by Judy Bline
The dam we see from the bridge in
Contoocook is one of the remaining mill dams that were so necessary for
power in the early days.
It is not known exactly how old the dam is, but
speculation would have it that it has been there since the very early 1800's
if not before.
A. Col. E. C. Bailey became the sole owner of the water
power at Contoocook in 1875, and the mill dam was reconstructed in 1883.
Walter S. Davis purchased the whole power operation in 1887 except for the
saw mill of Frank I. Morrill. In 1896 Mr. Davis joined Addison Kingsbury to
form the Kingsbury-Davis Machine Company. About 1893 they moved their
business from Davisville to River Street in Contoocook. A three story wooden
building was constructed using the dam and water wheel for all the necessary
lights and power.
About 1921-1922 the wooden dam was cemented. The dam has
not been used for power for years, but the scene from the bridge is enjoyed
The townspeople watch the water flow change with the
seasons and just enjoy its beauty.