I was fortunate enough to take a guided tour of this museum. Thomas Kay founded the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill here in Salem in 1889. It flourished until 1963. The mill was remodeled in 1941 when they added the two top floors. At one time, about 20% of Salem's working force was employed at the mill.
Until 1941, the only power for the machines was a water turbine. The water for the mill race comes from a river 15 miles to the east of Salem.
Their main product was woollen fabric and wool blankets for the military in WW I and WW II.
A lot of wool fabric was used to make shirts for miners and farmers.