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Agincourt’s earliest industries were situated in the southwest quadrant, a flood plain where Crispin Creek joins the Muskrat. The Syndicate Mills were built there in 1868, tapping the river’s waterpower by means of side-shot water wheels. Various enterprises were housed in its three timber-framed floors: a planing mill and window manufactory, a wagon wheel maker, a maker of tarpaulins, most of which were bought within the region before arrival of the railroad

syndicate mill001

The Syndicate Mills were built in two phases, each with a pair of side-shot wheels.

A few other enterprises locate there in separate buildings, including Anton Kraus’s forge and the foundry that his sons established a few years later. This area was a short walk from a neighborhood of workers’ houses (single-family and boarding for single men), but its growth was hampered by occasional flooding. So by 1890 new manufacturing facilities shifted to the Muskrat’s west bank and its employees used the new railway trestle for access.

A cluster of modest (and fire-prone) houses crowded the western edge of the original townsite.

Turn-of-the-century enterprises were larger on the west bank, an area known as Industry, and served by Milwaukee Road spurs and, after 1909, by the new trolley system. A full history of Industry remains to be written, but it included a plant for canning locally-grown vegetables marketed under the brand “Fresh-Pict”.


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