Photographs of Old Buildings
photographs, text, and compilation of links are
Copyright 2011 by Ronald B. Standler
In Suncook, NH
This website, www.rbs0.com , including each of my webpages and
each of my photographs, is my personal property.
Each of my photographs here, and also my text, is protected by
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Please enjoy looking at my photographs at my website,
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Table of Contents
- Three Mills (Pembroke Mill, Webster Mill, China Mill)
- Downtown Suncook, NH
- Schools in Suncook, NH and Pembroke Academy
- Railroad in Suncook, NH
- Links to other webpages about Suncook, NH
(including maps of Suncook)
This webpage displays some of my photographs of old buildings in or near
Suncook, New Hampshire (NH), and presents facts and
links to other webpages about these sites.
Suncook was established as a town in the year 1728.
Now, Suncook Village is legally part of Pembroke, NH,
which was established in 1759.
To travel from Concord, NH to Suncook, NH, take U.S. Highway 3
(called "Manchester St." in Concord) to Pembroke.
In Pembroke, turn right onto Broadway.
Broadway ends at Main Street.
Turn right on Main Street to go to downtown Suncook.
Main Street crosses the Suncook River, and is also called Main Street in Allenstown.
The town of Allenstown occupies the south side of the Suncook River
for about 3 miles along NH28. The part of Allenstown across the river from
Suncook was formerly (e.g., USGS topographic map for year 1921)
called the village of Blodgett.
The 2010 Census shows a total of 5379 people living in Suncook, Pembroke,
and Allenstown, NH.
Note about my photographs:
To make this webpage load faster,
I have converted the high-quality, 4608 × 3072 pixel
files from my digital camera to medium-quality, 480 × 320 pixel
In order to preserve the fidelity of the data,
I have not made any adjustment of exposure or color with
software. All of my photographs have the date in day/month/year format
stamped by the camera, but the date may be removed if I crop the photograph.
In the 1700s and early 1800s, before the common use of steam engines and
long before electric utilities, manufacturing plants (i.e., mills) commonly
used energy from flowing water in rivers to operate machinery.
Common examples were:
In seeking old buildings to photograph, mills are amongst the oldest
commercial buildings still standing.
- mills to grind grain into flour,
- mills to take cotton or wool and produce fabric
- mills to produce paper.
The Pembroke Mill shown here was built in the year 1860, on the site
of two previous textile mills.
In the 1950s, this building was owned by Emerson,
and the current owner calls it "Emerson Mills".
Since 1985, the former Pembroke Mill building is a condominium containing apartments.
Pembroke Mill is located at 100 Main Street in Suncook, next to the
bridge carrying Main Street across the Suncook River.
Wideangle view of Pembroke Mill building from the bridge across the Suncook River.
The cupola is part of a different building, located behind the Pembroke Mill.
View of the river next to the Pembroke Mill building, as seen from the bridge
across the Suncook River.
The Webster Mill was built in 1865 and is upstream from the Pembroke Mill.
The Webster Mill burned in 1983, but its dam remains.
When I visited in August 2011 brush and trees had overgrown most
of the former Webster Mill site. There are now new apartment buildings
located on Mill Falls Street, at or near the former site of Webster Mills.
The China Mill was built in 1868 on the south side of the Suncook River,
at 25 Canal Street in Blodgett Village, which is now Allenstown.
The building has a length of 155 meters (510 feet) and
a width of 22 meters (72 feet).
When I visited in August 2011, there is a chain-link fence around this mill
with "no trespassing" signs,
so I took my photographs from the entrance road.
I was not able to get far enough from the building
to show the entire building in one photograph.
View of the east end of of China Mill.
For a sense of scale, notice the woman walking out of the entrance
under the violet sign from the current owner of China Mill,
Perfect Fit Industries.
Photograph of two cupolas, sitting on the ground in August 2011.
View of China Mill. The cupolas were removed from the two square towers
shown in this photograph.
