Due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2020 SPOOM Annual Conference has been postponed to the fall of 2021.

You will be informed as soon as the exact dates are fixed . . . .


Dear All TIMS Members,

By now you can’t imagine four years until the next symposium and two years until the mid-term, because of course, we all need more mills in our lives! Well as luck has it, you are invited to attend the SPOOM (Society for the Preservation of Old Mills) Annual Conference & Tour located outside of Boston, Massachusetts USA.

The main conference will be held from Thursday to Saturday, October 1-3, 2020. This will be a bus tour of the following sites:


Bootts Cotton Mill

Boott Cotton Mill
Bootts Cotton Mill (1835) features 88 operating power looms and a weave room.Lowell National Historical Park includes 5.6 miles of canals and period trolleys.Visit the homes of the workers known as the Lowell Mill Girls.  https://www.nps.gov/lowe/learn/index.htm


Frye Measure Mill

Frye Measure Mill
The Frye Measure Mill began producing oval pantry boxes, measure and piggens in the 1850’s. The original water powered machinery is still intact including veneering machines, soaking pits, and hundreds of belt-driven, rare woodworking machines. The mill also produced wool carders and has a print and blacksmith shop.  http://www.fryesmeasuremill.com/welcome.html


Slater Mill Historic Site

Slater Mill Historic Site
This textile mill was the first water powered cotton spinning mill in North America built in 1793. It exhibits carding, drawing and spinning machines Tour includes the Wilkinson Mill (1810) water powered machine shop for working metal.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slater_Mill_Historic_Site


Old Sturbridge Village

This outdoor living history museum depicts life in an early 19th-century rural New England village, featuring costumed historians, artisans and farmers; historic homes, trade shops and a working farm with heritage breed animals; and permanent and rotating exhibits, in over 40 buildings set on more than 200 acres. It includes four operational mills: a horse-powered cider mill and water-powered sash sawmill, grist mill, and carding mill.  https://www.osv.org/visit/


Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site

Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site Photo Don Woods

                                                                                                                                                Photo by Don Woods
The site interprets the first integrated ironworks in North America, which operated in the late 1600’s. Includes reconstructed blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter, bellows and quarter-ton drop hammer powered by many waterwheels. Preserved sections of one of the original water wheels and flume excavated during an archeological dig are on display.  https://www.nps.gov/sair/index.htm


The Gristmill at Wayside Inn 

Henry Ford’s mill built in 1924 in the style of mills from Delaware Valley, PA. The mill operates on 18th century milling machinery. In the 1950’s and 60’s, it was leased by Pepperidge Farms who produced stone-ground whole wheat flour for the company’s products about 48 tons a month. For a few years in the 1960’s the mill ground for King Arthur Flour Company.  http://www.wayside.org/planning-your-visit/grist-mill


Old Schwamb Mill

Old Schwamb Mill
Manufactures circular and elliptical picture frames as it did in 1864. It has remained more or less unchanged in both equipment and processes. Its equipment and woodworking collection are extraordinary.  https://www.oldschwambmill.org/


Additional site offerings may be added. The hotel location will be in Needham, MA.

SPOOM tour registration costs generally include bus/coach tour, breakfast, lunch and a banquet dinner. Lodging costs and transportation to/from are not generally included. More details will be released at a later date on https://www.spoom.org.


Before the tour, on Wednesday, September. 30, 2020 a limited availability bus/coach tour of windmills and watermills on Cape Cod, Massachusetts will be offered. The sites visited will include: Dexter Grist Mill, Godfrey Windmill, Stony Brook Grist Mill and Higgins Windmill. Two workshops will be offered each with a 10 person limit: 1. Stone dressing workshop, 2. Traditional baking bread in a beehive oven & tour. Last but not least, a separate tour to Plymouth and Patuxetis offered, which includes visits to the Wampanoag Homesite, the English Village and the museum's Mayflower II and the Plimoth Grist Mill. These workshops and tours will be an additional cost and will include lunch and transportation. 

For international attendees who wish to extend their stay, there is a possibility of organizing a post tour of other regional mills. This will be based on interest level. We are also happy to offer suggestions of places to visit during your extended travels on your own. Guidance on airports and transportation will be available at a later date.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the email list, and look for updates on https://www.spoom.org.
We hope to see you here!