The Ghosts of Industry
Today’s Brew: I want coffee so bad right now but I have to be up before the rooster tomorrow morning. Water only. Wah.
Back when industry thrived in America, Cordage Park in North Plymouth, Massachusetts supported a vibrant local community as well as the world with the rope it produced. At one time, the Cordage Company was the largest producer of rope and twine in the world. My Grampy worked at the Cordage. Houses throughout the village were made for the workers, and gorgeous mansions for the bosses (just one street over from where our very own Julie lives now). The company closed in 1964, when it could no longer compete with synthetic fiber rope making.
The building has had many incarnations in the almost fifty years since the last rope was made. For many years, rumors swirled about casinos and condos being built on site. The notorious Plymouth Rock Movie Studios operated their offices from one of the Cordage buildings. An unsuccessful mall withered away. Walmart came and went. Now, the complex houses medical offices, satellite office locations, the regional unemployment office, a gym, and several restaurants. The carcass of the old Walmart of course stands empty.
But does it have any ghosts?
Many people have told stories of unexplained music being played and children laughing. Another rumored permanent resident is a boy who got caught in the smokestack and died. Remember, there were no child labor laws in the nineteenth century.
Not all of the complex has found new uses. Some of the buildings near the old train tracks (Cordage now marks the last stop of the MBTA commuter rail) remain abandoned. The company is on the shores of the Atlantic, so I’m not sure if the decaying buildings had anything to do with train or boat travel. A small marina still operates on the site. I took a few pictures for you today when I visited the farmer’s market. (I got jalapeno and blueberry jams).