BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Saturday, Sept. 4, come join Dr. David Deacon for a walk and talk along the Bellows Falls history trail Under the Hill. The program is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Under the Hill is the site of the locks on the first transportation canal in the United States built between 1791 and 1801. During much of the 19th and into the 20th century, it was the core of the town’s industrial zone with sawmills, pulp and paper mills, and the Adams Grist Mill.
Deacon’s presentation will describe the canal and industrial development including the site of the first commercial wood-pulp paper mill that revolutionized paper making.
Meet up at the Adam’s Grist Mill, located along Mill Street. Entry is at the south end of the Village Square next to the Flat Iron building. This is an outdoor program so wear good walking shoes and appropriate clothing as the presentation walks along the trail developed by the Bellows Falls Historical Society. The Adams Grist Mill Museum maintained by the society will be open and part of the tour.
Deacon moved to Bellows Falls in 1980 and graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 1981. He went on to Marlboro College and then to the University of North Carolina for a master’s degree in folklore. His concentration in American History was at Syracuse University where he earned a master’s and doctorate. The Bellows Falls paper mill industry features prominently in his doctoral thesis: “Paper Town, Sense of place in Industrial Small-Town New England 1869-1927.” He is an adjunct professor of history at SUNY and at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y.
In the event of rain, the program will be held at the Waypoint Center located across the tracks from the Bellows Falls train station.
This event is a collaboration between the Rockingham Historic Preservation Commission, the Bellows Falls Historical Society, and the Rockingham Free Public Library. It is free and open to the public, made possible through a grant from the Vermont State Division of Historic Preservation and the National Park Service.