Stare long enough at the creek that runs along the east side of Briarcliffe College in Patchogue and you’ll notice the occasional glob of ink dye pushing up through the sandy creek bottom.
Those tiny ribbons of color are remnants of the old lace mill that once greeted visitors to the village from the west, according to local historian and Greater Patchogue Historical Society treasurer Steve Lucas.
“Everybody called it the lace mill but they did all kinds of fabric,” Lucas said. “They did tablecloths, draperies, all kinds of things like that. And it was huge. I mean huge.”
The West Main Street operation covered more than 12 acres and was called the Patchogue Manufacturing Company when it shuttered in the early 1970s and a series of fires then sealed the buildings’ fate.
“It started back in the 1700s as a little cotton mill with a paddle wheel and it just expanded over the years,” Lucas said of the property’s colonial history. “The river was flowing and they used that to power the mill.”
Before the new building, Lucas said the property “was just a pile of rubble.”
Please share any other history or memories of the lace mill below in comments.
Top photo: This post card photo was taken late 1940s or early 1950s and shows the mill’s sign.