Abandoned Mills, White Mountains

Abandoned Mills, remnants of the Lincoln mill and East Branch & Lincoln Railroad era in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This circular saw mill blade is a protected artifact from the logging railroad and mill era.
Lincoln Mill Era – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Abandoned Mills, White Mountains – During the 1800s and early 1900s, cut-up mills, grist mills, sawmills, and various other types of mills were found throughout New Hampshire. And because of the abundance of water in the White Mountains, there was no shortage of water-powered mills in the region. This blog article showcases a handful of the abandoned mills in the White Mountains.

Because most of these abandoned mills are within the White Mountain National Forest, keep in mind the removal of historical artifacts from federal lands without a permit is a violation of federal law. And you can’t dig for artifacts at historical sites which means metal detecting anywhere in the National Forest is asking for trouble. Take only pictures and leave these unique places the way you found them.

Abandoned Mills, site of the Whitehouse Mills on the Pemigewasset River, along the Pemi Trail, in Franconia Notch of Lincoln, New Hampshire. This was an 1890s mill owned by Frank W. Whitehouse.
Site of Whitehouse Mills – North Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

Whitehouse Mills was on the Pemigewasset River in North Lincoln. Owned by Frank W. Whitehouse, this short-lived 1890s sawmill was considered an eyesore along the Notch Road (road between the old Flume House and Profile House). Even though this was a short-lived mill, the mill site is still identifiable along today’s Pemi Trail.

RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This resort occupies the site of the old mill complex that J.E Henry and Sons built in the early 1900s.
RiverWalk Resort – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain in Lincoln occupies the site of the old mill complex that J.E Henry and Sons built in the late 1890s-early 1900s. Henry’s sons sold the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, land, mill complex, and the town to the Parker-Young Company in 1917. Parker-Young ran the mill and the railroad until 1946 when they sold both to the Marcalus Manufacturing Company. Marcalus reorganized in 1950 as the Franconia Paper Corporation. In June 1960, the last log ran through the sawmill, and the paper mill shut down in June 1970. From 1970-1980, the mill changed hands a number of times, and attempts were made to operate it, but they all failed; the Lincoln’s mill final day of operation was June 11, 1980. In 2009 the remaining mill buildings were torn down.

Possibly the remnants of the William Allen sawmill along the Swift River in the area known as Passaconaway in Albany, New Hampshire. This a Eureka Lath Machine, Manufactured by C.S. Baker & Co - Manchester N.H. Pat'd Jan 18, 1870.
William Allen Sawmill – Passaconaway, New Hampshire
 

In the area known as Passaconaway in Albany, along the Swift River, was William Allen’s Mill. Originally known as the Albany Intervale, the Passaconaway Settlement consisted of a small farming community. And there were at least three sawmill settlements in the area during the 1800s. Little remains of this settlement, but in the area of the old Allen Mill is this Eureka Lath Machine, Manufactured by C.S. Baker & Co – Manchester N.H. Pat'd Jan 18, 1870.

Mad River Logging Era - Artifact near the splash dam on Flume Brook in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. This artifact is possibly part of the cut-up mill that was located in the area of logging Camp 5. Cut-Up Mills were used to cut logs into four foot lengths. From 1891-1946 +/-, this area was logged, and up until 1933 log drives were done on the Mad River to move logs down to Campton Pond.
Camp 5 Cut-Up Mill – Waterville Valley, White Mountains
 

Cut-up mills were used on many of the logging operations in the White Mountains. The above artifact on Flume Brook in Waterville Valley is likely part of the International Paper Company's logging Camp 5 cut-up mill. The cut-up mill would cut the logs into four-foot lengths, and then during the spring months, they would be floated down the Mad River to Campton Pond. From 1891-1946, this area was logged; in the 1920s, the Woodstock Lumber Company and its parent company Parker Young Company would take over the Mad River operation. And up until 1933, log drives were done on the Mad River to move logs down to Campton Pond. After 1933 trucks became the preferred method to move logs out of the woods.

Remnants of an old mill along Talford Brook at Thornton Gore in Thornton, New Hampshire during the autumn months. This was an old hill farm community that was abandoned during the 19th century.
Talford Brook Mill Site – Thornton Gore, New Hampshire
 

Thornton Gore, in the northern section of Thornton, is the site of an abandoned 19th-century hill farming settlement. Incorporated in 1781, the town of Thornton was named for Matthew Thornton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. And the first settlers of Thornton Gore arrived in the early 1800s. They built farms, a church, mills (one on Talford Brook), and a school. But by 1900, George James’ New Hampshire Land Company had bought up most of the land in Thornton Gore; logging took over the area, and this farming settlement was gone. Today, this is one of the more interesting historical sites in the White Mountains.

Remnants of the abandoned mill at Livermore Falls along the old Pemigewasset Valley Railroad in Campton, New Hampshire. Operated by the Boston and Maine Railroad, the Pemigewasset Valley Railroad was a railroad connecting Plymouth to North Woodstock, New Hampshire.
Livermore Falls – Campton, New Hampshire
 

Along the old the Boston & Maine’s Pemigewasset Valley Railroad, at Livermore Falls on the Pemigewasset River, in Campton is the site of J.E. Henry and Sons’ abandoned pulp mill. The building of this mill took place in the late 1800s-early 1900s (likely around 1899-1901). The Parker Young Company acquired the mill in 1917 (Henry and Sons to Parker Young real estate sale). And in 1946, the Marcalus Manufacturing Company took control of it (Parker Young to Marcalus Manufacturing Company real estate sale). It would close in the 1950s.

Remnants of the sawmill in the abandoned village of Livermore during the autumn months. This was a logging village in the late 19th and early 20th centuries along the Sawyer River Logging Railroad in Livermore, New Hampshire. The town and railroad were owned by the Saunders family.
Abandoned Mill – Village of Livermore, New Hampshire
 

Along the Sawyer River is the fascinating abandoned Village of Livermore. This was a logging village in operation during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Sawyer River Railroad traveled through the village. Owned by the Saunders family, the town of Livermore was officially dissolved in 1951. The sawmill, first one built in the 1870s, would burn down a few times, and finally close in 1928. Remnants of the powerhouse, sawmill, store, and other dwellings remain today.

To license any of the photos in this blog article for publications, click on the photo. And you can view more photos of abandoned mills here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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4 Responses to “Abandoned Mills, White Mountains”

  1. Brian Gaudreau

    Hi, what can you tell me about the logging town of Hastings on Evans Notch Road. I know there is the remains of an old bus there, in the woods.

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Brian,

      The bus remains are located in the general area of the old Wild River Lumber Company’s Saw Mill. And the Wild River Railroad (1891-1904) played an important role in this lumber village.

      Hastings had everything – Mills, boarding house, school, blacksmith shop, store, etc. It was your typical lumber village. And you can find remnants of the village today, but you do have to “look”.

      If interested, Randall H. Bennett has a great article about Hastings here: http://bit.ly/2GTcHc1

      Hope this helps

      Reply
  2. Roland Bourassa

    Great pictures and history Erin ,thanks for sharing i been getting my grandson involved in the old history of the area ,and he loves it we plan to go to a lot of those areas this summer .

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Thank you, Roland! Glad you enjoy my work. And it’s great to hear that some of the younger generation is interested in the history of the White Mountains.

      Reply

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