A Brief History of the Mount Ida Neighborhood - The Boom

[Figure 14]  Industry along Congress Street was based largely on the foundry and its production of iron and fabrication of steel.  The earliest works on the plateau above the gorge, however, were the Marshall Factories, which began producing cotton and tobacco on the south side of Congress at the junction of Fifteenth Street in the 1830s.  One of the earliest buildings associated with the works—still operating as a textile mill—survived until the early 1980s.*  In 1875 the old Marshall Cotton mill was under the guidance of E.W. Holbrook whose company spun cotton but produced no textiles.  All other factories along the upper Congress Street corridor were associated with metals.  The Troy File Works (on the site of today’s Cookie Factory) produced and re-cut all variety of files and knives.**  The William P. Kellogg Machine Shop had enlarged its already substantial operations after the Civil War.  The foundry produced everything from percussion caps to window blinds, and was able to survive numerous economic upheavals by consistently expanding and re-tooling its works. 

Kellogg was known primarily for his horse currycombs and other animal grooming brushes and accoutrements.  He also owned a foundry directly across Congress Street from his main plant, where he produced boring and mortising drills and presses.***  The Troy Wire Mill also operating along Congress Street could not compete with the success of the Griswold Brothers, and the company was subsumed wholesale by the Kellogg Company prior to 1880.  The Troy Malleable Iron Works, which would become nationally infamous for its failure to assuage labor difficulties peacefully in the 1880s, was a hugely successful operation in 1875. 

* Don Rittner, Images of America: Troy (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1998), 45.

** Weise, Troy and Its Vicinity, 300.

*** Weise, Troy and Its Vicinity, 89-90.


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