Today we joined another group of homeschoolers for a tour of the historic Lanterman’s Mill in Mill Creek Park.
We started out on the covered bridge that crosses Mill Creek. This bridge, which was rebuilt in the 1980s, is an example of the covered bridges that were often used in the 1800s-early 1900s in our area. The bridge is covered for two reasons: to protect the wood floor from the elements, and also to keep the horses who were bringing grain to the mill from getting spooked as they crossed the water.
Next, we looked out over the creek and saw where the water came into the mill from a small diversion next to the falls.
Here’s the little gate where the diverted water is allowed to enter into the mill:
The water enters where the grate is, below where the girls are standing with our guide.
From here, we went into the mill and followed the path the water would take.
Here we are looking at the inner gate, which can be opened or closed from upstairs.
Here is the mill wheel:
We saw the vertical driveshaft that runs through all three levels of the mill, and the wooden safety gear (if something jams, the wooden teeth would snap, rather than binding up all the more expensive metal parts). Then we went upstairs and saw the actual grinding stones.
The mill is still operating, though not today as they are waiting for a part to do a repair. They still grind wheat, buckwheat and corn on these grindstones. We got to feel the different whole grains.
We also got a closeup view, via two small stones, of how the grinding process works.
Next, we went up to the attic. Finished flour is carried up to the attic via little tin cups attached to a belt, which is basically a pulley-bucket system. This is called the “elevator”. The grain goes up to the attic and is sifted in the binder. Here’s the binder:
Here is a mill stone. The ones Mr. Lanterman used in his mill came from France in three pieces, which were bound together with a metal strap.
We learned that the bottom stone, which does not turn, is called the bedstone. The top stone is called the runner. They have grooves in them to allow the ground flour to pass between the stones and out to the elevator system.
Next, we went on a brief hike along Mill Creek. At the time the mill was operating, a local attorney named Volney Rogers hiked along the creek to the mill every day. He loved the hike so much that he bought all the property and bequeathed it to make Mill Creek Park, to preserve it for future generations. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Rogers, as Mill Creek Park is definitely a unique treasure that we appreciate all the time.
Here, we are looking at some of the foliage that is indigent to our area.
We hiked to a large outcrop called “Umbrella Rock”. Our guide explained that native Americans would likely have used this as a shelter. In addition to protecting themselves from elements, animals and other Indians, the rock has a large quantity of iron oxide that they probably used for painting on the rock walls and, when necessary, on themselves.
We also spotted a Great Blue Heron and a mink on our hike.
Finally, we headed back. At the gift shop, I bought a small bag of Lanterman’s Mill flour, which we will make into pancakes for breakfast tomorrow.