Historic Milford bridge, former Greenville textile mill named to the state Register of Historic Places

Courtesy of NH Division of Historical Resources A recent photo of the Milford suspension pedestrian bridge, which has been named to both the New Hampshire and U.S. Register of Historic Places.

CONCORD — Milford’s 275-foot-long suspension pedestrian bridge, which has spanned the Souhegan River since the late 1800s, and the multi-story, brick mill building that housed the Columbian Manufacturing Company in present-day Greenville, are among the six historic properties most recently placed on the State Register of Historic Places, according to the state Division of Historical Resources.

The Milford bridge, the officials said, was also recently honored by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

The other four properties named to the state Register of Historic Places include:

• Conant Lodge, North Chatham: A gathering place and dining area for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Cold River Camp

• The Goodhue House, Deerfield: A mid-1770s farmhouse

• The Lisbon Congregational Church Parish House, Lisbon: A 1914-1915 Tudor Revival building

• The Forest Glade Cemetery, Somersworth: The city’s primary public cemetery, which features headstones dating to the 1850s.

Milford’s suspension bridge, meanwhile, was built with $3,500 in funding approved at town meeting in 1889.

Its abutments are made from irregular blocks of split granite, created by a local quarryman named Newton Perham.

The Berlin (Connecticut) Iron Bridge Company designed and constructed the bridge, which is made primarily from riveted iron angles and bars, riveted lattice girders, suspension cables and a wooden floor.

At a time when foot access across the river was the norm in Milford and many other small villages throughout the state, the suspension bridge made it easy to travel from the residential neighborhoods on the east side of the river to the manufacturing complexes, business district, town hall and high school on the western side.

The bridge, which was given a major sprucing up for Milford’s bicentennial celebration in 1975, has been in nearly continuous use since it was built — and is the only surviving bridge of the 78 that the Berlin Iron Bridge Company built in New Hampshire.

As for the Columbian Manufacturing Company mill, it was built shortly after the firm was established in 1826 during the early years of the Industrial Revolution.

The main building of the several that made up the Columbian Manufacturing Company complex were built along the Souhegan River in what was then the village of Mason.

With the plentiful water power supplied by the Souhegan River, the area became a manufacturing center for textiles such as cotton and woolen goods.

While the company no longer operates in Greenville, its fine brick buildings still dominate the village, and many Queen Anne style houses line the village’s side streets.

More information on the state Division of Historical Resources and its various programs can be found at www.nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling 271-3483.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.