Company Logo America's First Fan Company

Keene,NH Factory

Lynn Wood Heel, a women's shoe heel manufacturer and very far removed from Sturtevant's core fan business, was a lineal(and final) continuation of the shoe making work that began with Benjamin Sturtevant's early apprenticeship in the 1850s. After Sturtevant's death in 1890, the business was run as a separate unit within the company. The Rawson building(100 Emerald St.) occupied by T. Rawson in 1912, was vacated in 1914. The town of Keene offered the same sweet property tax exemption given Rawson and Sturtevant readily accepted that same year.

The road to Keene began with several small pegwood mills in the northern woods of New Hampshire in the 1860s and 70s. The first mill of size was built in North Conway and became their biggest employer. Significant growth and a change of focus from pegs to heels led to the renaming and relocation of the business to the big shoe town of Lynn, MA. Over 100 heel types were built with a geographically broad range of customers in Europe, South America and Asia.

Not coincidentally, the expiration of the tax deal in 1922 coincided with the sale of Lynn Wood and Sturtevant's exit from that industry. Purchased by the plant manager, Parker Brown, the business remained there until 1941 before relocating again to another section of Keene as Keene Wood Heel.