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Shaw Brothers Tannery Records

Identifier: SpC MS 1020-sc

Scope and Contents Note

Records of a tannery originally owned by F. Shaw and Brothers located in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. Included is a ledger recording bark received from 1880 to 1897. Included also are statements of business operations in Brookton, Maine from 1885 to 1894, several with the letterhead of Chas. W. Clement, Trustee, Business of F. Shaw & Bros. Included also are letters in 1904 concerning the Grand Lake Stream property. Correspondents include S. B. Gates, Fred E. Knapp, Chester W. Lyman, and George H. Hamlin.


  • Creation: 1880-1897


Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Historical Note : F. Shaw and Brothers

F. Shaw and Brothers was a Boston firm which dominated the Maine tannery business in the late 1800s. They had large tanneries at Kingman, Jackson Brook (now Brookton), Vanceboro, Forest City, and Grand Lake Stream. The three brothers in the firm, William, Fayette, and Thackster Shaw, had learned the business from their father who had a small tannery in Cummington, Mass. In the summer of 1870 the three of them started their operations in Maine after a trip to Hinckleytown or, as it came to be known, Grand Lake Stream Plantation. Bark was needed for the tanning process, and the Shaw Brothers often set up extract operations in the woods. Eventually the investment in the immense Shaw operations was too much and the firm failed in the summer of 1883. Creditors formed a nine man committee to investigate the firm's finances. Trustees ran the tanneries until the nineties, selling off land to pay off part of the debts. In the late nineties the remaining property was sold to the International Leather Company, which dismantled the mills and shipped the usable machinery to Boston. By the end of the 1880s the Grand Lake Stream tannery, now run by the trustees, was getting its bark from the Machias River area. By 1910 the United States Leather Company had ceased operation in all the large tanneries purchased from the creditors of the Shaw family.

Biographical Note : Charles W. Clement

Charles W. Clement was a trustee of the business of the Shaw Brothers Tannery.

Biographical Note : Fred E. Knapp

Fred E. Knapp was secretary of The United States Leather Company Executive Committee located in New York.

Biographical Note : Simon B. Gates

S. B. (Simon B.) Gates was the proprietor of the Katahdin House in Winn, Maine in 1904 and was interested in the Grand Lake Stream property owned by the United States Leather Company.

Biographical Note : George H. Hamlin

George H. Hamlin, a former professor of civil engineering at the University of Maine, was a consulting engineer for the International Paper Company.

Biographical Note : Chester W. Lyman

Chester W. Lyman was manager of the Department of Insurance & Taxes of the International Paper Company in New York.

Historical Note : United States Leather Company

The United States Leather Company was established in 1893. In the state of Maine by 1910 the company had ceased operation in all of the large tanneries purchased from the creditors of the Shaws.


1 folder (12 items ; 1 ledger (35 cm))

Language of Materials



Records of a tannery originally owned by F. Shaw and Brothers located in Grand Lake Stream, Maine.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from DeWolfe & Wood, Alfred, Maine in July 2002.


No finding aid - see Special Collections librarian for assistance.

Guide to the Shaw Brothers Tannery Records
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Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States