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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Winchester Dam Removal Project
Ashuelot River, Hinsdale NH
History of the Dam

The State Historic Preservation Office found the Winchester Dam to be eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places for its association with woolen and woodenware manufacturing enterprises, as well as an example of timber crib dam construction. The dam was apparently constructed principally for water storage for the Sheridan Woolen Mills, located 2.5 miles downstream. The dam may have also served the secondary purpose of creating log storage for the adjacent steam-powered New England Box Company. Archival quality photo-documentation of the dam was performed prior to and during removal. These photos are stored at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources ((603) 271-3483 for more information).

The dam’s removal presented the Town of Winchester with the opportunity to recover two millstones (one intact, one cleanly cracked in half) that were located downstream of the dam in shallow water on the northern streambank. These millstones are believed to have been associated with a previous dam in the same location. The recovery of the millstones was stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement developed for the project in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act. The stones were transported to the Winchester Town Hall and Winchester Historical Society for display. An interpretive sign with photographs of the dam and a description of its role in the town’s history will be erected in the future.

Photo of millstone
One of the two millstones recovered during the Winchester Dam removal.
It is now on display in front of the Winchester Town Hall.
Photo: NHDES Dam Bureau

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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