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Rossie Velvet Mill Historic District facts for kids

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Rossie Velvet Mill Historic District
Rossie Velvet Mill Historic District-108.jpg
Location Roughly along Bruggerman Court, Bruggerman Place, Greenmanville Avenue, Hinckly Street, Pleasant Street, Rossie Street, Velvet Street, Stonington, Connecticut
Area 120 acres (49 ha)
Architect Favretti, Giovanni; et al.
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman
NRHP reference No. 07000110
Added to NRHP March 9, 2007

The Rossie Velvet Mill Historic District is located in the Mystic village of Stonington, Connecticut. Its main focus is the former Rossie Velvet Mill, a large brick industrial facility on the east side of Greenmanville Avenue that is now a research center for the nearby Mystic Seaport Museum. The district extends along Greenmanville Avenue between Pleasant Street in the north and the museum complex in the south. Most of the buildings in the district are residential housing built to house workers at the mill, and were built between about 1850 and 1950. The district includes 51 properties in 120 acres (49 ha). The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 9, 2007.

The area that houses the Rossie Velvet Mill was primarily agricultural until the mid 19th Century, with its farmers providing goods to the shipbuilders and other businesses in Mystic. A small textile mill began operation on the bank of the Mystic River in 1850, on what are now the grounds of the museum, precipitating development as a modestly scaled industrial area. In 1897, the Rossie Velvet Mill was established spurred on by two factors: first, a local business development group recruited velvet makers from Germany to the area, repeating a success in Stonington village, and second, the McKinley Tariff of 1890, which encouraged the owners of a velvet mill in Süchteln (northwestern Germany) to relocate to the United States and open a manufacturing facility to avoid the tariff. This business was a major local success, employing 200 workers (including a significant number of experienced German immigrant weavers) at what was the village's largest employer. The Rossie operation failed during the Great Depression, but the plant was soon operating again under different ownership. Finally, the mill permanently closed in 1958.

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