Save the Newichawannock Canal!

The Newichawannock Canal between Great East Lake and Horn Pond forming the state border between Maine and New Hampshire is a masterpiece of 19th century civil engineering and manpower. Built to control the flow of water down the Salmon Falls River to the Great Falls Manufacturing Company’s mills in Somersworth, the canal and bridge stand today as a testament to the ingenuity and industry of the region’s citizens.

The “Save Our Canal Bridge” group, members of the Wakefield and Acton communities, is focused on preserving this special historic resource, protecting the water quality of the Salmon Falls River, and ensuring that the bridge repairs will support the necessary traffic and loads to meet the needs of public safety and convenience for the local residents and visitors. The committee is researching funding opportunities and technical assistance. This project will require significant funds and volunteer energy.

The Wakefield Heritage Commission is very interested in seeing that the area around the Newichawannock Canal and Bridge is preserved as well as recognized as an historic landmark. Pam Judge, Chairman of the Heritage Commission, is working on a grant to nominate the bridge and canal to the National Register of Historic Places. In order to accomplish this, Acton and Wakefield must support the endeavor as well as the States of NH and Maine, all four being the property owners of this area. Both towns have agreed to write letters of support and the Commission is waiting to hear from NH and Maine. Pam has also received an email of encouragement from the National Park Service stating that this would be a national example! The Commission reached out to Acton and Wakefield residents to work together for the preservation and repair of the bridge. A steering committee, which includes several residents of Veazey Point, has been formed to “Save Newichawannock”. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

If you would like to know more or be involved contact Pam Judge at or call (603) 387-3698 or the Heritage Commission at (603) 998-0860.