Livermore Falls Mill

Campton, New Hampshire
The Livermore Falls Mill in the Livermore Falls State Forest in Campton, New Hampshire, stands as a old abandoned relic of the region’s past.
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About This Location

The Livermore Falls Mill, nestled within the Livermore Falls State Forest in Campton, New Hampshire, stands as a captivating relic of the region’s industrial past. Established in 1901 by lumber baron J. E. Henry, this historic pulp mill on the west banks of the Pemigewasset River witnessed a significant period of activity before its eventual abandonment in 1953.

The site’s historical significance traces back to 1769 when Moses Little acquired the falls and adjacent property, marking the inception of the first Euroamerican settlement in the area. Over time, the waterpower of the falls attracted various industries, including a tannery, shingle mill, and several pulp mills. The mill complex at Livermore Falls had a complex history, with multiple mills being established and succumbing to fires over the years.

In 1888, Arthur Homans set up the first pulp mill at Livermore Falls, but it faced an unfortunate fate in its inaugural year due to a fire. The Fibrewood Company then erected a second pulp mill in 1889 on the east bank of the river, but this too met the same fiery demise in the early 1890s. The most substantial development occurred in 1901 when J. E. Henry, a prominent timber mogul, constructed a large pulp mill on the west bank of the Pemigewasset River, upstream from the former Fibrewood mill.

J. E. Henry’s mill became a pivotal economic entity in the region. In 1917, he sold the mill to the Parker Young Company after extensive clear-cutting of the surrounding timber. However, the mill went through several ownership changes before its unexpected closure in 1953. The dam associated with the mill endured until 1973 when a flood led to its destruction. Today, the remains of the Livermore Falls Mill stand as a testament to the area’s industrial heritage.

Recognizing the environmental impact of unregulated deforestation, the State of New Hampshire intervened, acquiring the mill remains and 178 acres of land to establish the Livermore Falls State Forest. Access to the park is facilitated through an official parking area along Livermore Road, which charges a nominal fee of $5 per car in the summer. Navigating the terrain to reach the mill, especially by crossing the river, demands caution due to slippery rocks and varying water heights.

Exploring the mill site itself requires extreme care. The structure, constantly succumbing to the forces of nature, lacks sufficient protective measures. Its decaying state, combined with its considerable height, poses significant safety risks. Nevertheless, for those drawn to the intersection of history and nature, the Livermore Falls Mill offers a glimpse into a bygone era against the picturesque backdrop of the Livermore Falls State Forest.

Location

Address: Daniel Webster Highway, Campton, New Hampshire
Place GPS Coordinates: 43.784472, -71.667861
Parking GPS Coordinates: 43.784472, -71.667861
Parking Notes: There are dozens of spots to park at the Livermore Falls State Forest parking lot. When park is unstaffed during the season, please deposit payment in Iron Ranger. Parking is $5 per car.

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