Watertown Spring Wagon Company, Babcock Building

From Jefferson County NY Wiki
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Surely one of the largest and most meaningful of the surviving buildings of the city's industrial past, this monstrous structure has hulked over Factory Square for almost 140 years housing--at various times--all or parts of the Watertown Spring Wagon Company, the H.H. Babcock Carriage Company and Babcock's automobile and truck manufacturing operation. Part of the building is now home to the Black River Paper and Blue Diamond Hardware companies.

Watertown was well-known for its rugged and innovative carriages and wagons with Excelsior Carriage Co. on Sewell Island and Union Carriage and Gear Co. also in business.

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In addition to the stone tablets marking the building's inaugural year, there is also a carved stone tablet reading "I would provide the means for any man to become eminent by his own industry" on the west (front), wall. It's unknown where this quote originated--I have not been able to find it attributed to anyone.

On the east and north walls of the building--which are part of an addition added in the 1890's--lettering from the Watertown Spring Wagon Co. can still be read as well as shadows of a later-added H.H Babcock Carriage Co sign.

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A picture postcard shows the humble beginnings of the Babcock Carriage Company. Notice the ramp coming down from the second floor workshop:

Henry H. Babcock & The Babcock Company

Historic Structures in Watertown

Jefferson County Industry

The building which once was Watertown Confections and is now Perkins Scrap Metal