Manchester City Library

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Mills: Shaping Our Past, Present and Future

November 14th, 2020 · No Comments · Books, City Library, Main Branch, News, Teens

Drive around New England and you are bound to come across a mill town. In fact, it is here in New England that the Industrial Revolution took off in the United States. Textile and paper mills, some of which are still in operation, were found in places like Manchester, Nashua, and Berlin, New Hampshire as well as Rumford, Maine and Lowell, Massachusetts.

These mills provided jobs and, in many cases, the demand for workers was so high families came from the countryside or even immigrated for work. This changing population settled in mill towns and left a mark. Even today, there are neighborhoods that reflect the immigrant populations that lived here. Rimmon Heights and Notre Dame are neighborhoods with historically French-Canadian residents, as is French Hill in Nashua.

Over time, many mills slowed production or shut down completely, leaving those that depended on them out of work and struggling. This also had an impact on the local economy with the loss of income having ripple effects on local businesses. After a major economic downturn, some mill towns revitalized the mill districts and brought in fresh blood. Mills today are used for restaurants, apartments, and a wide range of other businesses.

Manchester City Library has an assortment of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about mills. You can check them out here!

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