LACONIA — The Belknap Mill Society has been making improvements in the Mill Gift Shop. With new vendors adding unique products to complement the existing items, the shop provides a distinctive shopping experience in downtown Laconia.
The assortment of products includes note cards produced by local photographers and artists Jackie Bonafide, Joanna DeCesare, Jill Mahan, and Angela Stewart; jewelry for every day and with holiday themes designed by Gilford resident Judi Taggart of No Weare Else; "smittens" made from recycled sweaters by LeeAnn Ellis; wooden bowls, pens, wine stoppers, and a rocking horse crafted by Jim Hallene of Goffstown; birch bark wooden serving tray, tree of life wall hanging, and game table handcrafted by Cat Magnant of Gilford; and walking sticks produced by Laconia's Vinnie DeCesare; as well as Cat's Meow wooden replica buildings, traditional toys, socks for all ages and activities, and books and videos about local history and by local authors.
New products at the shop include maple syrup in glass and plastic containers, maple sugar, cream, candy, and barbecue sauce, and New Hampshire-produced honey offered by Eileen and Ted Story of Gage Hill Sugar Shack in Contoocook. There are decorative raku and horse hair pottery handcrafted by Mark Crowley of Laconia and mustards, jams, and jellies prepared by Karen Schweizer of Nannie's Canning Pantry in Wentworth.
"The gift shop offers visitors the opportunity to take home products made by local crafters and photographers while supporting this historic treasure in downtown Laconia," said volunteer Judi Taggart. "We are constantly adding original and seasonal items to make your shopping trip a unique experience. Pop in and check out all the Mill has to offer."
The Mill Gift Shop is located at 25 Beacon Street East in Laconia. The building also houses the Belknap Mill Art Gallery, with fine arts on display and offered for sale, along with the Riverside Gallery with rotating exhibits. Tours of the powerhouse and a room where socks are made on vintage knitting machines offer additional educational experiences. The Belknap Mill is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and during evening and weekend events.