19th Century Manufacturing Facilities


The South Main Street corridor is an area with a rich history of manufacturing often developed by prominent local entrepreneurs and social figures. Several of these individuals, such as Benjamin Holt, J. Stephens Abbot, Lewis Downing, and Benjamin Kimball, became renowned nationally, and in some cases, internationally.

In the 19th century, the principal reason for manufacturing and industrial firms to locate along Main Street was proximity to the railroad. Ready access to this crucial shipping line allowed local firms to expand and reach national and eventually international markets for their products and services. Conversely, access to the railroad allowed Concord's manufacturers to import materials, such as lumber and steel, which were important to their various lines of production. One local firm, which rose to international prominence, is the Abbot-Downing Carriage Manufacturing Company that would have been unable to export its now famous stage coaches nationally had railroad access not been available. A second is Hold Brothers, makers of wagon and carriage wheels, whose family principals went on to establish the California firm that would eventually become Caterpillar Corporation, the world's largest maker of earthmoving machinery.

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