To The Daily Sun,
Recently, there has been a number of letters to the editor in this paper regarding the Historic Belknap Mill in Laconia, and most of the letters are concerned about the mill and what, if anything should be done about the state of its finances.
Since I don't actually live in Laconia, I had not paid much attention to the mill until after reading Carol Anderson's book on the industrial history of the mill. Her fascinating story not only talks about the history of the mill, but also how the city of Laconia played an important role in this country's industrial history.
For example, does everyone know the mills in Laconia manufactured stockings for soldiers during the Civil War, World War I, and also World War II?
When my wife and I visited the Belknap Mill in late October, we were surprised to see a small manufacturing museum on the first floor where stockings are still being made by cleverly designed, complex knitting machines that were manufactured during the 1800s.
We were also given a tour of the machine room where water, diverted from a dam on the Winnipesaukee River, had once provided direct power to the mill. Later, around the turn of the century when electricity was still in its infancy, two large, specially made electric generators were installed to provide hydroelectric power to the Mill. Excess electricity was sold to other customers in Laconia.
In my opinion, the Belknap Mill is a unique treasure that needs to be publicized as a major attraction for visitors from outside this area as well as for local residents, and hopefully, publicizing it might also lead to other sources for additional income to help support and maintain this historic building.
I encourage everyone who has never visited the mill to go see it.
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