The Hatch Mill is located in the Two Mile section of Marshfield on land that was first settled by Walter Hatch (1625-1699). We know from his 1698 will that he owned a corn mill and a fulling mill on this land, the exact locations unknown. The sawmill was built in 1812 by Deacon Joel Hatch on the site of a former grist mill that was built by his family in 1752.
The building was expanded in 1859 when a box mill was added to the original structure. The box mill is essentially a smaller sawmill and table saw capable of cutting small logs into boards used to build boxes and packing crates. Wooden boxes were used for shipping before cardboard became the standard shipping container.
The original sawmill was “modernized“ in 1872 when the sawmill was converted from an “up and down”/sash sawmill presumably powered by a water wheel, to a circular sawmill powered by a water turbine patented by G.A. Houston.
The circular sawmill is located in the original section of the building that was built in 1812. The sawmill was manufactured by the S.C. Forsaith Manufacturing Company of Manchester, New Hampshire. There is a brass plate on the carriage of the sawmill with a patent date of December 3, 1867, so we assume the sawmill was made between 1867 and 1872 when it was installed at the Hatch Mill.
With few further changes the mill was operated continuously by members of the Hatch Family until it was finally closed by Decker Hatch in 1965. Franklin Decker Hatch (1879-1980) was the great grandson of Joel Hatch and eight generations removed from Walter Hatch. The mill was purchased by the Marshfield Historical Society in 1968.