New Town Picture Gallery 31: Ashland, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Ashland Main St 30

Commercial Building in Ashland, New Hampshire

The town of Ashland, New Hampshire has been added to the town picture gallery.  Enjoy!

There are now 32 towns featured in the town picture gallery.

Also, we have a bonus building history to add: Ashland Grist Mill

“The falls of the Squam River in what is now Ashland village have been the site of a grist mill since c. 1770, when Nathaniel Thompson, encouraged by a grant from the town proprietors, erected a sawmill and a gristmill on them. His mill was succeeded by others, as the farmers of the area needed a mill to grind their grain. In the first years of the 20th century, John H. Morrill owned and operated a one and a half story grist mill on the site of the present mill.”

“Adjoining the grist mill to the north was the Shepard sawmill. On the afternoon of May II, 1903, an overheated bearing in the sawmill started a fire that destroyed both mills, and, for a brief period, threatened the entire downtown village business district. Although Morrill was able to save the contents of his safe, the mill was a total loss.”

“Soon, however, he began work on a new mill. The ruins were cleared away in the first week of August. The foundation, laid by James Clark, was completed in September. Daniel Page of Tilton, who supervised the carpenters, quickly erected the building. By December the machinery was being placed in the mill. And, in January, Morrill was back in business.”

“The new mill was described at the time as “one of the best equipped mills in New Hampshire”. The central section contained the grain elevator and the grinding mills, and was therefore built with a heavy braced timber frame to handle the weight, stress, and vibrations of the machinery. The wings, used for the mill office and storage, were built with lighter and more economical balloon frames.”

“The mill continued to grind grain until 1937, and was then used as a storage building for the local paper company. By the time it was acquired by the present owner, the building was vacant and in disrepair.”

Picture of Ashland Grist Mill on Main Street in Ashland, New Hampshire

Ashland Grist Mill in Ashland, New Hampshire

“The building was stabilized in the late 1970’s, with such essential repairs as a new roof and new floor beams.”

“The mill was renovated in 1984-86 to house the architectural offices of the owner and five apartments. The exterior is slightly changed. A few windows and some skylights were added to light the new spaces. Two new doors were sheltered by a reconstruction of a former hood, and served by a new porch. And a belvedere, based largely on a ventilator that once occupied the same spot, was built on the central roof. The unfinished, large spaces of the interior had, of course, to be subdivided for the building’s new uses, but the central section’s heavy frame was left visible wherever possible.”

“The Grist Mill, although now serving new purposes, remains one of the most prominent buildings in Ashland village, an attractive reminder of a vanished industry”

Source: Ashland Historical Society

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