Lincoln, New Hampshire is known for many things…the scenic Flume Gorge, skiing at Loon Mountain, stunning Franconia Notch State Park, and in winter, the fabulous Ice Castles. But did you know that the town of Lincoln has industrial roots dating back to 1892?
Today, we’d like to take you on a tour of some of the area’s most notable events from its inception to today. Let’s get started!
Long before it was inhabited by white settlers, Lincoln was a beautiful and inspiring location known mostly to the Abenaki. We know this as in 1805, Francis Whitcomb and Luke Brooks began to write about a sight that would grace the New Hampshire quarter and many other official documents and tourism pieces for years and years – The Old Man in the Mountain. However, the majority of people didn’t see it until much later as the area was largely uninhabited and impassable.
Henry was directly responsible for propelling the town forward. He constructed homes for his workers, as well as all the other “firsts” in the community. He was behind the creation of the saw mill in 1894, the first store, a hospital, a hotel, boarding houses, the post office, churches, and in 1893, even a railroad for logging. The last of which gave rise to paper milling that lasted through 1980. It also marked the beginning of tourism, which continues to be important in the area to this day.
Unfortunately, in 1899 the saw mill was destroyed by a fire and had to be rebuilt. After the rebuild, a pulp mill and paper mill opened between the years of 1901-1902 and that new mill would ultimately outlast the original saw mill which closed its doors in 1908.
In 1917 the paper and pulp mill was sold to the Parker Young Company for the sum of 3 million dollars.
Fun Fact: Sherman Adams, a Lincoln paper mill employee would later become the Governor of New Hampshire and go on to open Loon Mountain Resort.
In 1927 the paper mill was destroyed by a flood and was, like the saw mill before it, rebuilt. After that it was eventually sold to Marcalus Manufacturing in 1946 and it became the Franconia Paper in 1960. Little did they know that it would change names several more times.
In 1973 it became the Profile Paper Company, then it changed again in 1975 to the New England Pulp and Paper Company, and finally it returned to its original name, Franconia Paper in 1978. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. The mill officially closed on June 11, 1980, forever.
In the early 2000s (2009 to be exact) the defunct paper mill was demolished and in 2012 it was replaced by Jean’s Playhouse. The Playhouse was named for Jean Hallager, an avid supporter of the NCCA and active community member.
In 2016, RiverWalk catapulted the tourism industry forward by building on the site of the former paper mill as well. Since the first day we opened our doors, people have come from all over during all seasons to experience the wonder of the White Mountains in style.
Lincoln, New Hampshire is about keeping the past in mind and using it in conjunction with new innovations to create the future. We hope you visit our region, and hopefully RiverWalk soon. There’s nothing quite like it.