Stone Machine Shop

The area on the west side of modern New Hampshire Route 4A contained several structures used as workspaces by the Church Family Brethren. Centered on an open mill yard, this area contained a variety of buildings which served both the agricultural and industrial needs of the community.

Among the structures that once stood here were the 1806 Tannery, 1817 Blacksmith Shop, 1817 Hen House, 1817 1817 Sheep Shed, 1817 Hog House, 1817 Horse Barn,1825 Wood Mill, 1825 Corn Barn, 1830 Cart Shed, and the 1846 Broom Shop. Today, only two structures remain of the Church Family buildings that were originally located in this area.

One of these two buildings is the Stone Machine Shop. Constructed in 1849, this structure housed three stories of water-powered machinery. The Stone Machine Shop was built to replace an 1812 mill that was located on the same site before its destruction in a large fire on July 28, 1849 which also claimed the adjacent threshing barn. Construction on the new Stone Mill began after September 10 with stone brought from locations as near as a half mile and as far as five miles. The exterior structure bears signs of the multiple masons who worked on the project. In 1850, the interior of the building was finished by the Shakers and the machinery installed. One of several water-powered structures on the property, the Stone Machine Shop was powered by a nearby stream and mill pond. Water flowing through the stream would enter into the mill’s head race, move across several water wheels, and exit through the tail race before being dumped back into the stream. Shaker Elder Henry Blinn described how, “everything in this building was far in advance of that lost by the fire, and nothing was lacking to make it one of the best fitted workshops in the state” (Henry C. Blinn, “Historical Notes Having Reference to the Believers in Enfield, N.H.” [unpublished manuscript, 1897], 46.)