Monday, February 24, 2020

Bob's Way or the Highway

Yesterday's CBS Sunday Morning Show had a feature on Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill. You can read about it at this link. The article tells us that "Moore was in his 50s in Southern California working at gas stations and auto centers when, on a whim, he walked into a library, and picked up a book that would change the course of his life. "I still read this about three times a year," he said.

The book, "John Goffe's Mill" (published in 1948), tells the story of a man in New Hampshire who, without any prior experience, purchased and rebuilt an old grain mill. It inspired Moore to do the same."

Of course, you can find this book at the Conway Public Library as well as its follow up book, John Goffe's Legacy, also by George Woodbury.

The mill site has been graced with a state highway marker (click on image to enlarge it).

And a number of research papers available online. More details can be found in this report here and here.

I did a little internet searching and discovered that there are more recent chapters to this story. It is a story of resilience in the face of drastic change. The mill site has recently been surrounded by development and roads.

You can see the mill site surrounded by highways, malls and apartments. 

But history and tradition provide continuity in a world of change. The Whole Foods store there pays tribute to the area's history. Whole Foods stands on what use to be a beautiful (and some say haunted) hotel back in its day - the Sheraton Wayfarer Inn. They have included a beautiful tribute wall to the John Goffe’s Mills and Inn. All of the wood paneling and tables in their eating area are made out of beams from the original hotel. See this blog here

A story in the NH Business Review relates how Goeffe's mill bridge was saved from destruction here. The bridge mover is part of the Graton family that recently moved a covered bridge from Storyland to Kennett High School using oxen and pulleys.

Did you know that the Pillsbury Baking Company had its origins in Conway? 

One way to learn more about mills and manufacturing in the Mount Washington Valley is to join us next month in our Olli class. For more info see this here.

This Bob has his own bobblehead and not long ago he won the coveted Golden Spurtle award. See the news here. If only I could be such a lucky Bob!

For more details on this or any other historical subject in the White Mountains, contact us at the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room.

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