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Milford Author Publishes Third Book

Milford-resident Paul A. Lavallee recently released his third novel, a 152-page fiction story, entitled FireWatch.

The destruction and overhaul of old factories is the core inspiration behind Paul Lavallee's third book. FireWatch explores life in a quaint New England mill town and how the progression of time has led many of the mills and factories to be torn down or renovated, while the other buildings are just waiting to be saved. FireWatch also explores how the lack of factories has resulted in a lack of jobs, shipping most of the employment opportunities overseas.

A life-long Blackstone Valley resident, who now lives in Milford, Lavellee is a Marine veteran of the Korean War who began his writing career by experimenting with composing poetry and writing short stories. Enhanced by a personal computer that became a household item in his home, Lavalle's career as an author began in 2003 with the publication of his first book, Rattle of the Looms, and then continued with its sequel, Emery's Mansion. Both books explore the life created by the once bustling mills that employed thousands in the New England towns similar to those that dotted the Blackstone River Valley.

The idea to write FireWatch was inspired by examining small towns in the Milford region and noticing the condition of abandoned factories and mills. Lavallee named a few of these locations that served as a background for his book including: Draper Corporation in Hopedale, the hat shop in Upton, Linwood Mill in Linwood, and the Waukentuck Mills in Uxbridge. While some of these locations have been completely torn down, like the Waukentuck Mills, or renovated into an age 55-plus, condominium complex like the Linwood Mill, many of these buildings are still abandoned, and like many vacant structures are now on "firewatch". Lavallee believes that these buildings, such as the Uxbridge Worsted Company located in Uxbridge, which burned to the ground, could have been saved if there was a fire watch employee, leading to the title of his new book.

"The Draper Corporation in Hopedale was once the pearl of the world-wide loom industry. The huge, four story building, has been abandoned for many years now, waiting for a miracle," said Lavallee. "With the building's location in close proximity to the town, having an on duty fire watch seemed like a good idea."

FireWatch along with Lavallee's other two books, Rattle of the Looms and Emery's Mansion, can be purchased from,, and Barnes and Noble.


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