The Mayflower Worsted Company Dam (a/k/a Wapping Road Dam) and associated hydropower infrastructure were constructed between 1919 and the mid-1920s to support the manufacture of worsted wool man’s suiting by the Mayflower Worsted Company, which was established in Kingston in 1919 (see Appendix B and C). The dam is a reinforced concrete, gravity-type structure modified at an unknown date with a reconstructed sluiceway abutment. Additional intact water control and power generation infrastructure within the complex includes a concrete forebay and headrace, as well as an exposed concrete and stone tailrace.
The Mayflower Worsted Company Dam and associated waterpower components are important features within the Mayflower Worsted Company complex (MHC No. KIN.208, Appendix B), which is a contributing resource to the Triphammer Village/Wapping Road Area (MHC No. KIN C, Appendix C). The Triphammer Village/Wapping Road Area has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (National Register) under Criteria A and C at the local level in the areas of exploration/settlement, industry, and architecture. Under Criterion A, the area is significant as an early locus of settlement for Plymouth Colony and Kingston in the mid-seventeenth and late eighteenth century. The area is also significant for its 300-year history of industrial activity, which began in the mid seventeenth century and was an important source of economic development in Kingston. Under Criterion C, the Triphammer Forge/Wapping Road area is significant as a collection of residential resources with styles ranging from First Period vernacular construction to late Victorian Italianate. The area’s period of significance extends from ca. 1640, when first settlement occurred, until 1960.
The Jones River Watershed Association, with assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is removing the Mayflower Worsted Company Dam to improve the ecosystem of the Jones River watershed. The project is a federal undertaking as defined by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), as amended (36 CFR 800). In accordance with these regulations, NOAA has consulted with the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer (MASHPO) and other interested parties and conducted archeological and architectural surveys to identify historic properties that may be impacted by the proposed undertaking (Appendix D). As a result of this consultative process, the NOAA has determined that the Mayflower Worsted Company Dam is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a component of the Triphammer Village/Wapping Road Area and that its removal will therefore result in an adverse effect to historic properties.
In order to mitigate the undertaking’s adverse effects, this Massachusetts state-level documentation of the property was stipulated as part of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA, Appendix E) signed by representatives of the NOAA and the MASHPO. PAL (The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was retained by Jones River Watershed Association to complete the documentation in accordance with MASHPO written and photographic documentation standards.