To a visitor unfamiliar with this site, the park seems quiet and unhurried. A closer look will reveal many clues about a much different past. Granite foundations abound and a human-made canal offer evidence of activity far beyond today's fishermen and recreationists. In the 1800s, this site was a bustling center of industry, home to a sawmill, paper mill, and other smaller mills. The bridge nearby has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 2009. The dam, originally built of wood and stone, was most recently upgraded in 2011. The fish ladder was built in 2011. All this activity has taken place on a site listed on both the New Hampshire and federal Registers of Historic Places. The historic area actually extends far beyond the park itself, to include houses on Wiswall Road that once belonged to the mill owner, Thomas Wiswall, and his workers.
panel 1: The Power of the Lamprey River
panel 2: The Wiswall Era: 1853-1883
panel 3: Balancing the Past and the Present
panel 4: John Hatch Park at Wiswall Falls