The photographs above and below were taken in 1898 and shows Simpson’s Mill. Joseph Simpson, “a fine carpenter and millwright being very ingenious” built a mill here in 1788-89 which was owned by shareholders. Thomas W. Simpson, who was no relation to Joseph, operated a grist-mill, saw-mill and lumber-mill here for much of the 19th century. He improved and added to the buildings. When the Simpsons operated the mill, the pond was known by the name of Simpson’s Pond.
As most of you know, the Deer Leap conservation land abuts this pond. According to Morrison, ”Deer Ledge lies north of J.W. Simpson’s pond, and is situated on the high, romantic, and precipitous sides of the hill of ledges. Its name is derived from the traditional fact, that an Indian drove a deer over the precipitous sides of this ledge into the water. The pond was called Deer-ledge Pond. I don’t know how the name morphed from Deer Ledge to Deer Leap but it did at some point.
“The pond and island were sold to John Drinan in 1894. The right to cut and carry away all wood and timber on the island was reserved to the past owner, Thomas W. Simpson. When the pond and land were sold to the Moeckel family, the name of the pond changed once again to Moeckel Pond. There is an ongoing effort to rebuild the dam. Tax deductible donations marked for “Moeckel Pond” can be sent to Windham Endowment, PO Box 4315, Windham, NH or donate via WindhamEndowment.org. Check out all the Friends of Moeckel Pond information on Facebook at https://www.facebook./friendsofmoeckelpond