The block at 48 Glass Street and the
commercial district (116-161 Main Street; 1 and 9-15 Glass Street)
are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- A New Hampshire state historical marker in Suncook, NH says:
- The waters of Suncook River were harnessed in the 1730s,
eventually powering saw and grist mills, forge shops, and paper mills.
The first cotton factory, owned by Major Caleb Stark, was built here in 1811.
By 1900, Pembroke Mill, Webster Mill, and China Mill employed more than 1,500 workers,
mostly recruited from the Province of Quebec, to make 35 million yards of
cotton cloth each year. Suncook's commercial center, built of native brick and
granite, attained its present appearance by 1886.
It is one of the best-preserved small manufacturing villages in New Hampshire.
- NH Historical Marker Nr. 187.
Old school building on Main Street, completed in the year 1873,
at the intersection of [Chester] Turnpike Street, in Suncook.
Since 1951, this building is the Pembroke Water Works building.
on this building in February 2005.
Photograph of old school building at 30 High Street
(at intersection of High and Maple Streets) in Suncook, NH.
Now called "Pembroke Village School", although it is located in Suncook.
The building was built in the year 1907.
In the 2010-2011 school year, approximately 930 pupils in
Suncook, Pembroke, Allenstown, Chichester, and Epsom attended high school at
Pembroke Academy, at the south side
of Academy Road, just off highway US3 (called "Pembroke Street").
This original building was completed in the year 1818,
but burned in fires in 1900 and 1936.
The 1818 date on the present building refers to the founding of the Academy,
not the construction of the current building.
Railroads in Suncook
When I visited in August 2011, the passenger and freight depots
on Exchange Street in Suncook had already been demolished.
Old stone arch bridge, over Keystone Lane in the southwest corner of Suncook.
A map from the town of Pembroke identifies this bridge as carrying the
railroad tracks. Memorial Field is on the other side of this bridge.
There were two railroad tracks in Suncook:
Links to railroad websites:
- The Portsmouth and Concord Railroad had track from Portsmouth, NH eastward to
Suncook, NH and continuing to Concord, NH, with service begun in 1852.
This track was owned by the Boston & Maine Railroad from the late
1800s until service was discontinued in January 1935.
- The Suncook Valley Railroad had
24 miles of track from Hooksett to Center Barnstead, NH,
which passed through Blodgett and Suncook.
Service began in Dec 1869 and ended in December 1952.
Earl Tuson has two relevant webpages: (1) History of
Boston & Maine,
There is also an anonymous webpage at:
of Boston & Maine Railroad, website by T. Zabek.
Also see the book by
John C. Hutchins, The Blueberry Express — A History of the Suncook Valley
Railroad, Flying Yankee Enterprises, 113 pp. (1985).
Town websites for
(Pembroke includes village of Suncook) and
(south side of Suncook River).
The library for
is on U.S. Highway 3 in Pembroke.
The library for Allenstown
is at 59 Main St., across the river from Suncook.
When I looked in July 2011, neither Pembroke nor Allenstown had a website
for their historical society.
- Oct 2004 map
of historic buildings in Suncook, 1:7200 scale.
- U.S. Geological Survey topographic
for the years 1921 and 1957.
Scanned and converted to JPG files by the Library at the University of New Hampshire.
Suncook is in the northwest corner of the 15 minute map for Suncook quadrangle.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of
for year 1923. (Years 1906 and 1912 also online.)
- History of industry
at Pembroke town website.
- List of dams
on the Suncook River.
- July 2009 Report on
Moisture Conditions at the Pembroke Mill recites the history of the three mills
and describes some of the construction.
- book by Carol A. Martel, Suncook Village, Arcadia Publishing,
127 pp., 2008.
- book by Lianne E. H. Kerry, Pembroke, Arcadia Publishing,
128 pages, 2005.
- book by Nathan Franklin Carter & Trueworthy Ladd Fowler,
History of Pembroke, N. H.: 1730-1895, in two volumes.
this document is at http://www.rbs0.com/suncook.htm
first posted 25 Aug 2011
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