immediate vicinity from first settlement to present day ed. by Charles B. Gillespie, p. 161-163 (photo)

Old Naumkeag by C. H. Webber, p. 206

"Expert: Lead Mills pollution is serious" Salem Evening News, June 14, 2001, p. 1

"ConCom delays Lead Mills Project" Salem Evening News, Feb. 19, 2002, p. A2

"Developer interested in Lead Mills" Salem News, Dec. 4, 2003, p.1

"Marblehead's former mill site will soon be unleaded" Salem Evening News, Sept. 23, 2010, p.?

Salem Massachusetts by Turino and Schier, p. 88 (photographs of Lead Mills)

"Lead Mills project awarded PARC grant" Salem News, Dec. 20,2012, p.?

Lead Mills Conservation Area Design Conway School, 2014

Forest River Lead Works and the number 2 pencil A walk through Salem