The Three Villages
Because of the distance from the primary population centers in Dudley and Oxford, Slater needed to build “extensive support facilities [for his factories]: stores and dyehouses…and residences – separate houses for some of the managers, small boardinghouses for unattached workers, and cottages for households”5 for his workers. Around the Green Mill, the East Village sprang to life in the Oxford South Gore as Slater continued to expand the mill complex and build housing and stores for his workers. The South Village grew up along the east bank of the French River in Dudley around the Dudley Woolen Manufacturing Company. Slater had purchased the woolen factory with Edward Howard in 1822. In 1824, Slater purchased a cotton-spinning factory also in Dudley and on the east bank of the French River. This area, a mile north of the woolen factory, became known as the North Village.
Eventually, the various mills, and the three villages they were in, would come under the control of Samuel Slater & Sons, a business jointly owned by Samuel and his sons, John Slater, George B. Slater and Horatio Nelson Slater. Tiffany and Howard would both eventually sell their interests back to Slater and his sons. “From 1829 onward, all the water-power and manufacturing business in cotton and wool was the sole property of Samuel Slater & Sons.”6 It would remain so until 1899.
© 2003: John Carter. All Rights Reserved.