Kenneth W. Harvey started the Oxford Knitting Co. in 1906. The business was located on Ingersoll Ave. in Oxford. Mr. Harvey sold the business in 1909 and left town.
In 1912 he returned to Woodstock and opened Ken Knit located at 95 Wilson, just north of what is now the CNR tracks.
Ken Knit made ladies and children's underwear. Two years later Mr. Harvey renamed his business to Harvey Knitting Co. Knowing there was also a good market for hosiery, in 1920 he started up a second factory, Hosiers Ltd., located at 16 Vansittart Ave.
In the late 1920s, the senior officers of a competing company, Zimmerknit Co. of Hamilton, were killed in a rail crossing accident. K. W. Harvey bought the company.
In 1937, the York Knitting Company bought and took over the three businesses of Kenneth W. Harvey: Zimmerknit Co. of Hamilton, plus the Harvey Knitting Company and Hosiers Limited of Woodstock.
Kenneth Harvey died in 1941 but his sons and grandsons continued to work at the amalgamated company.
York Knitting Mills officially changed its name to Harvey Woods Ltd. in 1966, to match the retail name of its products.
Harvey Woods Ltd. was bought out by T.A.G. Apparel Group in 1985 for nearly $9 million. When the T.A.G. Apparel Group went bankrupt in 1990, all its Harvey Woods plants in
Woodstock closed on April 30 and let go 600 employees.
As of 2002 Stanfields owns the Harvey Woods name which can today be found on underwear in some stores.
The map coordinates are not accurate as I don't remember where this building is located.
- ‘Harvey Woods amalgamates two operations,' Western Ontario Business,' June 6, 1983 (Woodstock Public Lib archives)
- ‘Harvey Woods in receivership,' Daily Sentinel-Review, Mar 1, 1990 (Woodstock Museum archives)
- Vernon's City of Woodstock directories, 1914 to 1994 (Woodstock Public Library archives)
- Doug M. Symons, ‘The Village That Straddled A Swamp,' (Oxford Historical Society; Woodstock Public Library)
- Oxford Historical Society