The Mill on Golden Brook
The mill on Golden Brook was powered by rights to, if I remember correctly, the top fifteen feet of water in Cobbett’s Pond. Morrison says, “The first grant of right to use the water’s of Cobbett’s Pond was to Samuel Senter for a grist mill. The first mill ever erected there was built by Alexander Wilson, a short distance above the head of the mill pond. This he sold to Samuel Senter in 1790, who built a grist and saw mill near the present site, and carried on business till his death, Feb. 11, 1833. Isaac Senter, about 1833, sold the mill to the father of Stephen Fessenden, of Boston. The latter with his family, came to town about this time, and soon made changes to the surroundings. A saw-mill and grist-mill were then there. He built a shingle and clapboard mill, then a building for Carding rolls, which was enlarged for the manufacture of twilled flannel and frocking. This business he carried on until his death, May 10, 1868. In 1871 the town voted not to increase the valuation of his property for purposes of taxation for seven years, in consequence of any additional buildings he might erect, etc. In 1871, he built the present commodious building.” According to Rural Oasis Neal manufactured cloth at the mill and used both water and steam power until the 1890s. At the time the dam on Golden Brook, which furnished power to the mill, gave way and was not rebuilt because transportation by horse drawn wagons over four miles to the railroad at Windham Depot have proven too expensive. Edwin Stickney acquired title to the property through a mortgage foreclosure and on January 18, 1900 he sold to the Gould Brothers who manufactured Witch Hazel products. Even today, with the buildings long gone, and the hum of machinery long silent, it is a beautiful and interesting spot.