In the Amoskeag Millyard there is a hidden garden of New Hampshire wildflowers filling the old canal in front of the Public Service of New Hampshire offices. You have to drive down into the parking area below Commercial Street to see the flowers. This is one of the few places to see a lot of lupines in Southern New Hampshire, although I notice that the newly constructed segment of Route 93 has been planted with lupines, too, between exits 2 and 3. They are very visible on the southbound lanes.
Nearly everyone has seen the huge brick mill buildings here, but there are several other fun things to see. There are great views of the River from Arms Park, where you can get close enough to the rapids to feel the splash of the water. There is a fish ladder with a museum and viewing station to see the salmon and other fish swimming up the Merrimack River. There is a history museum, and also a science museum.
The Amoskeag Millyard was first developed in 1807 by Samuel Blodget with a small system of canals and locks for water powered textile looms. This is when the area was renamed "Manchester" after the large industries Blodget had seen in Manchester, England. It became the largest textile manufacturer in the world, and stretched for more than a mile long. Amoskeag was unrivaled for the quantity of cloth that it produced, and even produced the textiles used by Levi Straus and other famous clothing makers.
|The little red convertible was exploring Manchester last week|
|This enormous canal gate valve has quite a story. See below|
|The lupine were just starting to bloom|
The old canal was full of wild flowers. It is a little early for lupines, but I suspect by around July 1st there will be a nice display here. Don't get lost looking for this garden! Just head into the parking area off Commercial Street and drive until you see the giant canal gate valve near the PSNH offices. There is also a nice lookout platform with a great view of Amoskeag Falls and the salmon fish ladder on the other side of the Merrimack River.
Have you seen Millie, the Mill Girl, in Manchester's millyard? Click here:
The Millyard Museum, by the Manchester Historical Society
Old photos of the Amoskeag Millyard
Wikipedia article on the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company
Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo