Friday, August 25, 2006

Hanford Mill

Hanford Mill in the Catskills of New York State was a water powered industry, that has been restored as a museum. The mill was not your typical sawmill that only cut lumber (which they did), but also made wooden pieces for homes and other factories such as barrel tops, trim and wooden milk boxes. In addition to the wood working equipment a grist mill was used to grind grain.

The mill had both turbines and an internal waterwheel that provided the power. Currently only the Fitz waterwheel is functioning. The mill pond located in front of the mill supplies the water to the mill complex. The water source is a small creek that runs behind and to the right side of this photograph. The mill building is the building in the center of the picture. A railroad ran to the right side of the complex at one time. The smoke stack to the right is for the steam engine.

Normally waterwheels are taller than then their width, this waterwheel is a Fitz waterwheel and is much wider than the diameter. This was because of the large amount of water available from the mill pond and the small head available (vertical drop of the water).

The Circular Saw was used to cut logs into boards that could either be sold or used in other parts of the mill complex. Other water powered wood working equipment is functional within the mill.

These photographs were taken by Vince DiNoto in July of 2006. Their website is:

Water Power

Water Power until the invention and utilization of the steam engine in the 1800's and before was the major source of power for early American factories. While today most of the remaining water mills are in remote areas and many times in parks, these mills were the work horses of American industry and water was used to grind grain, saw lumber and power textile mills to mention a few. Some of these larger industrial complexes still exist in the northeastern part of the country. More on this subject and pictures will be added in the near future.