Originally the Lazer Gate building was known as Richard Borden Mill No. 2. Constructed in 1889 out of Fall River granite, it was part of the Borden Mill complex which consisted of a total of 12 structures, most of which are no longer standing. Borden Mill No 1, which stood along Rodman St., was demolished after a fire claimed most of the building. Link here to Youtube video of the news report. At the time of the fire Mill No 1 was used as an Arlan’s Department store, a New Bedford based chain.
The Borden Mills were cotton mills, with some of the original sewing machines still in storage up through the early 2000s. In the images below you can see the mill complex as it was in the 1960s, after I-95 was built. If you look at the insurance image, the color image, you will see that the mills originally bordered the Quequechan River before it was diverted and buried for I-95’s construction.
Images that show the other side of Rodman St, where Stop & Shop is currently located, show some of the multi family homes that were originally housing for the mill employees.
More details will be added when available.
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Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies. Richard Borden Mills Corp., Fall River, Mass. [insurance map]. Boston, Mass., 1947. Web. 06 Jul 2021. <https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/4j03df48k>.