16) Moore and Thompson Paper Mill Complex
This 16-building brick complex, constructed in 1880-1881, is one of the last survivors of a vast warren of manufacturing enterprises that blanketed the 30-acre "island" created by the canal and made Bellows Falls one of New England's largest industrial centers from the 1870s through the 1920s. The Vermont Farm Machine company made cream separators and butter churns sold all over the world. In 1869, paper mills turned from using rags to wood pulp. Logs were floated down the river and processed into a variety of papers and cardboards. The last big log run was in 1915. Rather than settle a 1921 labor strike, the large International Paper Company closed its Bellows Falls mills, dealing a hard economic blow to the entire region and bringing to a close one of the town's most productive "boom" periods.
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[Bellows Falls Historic District] [Map]
[This photo taken from across the river in Walpole, NH. Note the Town Hall's clock tower and Immanuel Church's steeple in the background.]
An old postcard of the paper mills