Curated by: The Brigham City Heritage Tours Team
The Woolen Mill was one of the major home industries of the Brigham City Co-op and its most expensive venture. Construction began in 1869 and was completed in October of 1870. Installation of machinery took most of the winter of 1870-71, and the woolen mill began operating in February 1871. By 1873, the factory was in full production, manufacturing $700 worth of cloth each week on 200 spindles and seven looms. In the first 44 weeks of 1877, the mill produced $42,000 worth of cloth.
The woolen factory also required the establishment of two new cooperative business ventures: a sheep herd to provide wool for the mill and a cotton farm in southern Utah to supply warp for the weaving process.
The woolen mill was destroyed by fire in 1877 and rebuilt the following year. After the closure of the Co-op, James Baron, who had worked at the factory, continued to operate it as a private venture. In 1889, he relocated his business in Hyrum, Utah, and left the mill vacant. It was operated by Anthony A. Jensen for a short time and was again destroyed by fire in 1907. James Baron’s son, Thomas, and his own two sons returned to Brigham City, rebuilt the Woolen Factory, and began processing wool there in 1923. The Baron family continued the business until June 24, 1988, when the mill was sold to Sherwood Hirschi. Hirschi retained the Baron name and operated the woolen mill until the business went into bankruptcy in 1992.
In March 1993, Bob and Marva Sadler bought the mill and resumed the wood production business under the traditional name of Baron Woolen Mill.
Baron Woolen Mill was submitted for the National Register along with the other Co-op buildings. Because of remodeling to the building, it was determined to be ineligible at that time. The building as consumed by fire in 2015.
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