Thornton New Hampshire is located in the picturesque valley of the Pemigewasset River.
That stream extends through nearly the center of the township, north and south. In the 1823 Gazeteer of the State of New-Hampshire is mentioned: “On Mill brook, there is a cascade, of which the water falls 7 feet in 2 rods and then falls over a rock 42 feet perpendicular.” The New England Gazeteer of 1841, by John Hayward states: “On Mill brook, there is a cascade, at which the water falls 7 feet in 2 rods, and then falls over a rock 42 feet perpendicular.” In 1875 George L. Brown painted a picture of “Mill-Brook Cascade, at Thornton, New Hampshire.”
In 1886 the History of Grafton County New Hampshire, stated of this river in Thornton, “One of its several tributaries includes the Mill brook, from the east, where there is a beautiful cascade, the water falling from a perpendicular rock forty-two feet in height.”
In 1890, the tourism book entitled, Summer Outings in the Old Granite State, published by the railroad companies, mentions: “Mill Brook Cascades are in this town [Thornton], and are visited either from here or from Campton Village.”
According to “Strange New England,” this cascade was once part of “Glacial Park” a commercial venture, encompassing a large tract of land near the cascade. Apparently there were bungalows for rent, as attested to by old postcards, and brochures.
The location of this former park is in a secluded area northeast of the current Shamrock Motel, on Mill Brook Road This cascade is now on private property. Do not adventure here without express permission of the land owner!
The park was still in existence in 1968.
In 2013, nhmagazine.com printed an online article about finding lost waterfalls in New Hampshire.
In 2014, a real estate broker named XX located the old entrance to the park, described what he saw and took photographs. [PLEASE NOTE: This sort of activity, without permission of the land owner, is AGAINST THE LAW. Just do NOT do this].
If you have additional knowledge about this Glacial Park, please let me know!
New Hampshire has many cascades and falls… do you have a favorite?
New Hampshire Waterfalls – NHStateParks.com
Editor’s Note: This original story was written 12 August 2006 and updated 1 October 2015 and October 2021 with the addition of several postcard photographs, and links to other stories written about these or other falls in New Hampshire.
P.S.: Please do not confuse this park with Glacier National Park in Montana.