The Westcott (Spindleville) Mill started out as a gristmill. My father worked there before he got married
in 1900.. Asa and Roy Westcott started making spindles there. Before my time they made spindles for
Drapers. They owned almost all of the houses in the area.
I started working at the mill in 1927 when I was fifteen. If an inspector came, I'd hide behind the wood
pile. They'd use wood to run the boiler. Later they used soft coal. There was a flood on November 4,
1927. It washed out Mill Street. The water must have been 30 feet deep. If the boiler and chimney
hadn't been on a ledge they would have been washed away.
Probably around 30 people worked at the Westcott Mill. My brother, my father, and two of my sisters
worked there. Others I remember who worked there include Sam Olivant, Frank Stover and Ashley and
Prett Johnson. It was a friendly place. They'd kid around. Asa might throw an orange peel or
something. You'd be working; suddenly you'd get hit in the neck. Sometimes we'd have baseball
games against each other behind the shop. I had a license to run the heat in the winter. I also
worked as a blacksmith at the power hammer. They had a water wheel that would be used for power
upstairs. The mill closed down in 1955. (1955 flood in Spindleville) I was the last one working there.
They didn't have town water. I remember when it came. They drained Spindleville Pond, laid the pipes,
and then covered them.
The Westcotts owned two farms. One was about 100 acres. It was where the Hopedale Golf Course
is now. They had milk cows, horses and pigs. Glen Coughlin from Mendon used to come and get milk
to deliver. It wasn't pasteurized.. The other farm was on Mill Street not too far from the factory. (Where
Laurelwood is now.) It was about 25 acres. It had chickens, and they grew corn and had an apple
orchard. They'd have people working for them to run the farms. They'd have to get up at four to do the
milking, which was done by hand. Even the hay baling was done by hand. I'd help bring in the hay they
cut if it was going to rain.
Roy Westcott was a great hunter. Asa didn't like hunting. He was a businessman. He'd go on trips to
Connecticut to sell spindles. They'd also sell to mills in Woonsocket.
I also remember from those days that Sam Kellogg was police chief, fire chief dog officer and truant
officer. He was a big guy. He lived on Dutcher Street.
The first fire truck the town bought had solid rubber tires. These memories of Reggie Sweet were
written at the Bancroft Library in the 1990s.