LANDMARK BUILDINGS OF HERKIMER COUNTY
THE MARK MILL AND THE GEM BUILDING
MORRIS MARK and the MARK MILL
Morris Mark was President of Mark Mfg. Co., a textile industry, and lived in a fine mansion on N. Prospect Street on the corner of Church Street in Herkimer, N.Y. Morris Mark came from Fritalar, Germany in 1860, settling first in Amsterdam, NY. Mr. Mark possessed the first home in Herkimer to have a bathtub, and was one of the first to have a gas furnace. His mansion resembled a castle on the Rhine, topped with a picturesque watchtower from which all of Herkimer could be surveyed. Bystanders and travellers were awed as they viewed the mansion from the street. Morris's wife Anna was born in Kassel, Hesse, as was her father Simon, whose own father was born in Alsace.
In 1871, Morris Mark, together with Michael Elias, erected a large brick factory on E. Albany Street known as the Mark Mfg. Bldg., manufacturer of knit goods. The large property encompassed the land from the north side of Albany Street to the west side of the Hydraulic Canal. Mr. Elias retired and Morris operated the factory himself for several years.
Eventually, after several other businesses operated in it, the Mark Mill was torn down and the land it was on sat empty for many years. The surrounding lots have since been rehabilitated into modern medical franchises. One complex is Little Falls Hospital Primary Care and the other is Faxton Regional Cancer Center.
At the time of Mr. Mark's death he was one of the wealthiest men in Herkimer. His mansion stood empty for many years and deteriorated to such a point that it was torn down in the same fashion as other prominent area landmarks. The Temple Beth Joseph complex is located where this mansion once stood.
JACK GORDON and the BERTELLE MFG. CO. at GEM BUILDING & MARK BUILDING
In 1937 Jack Gordon began manufacturing women's dresses at the former Mark Mill, located next to the Folts home on East Albany Street, under the name of Bertelle Mfg. Co. Several years later he sold the old Mark Mill property to Hubbard Heel Co. Jack Gordon moved his company to the top floor of the Gem Mill building, located at the corner of King Street and Eastern Ave. This location was near the old Standard Furniture Company. Mr. Gordon later renewed a lease on the top floor of the old Mark Mill from Hubbard Heel Co. and moved his dress manufacturing operations back into the building where he had first operated his business. Eventually, Bertelle Mfg. Co. closed and the Mark Mill building was demolished. The old Gem Knitting building was torn down decades ago.
Regarding the post card - on the left is the Methodist Church Steeple on Prospect Street and to the right was the Folts Home buildings before the remodeling project.
Copyright © 2000 Betsy Voorhees
Old Postcard Courtesy of Betsy Voorhees
All Rights Reserved.