The 634-acre Loverens Mill Preserve provides visitors with prime examples of nature's beauty and with the rich history of some of the Granite State's earliest settlers. Nestled on the shore of the North Branch of the Contoocook River in Antrim, Loverens Mill is now a distant memory, but for more than 100 years, the mill produced a wide variety of goods, and provided a way of life for many.
After three years in the Revolutionary War, Samuel Dinsmore settled in Antrim and, along with his son, built the first saw and grist (grain) mills at Loverens Mill in 1798. During the tenure of the next two owners, Josiah Herrick and John Peabody, the mill became a significant manufacturer of wood barrels and pails. Herrick, who owned the mill from 1807 to 1850, operated the mill with his brother Joseph. Peabody was credited with rebuilding the grist mill during his 13 years of mill ownership, which culminated in 1863.
In 1864, the mill changed hands again when Josiah Loveren moved to Antrim and bought the mill following the death of his first wife. Loveren then married Nancy Peabody, the daughter of former owner John Peabody, and enlarged the mill's operations and improved its machinery. From that point on, the mill became known as Loveren's Mill.
Under Loveren's direction, the mill produced fine quality timber, shingles, and clapboards used for houses in Antrim Village. Later, Loveren's son, John, carried on the mill's operation into the early stages of 1900s. He died in 1932.
The mill lay idle for some time until purchased by Mr. Batchelder in the early 1900s. Among the items manufactured by Batchelder was an innovative doll that cried "mama" when rocked. Batchelder closed Loveren's Mill for good and moved the operation to Marlborough in the 1920s.
Visiting the site, you can still see remnants of the mills that once lined the river, evidence of their activity, and pieces of human habitation - foundations, old tools and other artifacts.
Today, the preserve features three miles of trails and provides a wealth of passive recreation, enjoyment, and education. The protection of Loverens Mill allowed the Conservancy and partners to preserve the best example of an extremely rare Atlantic White Cedar Swamp in the state of New Hampshire. Research from the Natural Heritage Inventory indicates the cedars have grown in the Loverens Mill wetland for the past 4,000 years!