January 1936, Tom Farish & Joe Steele started building a canning factory using a lot of donated labor. The first run of green beans was June 26, 1936, tomatoes July 22, 1936, followed by spinach and other products later on.
After Tom Farish died, in August of 1946, his daughter, Maudine Farish Sanders, managed it for two years before her family sold to Joe Steele. Several years later Steele sold to Allen Canning Company. Operations ceased in mid 1990's when equipment was moved out and the factory torn down, leaving only Allen's warehouse and their water tower.
For many years this factory was the main place to work in Lowell. It fed many people either by payroll check or by no label, bent cans, sold to employees at $1.00 per case of 24. A boilerman's 6:00 am whistle meant 7:00 am clock-in. 1-long blast alerted the green bean crew. 2-long blasts called in the spinach crew. Daily USDA runs in the thousands were shipped everywhere.
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The tower, no longer needed for canning, stands as a silent reminder of its life sustaining past to the City of Lowell. June, 2009