Milton’s most famous industry began in 1765, when Messrs. Wentworth and Storer put up a chocolate-mill on the site of the old powder mill in Milton for an Irish chocolate maker, John Hannan. This is said to be the first mill of its kind in North America.
The building in which Milton Hill Sport & Spa resides is the former Webb Mill. The Webb Mill on the Milton side of the Neponset River was built in 1882 to a design by Bradlee and Winslow. Henry L. Pierce named the mill to honor the Webb Chocolate Company, another chocolate producer at Lower Mills that was purchased by Baker.
In 1896, Walter Baker & Company became a publicly-held company, incorporated under the general laws of Massachusetts, and H.C. Gallagher became the president. The company reported in 1910 that it then comprised 6 mills on both sides of the Neponset River in Milton and in Lower Mills Dorchester, containing 500,000 square feet of floor space–about 11 and one half acres. In 1927 it became a division of General Foods. The conglomerate operated the business in Dorchester until 1965, when they moved it to Dover, Delaware. Kraft Foods later purchased the Baker’s chocolate division.