Dan and I awoke this particular morning with the intention of visiting Dells Mill and Museum in Augusta, Wisconsin. We had just returned from a recent trip to that area when we learned that one of the few remaining 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 mark that one off of our list of places to photograph near home.
The day was bright and shinny and full of photographic opportunities. Once inside, we were taken back by the monumental size of this mill and were able to soak in some of its history.
I would highly recommend a stop at this historical site; 2014 will mark its 150th year anniversary. Take in the sites and the sounds of this old mill and if you are lucky enough, Gus Clark will play a tune for you. Gus was not only talented, but he was the friendliest museum proprietor and guide around! Thanks Gus for the knowledge and the wonderful song- I only wish we would have had video rolling.
From the Wisconsin Historical Marker Plaque at the Wisconsin Dells Mill in Augusta Wisconsin
The Dells Mill
Water-Powered grist mills ground the wheat that dominated Wisconsin’s Civil War-era economy. Built in 1864, the mill was one of the server serving area farmers. After wheat production moved westward, owners adapted the building to mill flour and grind feed.
A trip to the Dells mill could be an all-day family affair. Farmers often fished the millpond to pass the time. The millpond also provided a source for the winter ice harvest. A store, hotel, and school grew up nearby to serve the growing community
Creating a mill pond required the building of a dam to flood upstream land. The Wisconsin Territorial Legislature enacted legislation enabling dam construction in 1840.
Built along the dells of Bridge Creek, the base of the mill was carved into the sandstone bedrock. massive hand-hewn timbers secured with wooden pegs make up the structure of the Mill. Water turbines powered the milling process. A concrete dam replaced the original log structure in 1919. Dells Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, operated continuously until 1968
The Dells Mill Museum is open May through October 10 am to 5 pm
The Dells Mill Museum and Historic Properties
E18855 County Road V Augusta, WI 54722