The first bridge to be built anywhere on the 410 mile long Connecticut River was across the narrow Bellow's Falls gorge. Six years later, in 1791, the first canal company in the U.S. was established here to avoid the turbulent bend in the river. Later, in 1850, the arrival of railroads transformed the village into a regional rail hub, and water-powered mills made Bellows Falls one of the nation's largest paper manufacturers in the early 20th century.
Today the downtown district still has some of the look of the 19th century and the feel of the mid 20th. But beneath that look, it's definitely a town that is moving forward.
You’ll find locally owned restaurants, shops, and antique and art galleries, including a time-warp hardware store where the old wood floors creak underfoot. There is lots of arts and culture, with coops, galleries and storefronts and exhibits, events and instruction at Main Street Arts.
Nearby residential neighborhoods are rich in Victorian era architecture. The visitors' center, located near the canal, embodies the town's railroad history and contains exhibits and information about the region.
Special events in and around the Bellows Falls (Town of Rockingham) community range from a music festival to Le Tour de Rockingham, a family-oriented bicycle rally.
For more information visit Bellows Falls Downtown Development Alliance, 802-460-2333 or Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce, 802-463-4280.