Taylor Mill’s content is directly from the Division of Parks and Recreation. All rights belong to them, we are just sharing this info.

242 Island Pond Road
Derry, NH 03038
Phone: 603-431-6774

Activities and Amenities


The 200-year old “Taylor Up and Down Sawmill” is the property of the State of New Hampshire and is cooperatively maintained and run by the Division of Parks and Recreation and the Division of Forests and Lands Planning and Community Forestry Bureau.

The Taylor Sawmill is situated on the 71-acre Ballard State Forest in Derry, New Hampshire. Robert Taylor, for whom the mill is named, bought the property in 1799 and began operating an “up and down” sawmill similar to the current one about 1805. We are not sure of exactly when this mill stopped running.

The original mill, for the most part, had been sold for scrap when Ernest R. Ballard purchased the land in 1939. Mr. Ballard searched extensively over much of New England for another “up and down” sawmill and finally found one in Sandown, New Hampshire owned by Dan Hoit. The mill had been disassembled fifty years earlier and was stored under a barn. Mr. Ballard paid $180 for it. He and his wife spent two years assembling it and finding the necessary parts to put it in operating condition.

Unable to get an original water wheel and learning of the astronomical expense of getting another built by hand, Mr. Ballard purchased a water wheel from a firm in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the Fitz Water Company, for $3,000. The wheel was 6 feet wide, 12 feet in diameter, weighed about 1,000 pounds, and had 40 buckets.

The capacity of this sawmill is limited to logs 12 feet in length and 32 inches in diameter. The mill operates at about 60 strokes per minute. The log carriage feeds the saw at about 3/8 inch per stroke. Records indicate that other up and down sawmills were capable of sawing logs up to 38 feet in length with a diameter substantially larger than the capacity of the Taylor Mill.

This entire property, including the sawmill, the house nearby, and 71 acres of land, were very generously donated to the State of New Hampshire in 1953 by Mr. Ballard.

New Hampshire Chronicle came for a visit. If you missed it, watch it here.

Operation Schedule

2022 opening dates coming soon.

Mill Staff
A.J. Dupere – Urban Forester
Robert Spoerl – Caretaker

or more information: Contact the A.J Dupere, Urban Forestry Center at 45 Elwyn Road, Portsmouth, N.H. 03801-5701, telephone (603) 431-6774.

Additional Information

Taylor Sawmill – A Technical Exploration
Alexander Knight House Project
Timber Framers Guild
The Chester Bridge – NH Covered Bridge Project
Ballard State Forest Model  

Notice: Drone Use is Restricted
Drone use is restricted at all NH State Park. Drone operators are not permitted take off or land within NH State Park boundaries.





Google Reviews

69 reviews
  • Stephen Priest
    Stephen Priest
    2 years ago

    Don't blink or you might miss the parking area. It is marked with a hand made sign. Bathroom available at parking area. Two trails available. The trail that connects to the mill from the parking area is also circular. The second trail leads from the mill along the river, but, becomes overgrown with brush. The second trail is easy to moderate. I would recommend a sturdy stroller. Be careful when walking your 🐕 dog for there are thorns, even at the parking area. The mill is closed up. It may be more interesting to observe in early spring time when water levels are higher. Nice views along the trails. I wouldn't recommend mountain biking or cross country skiing. Lake reminds me of Friday the 13th. I saw a falcon, chipmunk 🐿️, small dragonflies and something bob at the surface. 🐟 ing is popular here, though, some kids were saying the fish kept taking the bait off the hook. Picnic table available. Only issue, litter! I picked up two shopping bags full of trash left by people who fished. Also, an abandoned stroller. Leave a place in better condition than how you find it. No entrance fees. If you want a nice place to take a walk, relax or go fishing 🎣, I recommend a visit.

  • Don Doughty
    Don Doughty
    2 years ago

    Traveling South-West on Island Pond Road rounding connor and going up the hill you will see on the right Taylor Sawmill, with the parking area just past the mill. There are several trails connecting to the mill from the parking area and more trail across the road. Bring your mountain-bike, there is a Rail-Trail near-by , ride SW, then turn Right or Left at on to the trail.

  • Fey Lee
    Fey Lee
    3 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful and the caretaker was awesome! Very knowledgeable and friendly. (If you see this - thank you so much for the tour. It was fascinating!)

  • Joe Coombes
    Joe Coombes
    3 years ago

    Gorgeous! Great walk! Good fishing too!

  • Jeff Nielsen
    Jeff Nielsen
    2 years ago

    Took my daughter there to fish, nice trails. Mill was closed, but property is well kept up.

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