From a very interesting description in the Argus and Patriot, of Nov. 13, 1877, with present statement of the Company, June, 1881.
“The foremost industry in Barre to-day (1877) is the manufacture of forks and ice tools. In 1861, two Brookfield men, Herrick and Adams, established themselves at the mill-privilege in the upper part of Barre village; run four fires and one trip-hammer, and turned out from 300 to 600 dozen per year of round-tined hay and manure-forks. Frank Safford and Loren D. Blanchard bought the business in 1864, and Blanchard sold out to Clark Holden. The first year’s business of this new firm was 1500 dozen forks. In ’68 they added the manufacture of ice-plows and tools. From ’68 to ’77, sold some years 250 to 300 ice-plows with the ice-tools: Among other partners and stockholders to the present, have been Luke and Ira Trow, Hial O. Hatch (foreman,) L. T. Kinney; in March ’76, the reorganization as a stock company; Stafford and Holden half owners; of the other half ten other citizens of Barre owners; loss of some $12,000 by Chicago fire; totally destroyed by fire March, ’77; rebuilt same year; foundation and flume split granite; forge-room 40 by 100 feet; 20 fires; 5 60-pound trip hammers and ice-tool machinery; cost about $6,000. The company use cast-steel in all their manufactures, made especially for them. There are 6 polishing machines for forks, one for ferrule and one for wooden handles; amount of work about 15,000 dozen per year of not less than 60 different patterns; employ about 50 workmen. Ireland and Scotland take most of the forks. They go to Germany and South America. Ice-tools to Germany and Japan.”
Statement of the Company, June, 1881: 17,000 dozen forks made in 1880; this year about the same; about $3,000 worth of new machinery put in; is now one of the most perfectly equipped shops in the country: directors: Josiah Wood, B. W. Braley, Dexter Trow, E. B. Wood, Horace Fifield; Clark Holden, superintendent and treasurer; Nat. Whittier, assistant.