Friday, November 11, 2011

Memory's Eye: Water Street

When Western Knitting Mills was at the height of its importance as Rochester's principal employer, the company recruited workers - mostly young and female - from all over the Midwest.  To provide housing for this labor force, WKM built boarding houses along Water Street, directly south of and adjacent to the factory building.  The first one went up in 1912 and was quickly expanded to accommodate the growing workforce.  The buildings were torn down in the 1940s after McAleer Manufacturing took over the property, but here's a mashup of a current photo of the streetscape and a vintage photo of the same view, showing the boarding houses. The next time you travel down Water Street, just imagine what the scene looked like a century ago!

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