The decades haven’t been kind to New Hampshire’s milling industries. Whether you’re looking at paper and pulp or textile mills, many of the state’s old manufacturing mainstays are continuing to decline.
One of the hardest-hit areas of New Hampshire is the North Country, a region that relies heavily on its natural resources–especially forests–to maintain its economy. There, a wave of paper mill closures over the past decade or so has stripped the area of hundreds of jobs. In most cases, new industries haven’t stepped into the region to fill the void.
But New Hampshire’s various mills were never confined to the north. A number of cities, like Nashua, Laconia, Portsmouth, and Concord are counted among the state’s mill towns. In fact, many New Hampshire cities were originally founded as mill towns. Some, like Manchester, focused heavily on textile manufacturing. Although much of that business has since moved from New England to the South, the state’s textile mills still do a good business manufacturing specialized materials for industry and the Department of Defense. Meanwhile, high tech manufacturing has arisen in southern New Hampshire as an alternative to old-style mill work.