Hampton grist mill renovated

Hampton Union, November 20, 1985

The old grist mill
The Old GristMill, on High Street, Hampton, recently received major renovations to its roof, siding and foundation. For finishing touches, a new sign will be installed in front of the historic landmark. (Ed Ballam, photograph)

The grist mill on High Street recently received extensive renovations to its foundation, roof and siding.

At town meeting in March, residents voted to appropriate $5,800 for repairs to the foundation to prevent the historic structure, which has stood for many generations, from falling into the small creek the building spans.

Residents also voted to spend $2,800 to finish shingling the roof and the sides of the historic building.

The mill, known as the Tuck Grist Mill, was in a state of disrepair before the renovation project got underway late this summer. Fire had damaged much of the timbers on the roof to the point where many needed replacing.

Selectmen had trouble finding people to work on the building because most contractors considered the job too small to be bothered with.

However at least two craftsmen felt the job was worth doing, if for nothing else, for historic preservation.

Ron Bridle worked on the roof and the siding, according to Town Manager Phillip Richards.

Thomas Wasson, a skilled mason, recently completed his work on the foundation which, according to selectmen, had almost collapsed on one side.

With the town's 350th anniversary less than three years away, selectmen wanted to preserve the structure before it was too late.

Some controversy exists over when the mill was constructed, but most people agree that it at least 200 years old. Unofficially, the mill was constructed in 1688, according to a painting of the building hanging in the selectmen's meeting room.

Another controversy surrounds the name of the building. Some people say other families owned the mill before the Tucks did and, therefore, claim that it should not be called the Tuck Grist Mill.

A sign will be placed in front which will say "The Old Grist Mill."