Built in 1823, the Belknap Mill survived down through the years of change by adapting itself to the industrial needs of the day.
The Mills of Laconia did not stand separate from the community around it ‐ rather the people and their businesses were interwoven over the years.
For every Mill, there were a dozen related businesses to service and provide for it. For every Mill owner, there were hundreds of immigrants and farmworkers who came together to operate the mills.
The Hosiery Museum has exhibits illustrating the operation of the Mill and the people who were a part of it.
Many of the machines still operate and create socks for sale in our gift shop. The machines also play a vital part of our 4th grade educational program every Spring.
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The Power House celebrates the history of hydro-power in New England. After all, every Mill needed a power source and in New England that power source was water.
Originally, the power was derived directly from the rivers to the machines through massive and confusing arrays of belts.
With the discovery of ways to harness electricity, the Belnap Mill converted to hydro-electric power.
We have many hands on exhibits and storeboards illustrating the types and abilities of hydro-power sourcws.
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