Welcome to Little Gohard Mill

The mill is located on a diversion of the river Erve below the medieval village.

In a dictionary published in 1777, Le Paigne noted that « the river Erve flowing  below the village worked six wheat mills, several paper mills, one fulling mill and three tanning drum mills.»

The tannery, a T-shaped building, was set up upstream on an island between the Erve and a long headdrace.

Two spillways have been settled upriver from the tannery ; one in the north of the river, the other one in the south of it running under an arch of the building.

The wheel was used to crush the tan wheras the other tanning, washing and drying operations were also sheltered under the same building.

The Gohard, according to the historical, topographical and biographical dictionary of la Mayenne (1900-1910) by Abbot Angot « a vanished place in Ste- Suzanne » (it is no longer now !) : a paper mill and a fief near the village. The fief depended on the Charnie « ségrairie »(a jointly-held wood).

Abbot Angot wrote that paper was manufactured at the Gohard mill in 1736.

At that time, there was lower Gohard with a sawmill, a tannery and a tan-mill. There was also upper Gohard.

In 1745, the playing-car industry existed in 115 French towns ; but the number of the workshops was reduced to 63 by the authorities in 1751, including the one in Ste-Suzanne.

In 1771, the seven paper mills used to produce 3,000 rames (1,500,000 sheeds)

Altered several times, the Gohard paper mill was run by the famous paper and card maker, François Provost.

The seven paper mills were still working before 1836.
The paper activity stopped in Ste-Suzanne in 1840.

The little Gohard mill was still mentioned on the cadastral register of 1842.



«  Le Gohard » derives from the old form of « Godard », the former name from German origin, coming from « God »/ « Gott » meaning « God » and « hard » meaning « strong ». But the probability of a place dedicated in Ste Suzanne to St Gohard seems credible. In the same way the chapel of the castle was dedicated to Ste Suzanne and later on, the chapel of the Croix Couverte to St Eutrope.
Gohard was the Archbishop of Nantes in the
ninth century.


The new wheel was inaugurated on November 10th 2013 

It was built in La Croix Workshop (49), and was brought to Ste Suzanne by van in eight separate pieces.

Diametre :    3,70 m

Width :         42 cm

Weight :        1,2 tons

Wood :           800kgs

Metal :           400kgs


A wheel has been working at « little Gohard » for more than six hundred years.

1408 :                                A written document mentioning a flour mill

18th century :                 The flour mill was turned into a paper mill

1871 :                                 Rehabilitation into a tan mill

1935 :                                The wheel was suppressed and a water factory was  created instead


2013 :                                A paddle wheel was reinstalled.