The McLean Manufacturing Buildings

The McLean Manufacturing Buildings

It seems every town has a building, or in this case, a collection of buildings, which have been used for every purpose under the sun. So was the case with four structures that most famously housed the White Elephant antique shop during the post-war years. For the previous century though, the buildings seemed to hold as many different businesses as Reed would later have antiques. The original building, the one closest to the Oval, was built about 1840 and hosted a printer’s shop, Burke’s Candy Store (where you could get an all-day sucker for a penny), and the newspaper offices of the Weekly Mirror. Soon other buildings popped up on the premises, as shoemaker John Mills put up a structure to house a shoe and cowhide boot store and Daniel Putnam and Leonard Chase put up a grocery store building with a furniture store on the second floor.

As the decades passed, more businesses played musical chairs, including a bed screw factory for raising and moving buildings, a photograph and lithograph shop, the makers of the “Granite State Cook Stove,” a storage center, a hosiery mill, a basket shop, a box shop, the “People’s Laundry,” a bookkeeper’s office, yet another basket shop and yet another furniture store. The most famous of the furniture outlets was the McLean Manufacturing Company which made post office equipment as well as tables, folding chairs and ladders.

Milford officials were confident in the days following the 1966 fire that reduced all four buildings to a smoldering wreck, that it had beenintentionally set. And as was the case in many old buildings across the country in those arson-laden days, over a century of history was torched in justa couple of hours. 

© Copyright History Milford