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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Run of the Mill in Newton

By Michael Kelley

Ask any longtime resident of the small, rural town of Newton, N.H., what comes to mind when they think of their town, and invariably you will hear about the old Mill.

The mill, located on the edge of Mardens Pond off North Main Street, has been moved over about 40 feet from its original location, and is used for storage by a local sculptor. But its mystique and aura still remain, no matter where it is or who uses it.

"It was used for milling, and produced carriage parts at one time. Some people said that Henry Ford used it for parts, although I haven't seen any proof of that," said Gary Rathmel, the aforementioned structural artist who now uses the building to keep his larger sculptures.

The building is 16 feet wide by 31 feet long, two stories high, shaped like a barn, and has been around as long as anyone can remember, although no exact date of its origin is known.

"It used to be on top of the old spillway, and it was jacked up with the foundation and moved about 30 or 40 feet over to where it is today," said Rathmel. "I store my larger works of art in there, the stuff I can't bear to part with."

Indeed, a building treasured by a town is now used to keep the treasure of one man's art.

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