The Viking Sewers, the former textile mill that produced some of the world’s most iconic garments from the 1870s to the 1920s, closed in the 1980s after a bankruptcy.
It was demolished in 1999, but its remains were recently uncovered in the New England woods, along with other remnants of the mill.
Today, the Viking Sewer Museum and Library, which has been housed in the old mill since 1996, hosts a variety of exhibitions and events featuring original artifacts.
The museum’s director, Jim Halsey, explained that the Viking sewing gallery is a “sensory center” for the community and that visitors are invited to share their memories of the building.
“The museum was a wonderful place for people to share and experience their Viking history,” Halseys told The Hill.
The Viking sewing museum was established in 1999 and now hosts exhibitions on the history of textile making, the history and future of sewing, and the history, production, and use of sewing equipment.
“There’s a lot of history to it,” Halleys said.
“It’s really something to be excited about.
It’s something that people have always wanted to do.”
Visitors are invited on tour to see the building and the building’s original sewing machine, which was made by the mill and donated to the museum.
Halseies said he is planning to continue touring the building in the future.
The building was constructed in 1885 by James McAllister, who served as a director of the Plymouth & King company, which manufactured fabrics for textile mills around the world.
McAllisters family owned the mill for over 20 years and it had a small stock of machines and other supplies, according to the New Hampshire Historical Society.
The mill was later converted to a factory for sewing and clothing, where the materials used for the production of fabrics were made.
Halleies said the Viking factory also produced a large amount of clothes for the American Wool Company, the American Clothing Company, and other companies.
In the early 20th century, the building was demolished, and it was torn down to make way for the construction of the new town of Hales Corners, which now sits on the site.
Haleys said he was inspired to take a different route to preserve the building because he grew up in the area and has lived there his entire life.
“I want to preserve it for people,” he said.
He said he hopes to continue his efforts to preserve parts of the museum and museum’s history.
“This building will be the last remaining Viking Sewring Museum in New England.”
Halseying said the museum will host the public’s first tours in the fall.
“We’re going to start this fall with a few tours and then maybe start a series of exhibitions,” he told The New Hampshire Union Leader.
“But it’s going to be the same thing every year.”
Haleies plans to work with the museum to put on the first annual Viking Sewsing Festival, which will take place in 2018.
HALEYS: Viking Sewing Gallery, New England’s first sewing museum, is open for tours now and will be open to the public beginning in the Fall.
Visit the Viking Sweaters museum to learn more about the history behind the building, or find out more about its upcoming exhibition and events.