Homeowners, developers, municipalities, architects and interior designers flock to historic Beech River Mill in Center Ossipee, NH for its customized louvered and paneled wood products. Located on the banks of the Beech River, the mill dates back to the 1800s when it was a grist mill, known as Smart’s Mill.
Today, Beech River Mill manufactures antique reproduction doors, blinds, and shutters on some of the original Victorian era equipment, which has been converted to electric power. It is a family owned and operated business and owners Donald and Beverly Ouellette have borrowed money from NCIC since 2009. With NCIC’s financial assistance, they purchased the mill, made improvements to the building, and purchased equipment essential for the growth and success of the business. Donald is retired now but his son Randy runs it and his son-in-law heads up production. “We continue to use traditional fabrication methods, such as mortise and tenon joinery, in all our work, which allows our products to last longer than others,” said Randy. “It’s a blend of the old and the new. There aren’t too many places like us that do what we do.”
Beech River Mill also sought financial management assistance from NCIC to help them optimize their accounting and management skills and advance the skills of their employees. “We face a lot of unique challenges and NCIC has put their trust in us and provided us with resources that have helped us grow and put us in a more competitive position,” said Randy. “We take pride in what we do. NCIC shares that passion and has helped us achieve our goals.”
The Ouellettes are particularly passionate about the historic significance of the place. “The original mill was water powered by a water wheel,” said Randy. “We would like to get it up and running again as part of our plan to be more ‘green.’” Donald and Beverly also plan to convert the basement level of the building into a museum. “Of the 15 to 20 mills that used to be on this river, it’s the last one standing,” said Don. “We’re thankful that NCIC supported the restoration of this building and business and the mill’s legacy.” Adds Beverly, “When you walk in, it’s like walking back in history.” And they want to keep it that way.
To learn more about Beech River Mill and its products, visit www.beechrivermill.com.