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,
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.