Former Woolen Mills, which utilized the power of the Rock River to prepare fabrics and textiles for sale.
The Rock River Woolen Mills started off as Whitaker’s Mill
in 1849. There are four floors including the basement. Whitaker’s Mill was the first
textile mill in Janesville and was one of the earliest companies to utilize
water power from the river. After a brief period where the ownership of the
company changed hands, George McClean bought the mill in 1872. In 1881 the mill
was destroyed by a fire, so McClean constructed a new and larger mill. In 1890,
Jonathon Ellis bought the mill and renamed it the Rock River Woolen Mills. The
mill mainly produced upholstered goods for the automobile industry, mainly
fabrics for car interiors. During World War II the mills produced blankets for
the war effort. The Rock River Woolen Mills closed in 1960 and Panoramic moved
in to utilize the space. Panoramic has since moved out and MMPR, a promotional
product and imprinting company currently resides in the mill.