Located just across the patapsco from the former St. Mary’s College site near Ellicott city, the former Thistle Mill was constructed in the 1820s (opened in 1824) by the Scottish Ellicott brothers as a cotton textile and cotton print mill. The Thistle Manufacturing Company changed hands and functions a number of times during the early 20th century. While it had previously made cotton thread and silk products, in 1919 Edward and A.A. Blakeney and Company bought the factory and converted it into a cotton duck manufactory. It was soon sold again, however, and began producing fabric for automobile tires. In 1922 the Bartgis Brothers Company bought the complex and began producing paperboard. The facility changed names again and in 1957 it became the New Haven Board and Carton Company. Until recently the buildings were still in use by Simkins industries as a paper recycling plant (known as the Baltimore Board Mill). But in 2003 a fire destroyed much of the Baltimore county side of the factory and the plant & surrounding mill houses were abandoned. It remains unclear if the factory will be rebuilt or has seen the end of its almost 200-year lifespan.
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