North Branch Construction was founded in 1958 (as North Branch Builders) by John (Jack) Caughy of Antrim, NH. The company was named after the North Branch River, a major tributary of the Contoocook River which flows 16 miles from its headwaters in Stoddard through Antrim and on to Hillsboro, NH, where it joins the mainstream of the Contoocook River. What began as a company made up of a few friends who enjoyed working together, North Branch has evolved into one of the largest construction firms in the state of New Hampshire. Principals of the company in the 1960’s and early 1970’s (in addition to Jack Caughy) included Dave Titcomb, Bud Bartlett and Tom Burke.
In the early years, North Branch developed roots in the agricultural building industry including dairy facilities, equine centers, equipment barns and small homes. In 1974, North Branch moved from a kitchen table in Weare, NH, to a small office building on Western Avenue in Henniker, which became home for the company for over 30 years. By 1975, the company’s average project size was about $40,000 with a total annual volume of approximately $1 million. The mid 70’s was a turning point for the company when it turned from predominantly small residential type projects into the commercial market with the construction of the Merrimack Farmers Exchange (now Blue Seal Feed) in Concord, NH. North Branch Builders was a subcontractor on the project, and when others failed, North Branch was asked to complete the project. The project was a success and quickly led to more and more commercial projects.
In 1994, North Branch Builders changed it’s name to North Branch Construction, Inc. with a strategic plan to continue to grow the company with larger commercial projects including institutional, multi-unit residential, industrial, healthcare and high end residential projects. Today, with single projects valued from $1 to $40 million, North Branch’s average project is in the $3-5 million range and the company has an annual volume exceeding $50 million. North Branch has a bonding capacity of over $90 million.
In 2008, in conjunction with the company’s 50th anniversary, North Branch Construction moved into their new Silver Level LEED Certified facility in Concord, NH. As the 1stcontracting firm to design and build its own LEED Certified Building, the facility is currently one of only 8 Energy Star rated commercial office buildings in the state. This move to Concord allowed the company to be more centrally located in the market it serves.
Tom Burke, one of the early owners of the company served as President until 1990. Rob Smith joined North Branch in 1975, becoming President in 1990. Rob retired in 2009. Treasurer Robert Terry, who joined North Branch in 1976, retired in 2015. Ken Holmes, who joined the company in 1989 assumed the role of President in 2006 and continues to serve in that role today. The company has five owners all active in the day to day operations of the company: President Ken Holmes, General Manager Bruce Blazon, Vice President James Schwartzkopf, Vice President Joe Campbell and Treasurer Chris Galbraith.