QR Code Tour #4 - Benjamin French Tannery
In 1793, the year before Milford was incorporated. Benjamin French bought the land and building at this site from Merrill Pierce, a tanner, who had originally bought the land from William Crosby. Benjamin French had come to area from Billerica, MA with his wife Bethsheba and their eleven children. They lived in a house at the site of the current Bales School where he died in 1806. He erected a dam very near the mouth of Great Brook to furnish power for a bark-mill in connection with his tannery which was very successful. He also did sheep currying. After Benjamin’s death, the business passed on to his son Josiah and then to his grandson Francis.
By 1843 Dr. Spaulding rented this building for his office and living quarters. Mr. French (most likely Francis) eventually sold the property to Charles Kendall before 1890. The dam was removed in 1890 and the stones were used for part of the foundation for an addition on the east side of the building, which was also expanded to two stories at that time. Charles Kendall rented the first floor space to Julian C. Lease for a harness shop and the second floor to Martin Hall who was another harness maker. In 1893 Mr. Kendall sold the building to William B. Rotch for $2,050 and it became the home of the Cabinet Press, formerly of Amherst. It remained the Cabinet Press building until 1950.
Today this building houses Edward Jones Investments, with Dr. Klopfer in the west side of the building.
— Polly S. Cote
Milford Historical Society Historian