Established in 1871, one year before Fitchburg became a City, the Fitchburg Steam Engine Company started
its operations manufacturing both short and long stroke Girder Frame Mill Engines, mainly for the Mill Industry
throughout the United States as well as an array of different size boilers built to spec within their own foundry
to suit the ever growing requirements of the Industrial Age for that period. ( Little did anyone know that it would
lead them all the way through to the mid 1920's, as well as gaining a very good reputation throughout Europe )
The company was founded by Frederick Fosdick as President and brother Charles Fosdick as treasurer and
superintendent. In 1886 Frederick Fosdick was appointed the position of Lord Mayor for the City of Fitchburg.
In 1891 Frederick Fosdick held the office of vise-president of the Parkhill Mfg.Co. a prominent mill of that era.
~ Charles Fosdick was a trustee of the Burbank Hospital, and also a trustee of the Fitchburg Savings Bank ~
The first manufacturing plant was at 38 - 42 Water Street, producing a range of Injectors, Governors, Shafting,
Hangers and Pulleys on a day to day basis and in 1892 saw a move to Oak Hill Rd, Cleghorn where they were
able to later take on special large project work which helped pave the way into winning the contract's to power
the Prestigious New York Public Library and the La Salle Hotel built in Chicago of 22 floors completed in 1905.
In 1876 the company were also selling the Haskins line of stationary engines, keeping the name intact from a
previous buyout having good sales in the marine industry with a well respected line of semi-portable engines.
( Fitchburg - A Town - February 3, 1764 ~~~~~~~~ A City - March 8, 1872 )
Last updated: January 14, 2014.
A Fitchburg Steam Engine Company - Horizontal Girder Frame mill engine
driving a Mill in Worcester - Year 1885.
Lighting by Thomas Edison " Menlo Park " Year 1879 - along with D.C. Power Generation in New York - Year 1882.
Soon to be followed by George Westinghouse - introducing A.C. Power Generation in New York - Year 1893.
Special thanks go to a dedicated band of people within the Fitchburg community, including
The Fitchburg Historical Society for photos and information - all helping in the making of the site.
West Fitchburg, MA: St. John's Grammar School ( Gr 1 - 8 ) 1888 - 1989:
Several generations of neighborhood Catholic children were educated here by
the Sisters of the Presentation. Many progressed from grades 1 - 8 together,
and some even into High School, forming a bond that keeps them together
into the present time.
~ Bob Boucher & Ed McManus, Class of 1951 ~
As with all other central business districts within Towns and then Cities, Fitchburg was made up of singe fronted shops and building blocks.
Below is a list of most of the building Blocks as the Town and then City took shape, many of which were started by famous people such
as the Crocker Family and Rodney Wallace.
American House Block
Atherton's Block - Newton Lane
Belding & Dickinson's Block - 1886-1887
L J. Brown Block - 1862, later to become Nichols & Frost
Coggshall & Carpenter Block - Main Street
Cushing Block - 1888, Day Street
Fitchburg Savings Bank Block - 1871
Fitchburg Trust Company's Block - 1901
Goodrich Block - Day Street
Hatch's Block - 1870, corner Main & Prichard Streets
* Heywood & Comee's Block *
Joe Cushing Block - Laurel Street
Kimball & Brown Block
Torrey & Wood Block
Twitchell's Block - Dec.27, 1886
Opera House Block
Phoenix Block - 1892-93, by Architect H M. Francis
Post - Office Block - 1844, corner Main & Church Streets
Proctor's Block - Main Street, by Architect H M. Francis
Rollstone Bank Block - Incorporated 1849
* Sprague & Comee's Block *
Stiles Block - 1876, Built by James F. Stiles - Main Street
Sylvanus Sawyer's Block
Universal Theatre Block
Wachusett Bank Block
One often associates the Beam Engine with the old tin mining areas on the coast of Cornwall
as well as the old pumping plants found further up the English coast
especially during the middle and late 1800's. Here is a recorded case of one being built by the Putman Machine Company in Fitchburg during the year of 1869.
~ 1 8 6 9 ~
The Fitchburg Lumber Company. was incorporated in March,1868. D F. McIntire, President ; R L. Goddard,
Treasurer. Capital $50,000. Their buildings are 40 x 100 feet, 2 stories respectively. They manufacture doors,
sash and blinds. A 200 horse power Beam Engine supplies the power. The driving wheel of which, is 18
feet in diameter, weighing 11 tons, the largest ever made by the Putman Machine Co.
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