John Hatch Park at Wiswall Falls, Durham

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.

To view panels at the kiosk at Wiswall Falls, please click:

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

To view the two-part video of Wiswall's mills, please click here.
To view the application for nomination to the Historic Register, please click here.

To view photos of the site prior to the construction of the fish ladder, click here.

To view maps and archival photos of the site, please click here.

To view a slide show about the construction of the fish ladder, please click here.