The Shaw-Hutchinson Bakery
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Farming has always been an integral part of Dracut’s fabric. While there are far fewer farms in town today then there were years ago, the Shaw Farm on New Boston Road is still going strong after 111 years.

In 1856, Mark L. Shaw, Sr. was born in Nov Scotia. When he was 15, he moved to the Massachusetts finding work on farms. Shaw married his wife, Annie on November 27, 1889. Eventually, the Shaws settled in Dracut making their home on Hamblett Avenue. They had three children: M.L. Shaw, Jr., Albert, and Gladys.

Shaw and his wife opened a bakery on Hamblett Avenue and in 1908, they purchased a plot of land at 195 New Boston Road. There they built a house, barn, and milk house. In 1912, his son, Mark L. Shaw, Jr. began working at the Oliver J. Coburn Farm delivering milk. The Coburn Farm was located where the Dracut Historical Society is located on Lakeview Avenue. In 1914, tragedy struck the Coburn Farm. The cows were struck with Foot and Mouth disease. There were numerous outbreaks of the highly contagious disease that year throughout the state. When the herd was discovered to be infected, state officials arrived at the fam and slaughtered the herd. The Coburn Dairy Farm was never able to recover from this tragedy.

When the Coburn farm went out of business M.L. Shaw, Jr. had the opportunity to retain the home delivery customers he had served while working for Coburn Farm. This was a great opportunity to expand the milk bottling facility his father had built down on New Boston Road. With the expanded customer base, the Shaw Dairy Farm, greatly expanded. It may see hard to believe now, but milk deliveries were done by horse and wagon. It was a common sight to see Shaw going about town with his horse, Prince, delivering milk.

As the Shaw Farm was expanding, it certainly was not the only farm on New Boston Road in the 1920s. There were 17 farms along the road in 1928. Shaw and 5 of these farmers were concerned about the traffic on the road. New Boston Road was full of curves and was practically impassable in the spring and winter months. Shaw and the other petitioners requested that the road be moved so to benefit the farms along it as well as making it safer. The petition was never acted upon and the road remained as is.

Even though New Boston Road was not moved, Shaw Farm continued to expand. Additional land was purchased and the dairy farm expanded. In 1927, Prince was retired and replaced with a truck.

In 1933, M.L. Shaw. Sr. passed away at the age of 77 but the farm continued and still continues to the present day. It has been a fixture in town for 111 years.