The waters of Suncook River were harnessed in the 1730's, eventually powering saw and grist mills, forge shops, and paper mills. The first cotton factory, owned by Major Caleb Stark, was built here in 1811. By 1900, Pembroke Mill, Webster Mill, and China Mill employed more than 1,500 workers, mostly recruited from the Province of Quebec, to make 35 million yards of cotton cloth each year. Suncook's commercial center, built of native brick and granite, attained its present appearance by 1886. It is one of the best-preserved small manufacturing villages in New Hampshire.