Grinding our way south… Pickwick Mill

grist•mill (ˈgrɪstˌmɪl)
a mill, esp one equipped with large grinding stones for grinding grain.

We were tipped off earlier in the year about a gristmill located in Southern Minnesota that is still operational after all these years. After more research, we actually found a few within a days drive from home that we would like to visit.  Our eyes opened to a beautiful June morning, so we decided to pack up our gear and the girls (Tindra and Audrey) and head out for a day trip to Southeastern MN in search of the whispered gristmills.

The first stop was the Pickwick Mill located near Winona, MN.  Thomas Grant and Wilson Davis built the mill during the years 1856 to 1858 and is one of the oldest water powered gristmills found in southeast Minnesota.   This old gristmill has some history as it ran 24 hours a day during the Civil War and produced 100 barrels daily for the Union Army. After the war, the mill became a flour-milling center for most of southern Minnesota and portions of Iowa and Wisconsin.

The mill was built from locally quarried limestone, with a timber frame that was so closely fit, that nails were not used (outside of the floor). The six-story building is now registered as a historic site by Pickwick Mill, Inc., a privately funded, non-profit organization.

As we walked into this old mill we were greeted by a courteous volunteer who was so eager to share its history.  After a brief video, the volunteer went over to the water-shoot and opened the forces that powered this mill.  As the creaking noise of the turning waterwheel became louder and louder, the vibration started and shook the entire building.  Feeling the power of this mill straight down to your bones was an amazing sensation.

We had a great time learning about this mill and I would highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area.

Click on the following link for more information:    Pickwick Mill

Days and Hours of Operation
The Pickwick Mill will be open
* Weekends during May, September, and October
* Tuesday through Sunday during June, July, and August
Hours of operation:
10AM – 5PM Tuesday through Saturday
11AM – 5PM Sunday
Tours at other times available by appointment. Call 507-457-0499,
507-457-3296, 507-457-9658

Ticket Purchase
Tickets cost $3 adults, $2 teenagers over age 12, $1 children age 12 or under. Group tour prices available.

Off we go…  Into the wild blue yonder to our next destination, Schech’s Mill located south of Houston, MN.

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4 thoughts on “Grinding our way south… Pickwick Mill

  1. Great series honey! This was a great trip. My fav’s are the two of the girls and the cows. The cows were so curious and funny. The tour of the mill was time well spent.

  2. MikeP says:

    Love you take on this mill…. really like the mill shot through the woods and the dreamy effect. If you have time what process did you use on this pic and also # 17… to get detail in the woods from the inside of the 2 windows?

    • Thanks Mike! Using Nik’s Color Efex Pro, I have a process that helps me to achieve these effects. I will look into how I processed these particular images and get back to you real soon. The information might even be a good blog topic?? 🙂 Thanks again- I always appreciate your feedback especially when the information is coming in from a true talent!

  3. […] gristmills was just a hop, skip, and a jump to where we were photographing.  After visiting Pickwick Mill and Schech’s Mill in South Eastern Minnesota, we were excited to visit another historic mill and […]

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