In 1765, Irish chocolatier John Hannon first introduced chocolate to the United States. He imported cocoa beans from the West Indies and refined them in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Hannon began working with Dr. James Baker, an American physician and investor, and together they opened America’s first chocolate mill and factory in Lower Mills. It was called the Walter Baker Chocolate Factory, and that’s where I live.
Ok, so it’s not a chocolate factory anymore and no, it doesn’t smell like chocolate. But there’s something magical about getting to say you live in, what once was, a chocolate factory. The mill was operational until 1965, but was renovated and made into apartments. We’ve lived in two apartments in this building and both of them have been extraordinary. The first was full of exposed brick and the frame of a steel fire door, while our current apartment overlooks the Neponset River and Blue Hills Nature Reserve.
If I had known that living in a chocolate factory would be this extravagant, I would have bought more Wonka Bars as a child.