Milton Mills in 1864

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | September 15, 2018

An extract from the Farmington Weekly Courier of Friday, February 5, 1864.

A Letter from Milton Mills:

Milton Mills, Jan. 29, 1864 –

I am pleased to know, that someone has the courage  and “goaheaditiveness” to start a paper in this part of the county, and hope it may prove as profitable to its Editor as interesting to its patron.  News in this  (the Northeast) corner of the county, is at this time quite meager.  It is now the sleighing, and the farmers and wood men are busily engaged in carrying to market their surplus stock of wood, which this winter brings them a good round price, compared with the prices of former winters.

Some of the lovers of the “finny tribe” in this locality are enjoying the luxury of fishing upon Horn and Garvin Ponds, for pickerel, these pleasant days, with good “luck,” and this, as you well know, Mr. Editor, is fine sport, when you have plenty of “Tom Cod” for bait, and a “nibble” every now and then from each line.  

Business in this locality is very good, with plenty of work for those disposed to “earn their living by the sweat of their brow” and otherwise.

The flannel Mill of John Townsend, Esq., is now in full blast, (and, by the way, it is reported to be the best woolen mill in New England) and turns out about thirteen thousand yards of flannel per week, which finds a ready sale in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.  There is some prospect of having a new mill, put up the coming season, by our enterprising citizen, Edward Brierly, who is now engaged quite extensively in the printing and finishing of flannels, table covers, balmoral skirts, etc. 

We boast of but four regular stores in our quiet little village, that of Asa Fox & son, Bray C. Simes, John U. Simes and Asa Jewett, all of which are doing a fair  amount of business.  We have beside these, three or four places where groceries, etc., are sold, much to the disadvantage of the regular trade.  There is probably not a village of the size of this in New Hampshire, where so much blacksmith work is done, as in this — We have now four blacksmiths, (working early and late) and plenty of work for four more.

We are furnished daily, in this out-of-the-way locality, with the Boston morning and evening papers, by our friend Elbridge W. Fox, of the firm of Asa Fox & son, who also has charge of the Express Office of Canney & Co.  

Did I say “this out-of-the-way locality?”  Yes.  Well, it is true in some respects, for we are situated four long miles east of the “head of locomotion” of the Great Falls & Conway Railroad at Union; but thanks to our enterprising Expressmen, Messrs. Canney & Co., we are provided with a good span of “chestnuts” and when once “aboard,” the “ribbons” in the hands of the faithful messenger and careful driver – Asa A. Fox — we are soon there.

One thing, among the many, that we need to give our village a more lively and business like appearance, is a shoe manufacturer; one with means and energy, capable of doing a large business, for we have plenty of good work men in this vicinity that would gladly make shoes for a home manufacturer, rather [than] freight stock from Rochester, Dover, Haverhill and Lynn.

But enough of this.  People are beginning to talk politics, now the conventions are over.  Excuse me, Mr. Editor, you don’t talk politics in your paper, so I will stop.  More Anon.


N.B. The pseudonym Vulpes is Latin for “Fox.”

For more about the Great Falls & Conway Railroad, see our piece on Milton’s Railroad Line.


Farmington Weekly Courier. (1864, February 5). A Letter from Milton Mills. Farmington, NH

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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