The Wood Industry in Fitzwilliam N.H. around 1850
Wood was important here before the days that the King's men hammered the Royal Seal onto the trunks of the stately pines that were chosen for the masts of the Royal Navy. Some seventy and eighty foot logs had been rolled into place to make corduroy roads.
Along the streams may be found ruined foundations of many grist and saw mills. The ruins of the earliest mill are no longer visible from the Templeton Road. Pond areas were enlarged by dams for water power. The preparation of lumber and the manufacture of wooden ware products (picture frames, buckets, wheels, carriages, lumber wagons, sleighs, hat racks, wall brackets, rakes, fan handles, nest eggs, bowls, spoons, chairs and furniture stock) has long been associated with names like Bowker, Howe, Stone, Angier, Damon and Grant. Some wood, unusable for products, was at times stacked, covered with dirt and fired to make charcoal.
The hurricane of 1938 destroyed much of the growing merchantable lumber. The woodlands were wrecked so badly that owners could not find some landmarks. An irreparable loss was the destruction of the grove of first growth pines owned by the Damon estate. They were magnificent trees 125 feet in height and 90 feet from the ground to the first limbs.*