Waypoint 5: New York Belting and Packing: The Fabric Fire Hose Company
The history of this site begins circa 1850, when a dam impounding the Pootatuck River was erected in Newtown, Connecticut. Josiah Tomilson, brother-in-law of Charles Goodyear and head of Goodyear Rubber Packing Company, realized the dam’s energy could be a great energy source to fuel plant productions. Industrial operations began on the site that same year but eventually faced bankruptcy in 1856. The New York Belting and Packing company bought the site and constructed an Italianate four-story brick mill building with a tower in 1856. Despite a burned-down building, the company erected the present factory building on that site as well as a building further upstream that operated until 1917. After that, the site was acquired by a subsidiary of the United States Rubber Company, which leased the premises to the Fabric Fire Hose Company until 1977. Nowadays, as an office park, the mills have housed various businesses—including Stepstone, the creators of the Objective-C programming language (a language similar to C++). In 1982, the buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places.