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Old 05-15-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
NoBozo
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Default Excelsior Mill

I remember the Excelsior Mill. I toured the mill about 1971 or so. We were ice boaters.. on an OFF day..so one of our senior members suggested we go check out the excelsior mill at Wolfeboro Falls.

First Off: Excelsior was a shaved wood product that has since been replaced by Styrofoam peanuts, and then bubble wrap.

The mill had guillotine type machines that vertically shaved slices of wood off logs that were much like the split logs you buy for your fireplace. At that time there were four employees. Three guys out in the shop (unheated) and one lady in the office (heated). The oldest guy in the shop was ..It's been awhile..I think he was about 90. He had been there since he was a young man. Their job was to manually feed logs into the guillotines as required.

The plant was powered by water (Hydro) from runoff from Lake Wentworth upstream...OR.. Steam from a steam engine in the plant when the water from Wentworth was not sufficient to power the machines.

Not much left today. I feel very lucky that I got a chance to see the mill. The site is directly across the road from the Wright Museum. NB
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:26 PM   #2
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Here are some pictures of the abandoned Excelsior Mill in Wolfeboro Falls, NH

http://abnf.co/NH-abandoned_excelsio..._hampshire.htm
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:29 AM   #3
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Rusty, are you sure that was the mill not the machine shop? I might remember wrong but a big building burned down and I thought that was the mill. There was also a mill in back across the water from the Wright Museum. There were two!
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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Rusty, are you sure that was the mill not the machine shop? I might remember wrong but a big building burned down and I thought that was the mill. There was also a mill in back across the water from the Wright Museum. There were two!
They are pictures of the power generation components that made the mill run. The mill itself is gone.

Does anyone know why the equipment and surrounding trash hasn't been removed or cleaned-up?
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:28 AM   #5
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:32 AM   #6
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as a side note....some say that the problem with milfoil in back bay has been exacerbated by the many layers of sawdust on the bay floor.
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:29 PM   #7
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That wouldn't surprise me mcdude, although I never thought of that. The Basin also had logs stored and it has had a serious milfoil problem.
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Old 05-16-2016, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Here are some pictures of the abandoned Excelsior Mill in Wolfeboro Falls, NH

http://abnf.co/NH-abandoned_excelsio..._hampshire.htm
I'm still trying to picture Rusty ..in Full Camos, a helmet mounted GoPro, A Hi Res (military grade) camera...Jumping over a fence when nobody's looking, to take those pictures. NB
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:03 PM   #9
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I'm still trying to picture Rusty ..in Full Camos, a helmet mounted GoPro, A Hi Res (military grade) camera...Jumping over a fence when nobody's looking, to take those pictures. NB
You have quite the imagination.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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Well before this time period: (1971). Mills all over New England...where multiple machines were employed to do the same job in a "gang"...before electricity..and afterward, a central power source transported power to overhead "Line Shafts", which transferred their rotational power Down to the machines on the floor below via leather belts. The excelsior mill at Wolfeboro Falls had "Line Shafts" providing power to the Knives shaving wood off the logs. NB
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:50 AM   #11
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O.p. berry mill, made excelsior turkey pads from poplar logs. Thaddy berry ran it last year's, to early 60's. Gradually fired by vandals.

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Old 08-19-2018, 05:36 PM   #12
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Default Wolfeboro falls excelsior mill

My family used to summer in a cabin right on the water at lake Wentworth, renting from Ms. Mildred Beach. Lots of fond memories of our months at the cabin.

I have always been fascinated by mechanical things, so about 1966 my dad took my brother and I to visit the Excelsior mill. If I remember correctly, the water wheel was an undershot spoon type, and it was still working when we visited, powering everything in the mill. The factory consisted of hundreds of special wood slicers that literally sliced long tiny strips of wood that naturally curled as they were peeled away [excelsior]. Each slicer was driven off a wide leather belt & pulley system running across the ceiling.

I have vivid memories of an elderly man attending to the slicers. As each machine was finished with a 2' log, it needed to be replaced with a new one. That involved throwing a lever to disconnect the pulley drive, and quickly removing what was left of the log. He then stuck a new log in it's place before starting the slicer again. I will never forget looking at this man's hands and noting a lack of fingers, he was probably missing a couple on each hand.

The remnants of wood were kept to fuel the big steam furnace in the winter. I have no memory of the steam engine, and as I love seeing them, it's likely we never went to that building. I remember being told the only electricity in use at that time was for the rows of bare light bulbs hanging from the rafters, and the only reason for the electricity install was during world war 2, so they could run night time shifts.
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:24 PM   #13
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Didn't they make footstools stuffed with the excelsior at the mills too? I never see footstools any more.
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