Historical Background: At this location is an old stone bridge over which Federal Hill Road passes. Adjacent properties are the location of a series of mill sites. Reference 035-025, 035-024, 035-020, 035-020-005 and see also 035-079, the site of Bailey Schoolhouse.
At this location is one of the remaining old stone bridges in town under the town road crossing the stream which flows north supplying a series of mills.
Mills of Bailey and Witches Brook : Shedd’s, Hayden’s, Saunder’s, Bailey’s
Map-Lot Name Public/Private
041-063 Shedd Public Easement
035-020-008 Hayden’s From Road
035-020 Saunder’s Private
035-024 Bailey’s Heritage Commission Easement
The reader is referred to the excellent section in Where the Past has been Preserved, on mills and other businesses in Hollis beginning p. 222 and ff. And to Worcester Mill 022-031 where more information on several mills resides as well as this Federal Hill Bridge over the Mill Stream 035-020.
Many can be seen from the road, many are on private property and not accessible to the public except to be seen from the road. Check before visiting. Some, like Worcester Brothers Mill are on town trails.
These sites are some of the oldest in town. There are no mill buildings standing in Hollis, but the foundations of several mills are still clear and readily found. The Worcester Brothers Mill was listed on the Town’s REPP report some time ago as being one of the special sites in town. These other mills are protected by easements or outright gifts to the Town or private conservation groups with one exception and recognized as important in the industrial history of the town and in its development. There were many sawmills in the early history of Hollis making clapboard siding rather than board and batten not unusual. The mills, which were at one time sawmills, were driven by waterpower, but later, engines powered many. In fact the destruction of some of the mills was caused by power explosion, e.g. Worcester’s mill off Rocky Pond Road. Mills also evolved as far as use from sawmills to planning and other uses. The stonework is remarkable in its use of large pieces likely quarried in the north end of Hollis. All walls and sluiceways were dry laid.
A map of the water flow which connected the mills above is interesting to follow.
Shedd Mill Site
See B.H.No.53 and 041-062 history. DAR No. 63A
Crystalbrook Estates Subdivision - access road from Hayden Road - being developed 2000 encompasses what may be a Native American Indian Site. According to Gary Hume, State Archeologist, the sandy soil, location near water and on heights are three factors which would have made it a likely N A Indian site. Accordingly, the developer has granted the Town easements for further archeological study on the open land within the development including an early cellar hole at the corner of Old Road and 122, the Shedd Mill site, and the two old roads. See the notes on file with the Hollis Heritage Commission and the Planning Board regarding these easements and protected status. (ese2000)
Saunders Mill is on private property.
On various tributaries of the same stream running from the swampy area to the South of Federal Hill and Plain Road through to Mill Pond (Hayden’s Mill) and Mill Road and beyond, emerging as Witches Spring Brook on Silver Lake Road near Hayden Road there were four mills the sites of which can still be found: Saunders, Bailey’s, Hayden’s and Shedd’s.
Bailey Mill, to the NW is under the protection of the Hollis Heritage Commission and will have markings and a trail.. Small wells along the trails are open and caution is advised.
Hayden Mill site can be seen from the Mill Road. The sluiceway is to the east of the pond. The surrounding area is private property. The mill owner for a time lived at 70 Hayden Road and accessed the mill from a trail down hill.
Many other mills existed, as well, among them were Worcester Brothers, given to the Town, [south of Rocky Pond], Price[off S. Merrimack Rd.], French’s [French Mill Road], Proctor’s [West Hollis St.], and one at the foot of Silver Lake. ese 2001)
Other Mills in Hollis
See also Worcester Mill 022-031 where more information on several mills resides