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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8, 2014

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov
Twitter: @NHCulture

Peter Michaud, N.H. Division of Historical Resources
603-271-3583
peter.michaud@dcr.nh.gov

Historic NH-Maine canal named to National Register of Historic Places

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is proud to announce that the Great Falls Manufacturing Company’s Newichawannock Canal Historic District has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Unusual for a National Register property, the Newichawannock Canal District is located in two states, partially forming the border between Wakefield, N.H., and Acton, Maine. From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, the canal increased the water supply system that powered Great Falls Manufacturing’s textile mill complex 25 miles downstream in Somersworth, N.H., providing a constant and controlled source of water power and contributing to the region’s mill economy.

The historic district consists of four distinct resources that exhibit a high degree of integrity uncommon for resources of their type and age:

  • A lower canal that is structurally intact and continues its original function as an engineered stone watercourse conducting water from Great East Lake to Horn Pond;
  • A stone arch bridge built largely of natural random fieldstone with round edges and little or no evidence of splitting or trimming;
  • An upper canal in Great East Lake Dam that is completely submerged but clearly visible approximately two feet below the water surface when the water is clear; and
  • Spoil piles – distinct piles of stone that appear to be remainder piles from construction of the canal.

Coinciding with N.H. History Week, an event celebrating the Newichawannock Canal Historic District’s listing on the National Register will take place at the Wakefield Town Hall in Sanbornville on Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.

Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.

For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit www.nh.gov/nhdhr or contact Peter Michaud at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3483.

New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/nhdhr or call 603-271-3483.

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