“The Power of Water: Greensboro’s Life Blood Yesterday and Today”

The Greensboro Historical Society's 2016 Winter Panel Presentation and Summer Exhibit

The brooks and rivers in town affected how the town was settled because the early residents needed running water to power their mills.

They were located in Greensboro Village, as well as in North Greensboro. In the early 1800s, Greensboro boasted three sawmills, two grist mills, one oat mill, one shingle mill, one carding machine, and one fulling mill (for the thickening, cleaning and shrinking of cloth).

Greensboro Bend began when mill owners lured the builders of the railroad to make a 'bend' in the route with a bond of $18,000 posted by the town of Greensboro and private citizens.

A steam mill was built in 1869 near the intersection of Route 16 and North Greensboro Road, just after the contract for the new railroad had been let out. Steam mills could be powered by burning scrap lumber and operate year-round.

John Mackin and Nat Smith spoke about the Village System (Greensboro Fire District # 1) and Ernest Machia spoke about the Greensboro Bend System (Bend Fire District # 2).

The Village system was recently reconstructed, as everyone remembers when the traffic was slowed during the past two years as new pipes were laid. John is Chair and Water Operator of the Prudential Committee of Greensboro Fire District # 1, and Nat Smith is Clerk of the Prudential Committee. Ernest Machia is Chairman of the Greensboro Bend Prudential Board of Fire District # 2 .


 “The Power of Water: Greensboro’s Life Blood Yesterday and Today”
(presented on Sunday, March 6th, 2 p.m. at Fellowship Hall)



The state-wide Tunbridge Vermont History Expo in June sponsored by the Vermont Historical Society featured many local historical societies, including ours, with exhibits on water and how it has affected the state’s history. Greensboro’s booth concentrated on the many mills in our town. This exhibit was brought back to town and expanded by showing the water distribution system in the Village, displays on mills, the businesses in town, the farms, and recreation such as boating, fishing, swimming and skiing – all of which are dependent on water. The exhibit was tied together by the use of scientific explanations of how the three phases of water, ice, liquid and vapor- are all present in our part of the planet and interact to determine our commercial and recreational history. The exhibit was curated by BJ Gray, Kyle Gray, Nancy Hill, Gina Jenkins, Erika Karp, Wendy Parrish and Wilhelmina Smith. 


 Panel Presentation - PDF Scrapbook

Exhibit - PDF Scrapbook