Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1730
Yesterday’s mystery objects have been identified as removable teeth that are inserted into the ring of a large wooden gear. Once inserted into the hole in the ring, a nail or wooden pin would keep each tooth in place. If a tooth became damaged, it could be replaced easily. Our best guess at this point is that the teeth are leftovers from the Clapp grist mill on the South Bay. Although we know that the mill house burned in 1855, we don’t know if the mill was in operation in the years just prior to that. But we do know that the Clapp Family barn was built about that time or a little earlier, so we can possibly make the assumption that gear teeth were stored in the barn either in anticipation of using them in the mill or as a remembrance of things past.
Since we have mentioned the barn, it seems like a good idea to show you the progress in the restoration of the Clapp Family barn at the Dorchester Historical Society. A grant from the City of Boston through the Partners with Non-Profits program has helped the Society to replace foundation sills and other posts and beams in an effort to make the building structurally sound.
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