Millis was first settled in 1657 and was originally part of Dedham, Massachusetts until that town granted the lands of Millis, and other present day surrounding towns, to Medfield in 1651.
Interesting Millis facts:
Clicquot Club was started by Henry Millis, using funds from his father and founder of Millis, Lansing Millis. The company, which distributed the first brand of ginger ale in the United States for about eighty years, was located on Main Street and is the namesake for the village of Clicquot in Millis. The ginger ale produced by Clicquot Club was made using local Millis ginger. Later, the company produced several different sodas and was the first company in the nation to can drinks. Clicquot Club owned more than 100 factories throughout the United States and sold its beverages internationally. As sales declined in the 1960s, however, the company went bankrupt and was bought by the Cott company, which in turn was acquired by Canada Dry.
Herman Shoe Company
The Herman Shoe Company was an extremely important industry in town. The Herman Shoe Company, a result of several private buyouts, produced large amounts of material, specifically boots and other equipment, during the Spanish–American War. In addition, it produced most of the boots worn by the troops during World War II.
The company is now out of business and the former factory stands empty in the Clicquot neighborhood, next to the former Clicquot Club factory. It has recently been bought by a private entrepreneur who renovated the building, but there is no news on what will become of it.
Causeway Street and the Brickyards
An area of land around Causeway Street, although now a rural street in the west of town, was once a huge industrial hub for the early town of Millis. This area of Causeway Street was used for clay excavation for the manufacture of bricks, as well as sand excavation. The clay excavations were turned into bricks that built many large estates and buildings in the immediate area and beyond. The remnants of clay pits today look like small ponds. In fact, one of the clay pits is so large that it is now a body of water named Heather’s Pond. These abandoned pits are home to many species of wildlife and are protected along with the Great Black Swamp. Historically, the sand from the pits was used to fill in the most recent runway at Logan International Airport. Today, the remnants of old sand pits lay vacant.
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