Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Nilus River Mills
Nilus River Mills
James Johnson's Grant
Nilus river, or brook, did not at all seasons furnish sufficient water to keep the gristmill in operation, and another grant was afterward [December 29, 1709] made to Mr. Tuck, allowing him, so far as the town had a right to do it, to turn the springs near where Thomas Sleeper formerly lived, [On Shaw's Hill.] and also the spring at Alder meadow, [p. 146. note.] into the pond by his gristmill, for the term of twenty years, provided that he should improve every opportunity to grind corn for the inhabitants of the town for the sixteenth part thereof; and further engage to grind three days in a week, when there was sufficient water. On the town's part it was agreed, that, if there should be a further grant of these springs after the expiration of twenty years, Mr. Tuck should have the offer of them on as favorable terms as any other person.
The springs first named are those in the tract of ground known as "Spring-heads," lying between Nook Lane and the Little River road. The natural outlet of these springs is through the Nook run into Dow's river; but by means of a dam, usually called the foot-dam, across this outlet near the springs, the water is easily turned into the mill pond already mentioned.
From Alder meadow there were originally two outlets. Nilus brook, which runs easterly through the meadow, carries off the water from most of the springs; but those in the north part of the meadow had an outlet running northerly into Little river, which is less than half a mile distant from the meadow. By a dam across this outlet, the water from all the springs could be turned into Nilus brook, and made serviceable to any mills farther down that stream. The dam constructed at this place was called the little dam; and, though the dam itself has long been gone, the place where it was built, and the land near it still bear that name.
In 1735 the proprietors of the First Division voted, "that the water of Sleeper's Spring shall half run down the natural way to where carts go over the Nook Run, and the other half run into Tuck's ditch to the pond, forever; and none who hereafter have the lots the springs run through shall ever hinder the same."
Early in the present century, Tuck's gristmill had come into the possession of Reuben Lamprey, who sold it to Moses Leavitt. In 1815 Mr. Leavitt took down the old mill, which had become dilapidated, and built a new one, which he and his sons operated. Subsequently, Mr. Leavitt gave the mill to his eldest son, Jonathan, whose widow controlled it till her death, in 1885. It is now owned by Mr. Joel Jenkins, a summer resident, as a part of his estate, and is not in use.
Dam Pasture Mill