Rust Pond Association


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HISTORY OF ACTIVITY ON THE RUST DAM & BROOK

The Rust Pond Association was formed in 1950 in order to acquire and rebuild the dam. Fred Varney was contracted to "rebuild the present dam at the outlet of Rust Pond, So. Wolfeboro, NH. All to be done as per plans of the NH Water Resources Board and at the direction of Mr. Frost, Engineer of the same board. The work to include preliminary excavation and drainage of the Pond. All of the above work to be completed in a substantial and workmanlike manner for the sum of $2000)." The dam was completed Nov. 13, 1950.

Early maps of the RPA property indicate that there were "fish hatchery bins" where the brook enlarged before passing under Rt. 28. Alongside the bins was Weston Auto.

Before 1919 Weston was a blacksmith shop and store. In 1919 the property was conveyed to George Rust, but the deed was not recorded until 1924 when Clarence W. Estabrook bought it. Selling and servicing of Dodge and Rickenbacker automobiles started in 1924. (Granite State News, 6/30/93).

A wooden flume brought water from Rust Brook, below Rt. 28, to the blanket factory which was located at the bottom of the brook near the yellow Springfield House.

Arthur Bushman, of New Garden Road, remembers that the flume was a long wooden box, three feet on a side, with iron rods to reinforce it along its length. Water always leaked in a spray and in winter produced an impressive view of sprayed ice. He believes that the flume was removed around the time of the second world war.

Parker's History of Wolfeborough (1901) states that the fall of water of the brook

"exceeds sixty feet and at different times there has been considerable machinery on the stream: a grist mill, a sawmill, a shingle mill, a chair factory, a pipe factory, a woolcarding and cloth dressing establishment, a tannery, a foundry, and a woolen factory. A large portion of this property has been destroyed by fire. The whole of this water power is not now used.

"The South Wolfeborough Blanket and Flannel manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1861. The name of the corporation was afterwards changed to the Wolfeborough Woolen Mills. The factory building is leased by Charles W. Springfield, successor to I. W. Springfield, who employs seventy-five help and makes forty thousand blankets annually".

Examples of the blankets can be seen at the Clark House Museum in Wolfeboro. Some were special design orders for the big New York stores.


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