Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lowell, MA Textile Mills

(Bootts Mill)

Lowell, MA
Textile Mills

Lowell was one of the major manufacturing centers in the U.S. during the mid-1800's to early 1900's. Like many manufacturing centers in the Northeast, they have closed the factories and left large manufacturing buildings. Lowell has many great mill buildings and several canals at three different levels to power the mills. Some of the buildings have been restored for new uses and others remain empty. The falling of the water from one elevation to another provided the source of power for these factories. Large turbines powered the mills, which turned due to the falling water through them. Lowell was choosen as an industrial location because of Pawtucket Falls on the Merrimack River. As other forms of powers such as electricity and steam became available cost efficient the factories moved to other parts of the country or outside of the U.S. Parts of Lowell are now a National Park. The main canal has been restored and the NPS offers boat rides along the canal and into the river.

Boott mill has been partially restored to provide vistors a view of early textile manufacutring in the U.S. and for other uses.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pears Mill

Pears Mill is in Southwestern Michigan in the small town of Buchanan. The mill wheel is on the back side of the building. The mill is located in downtown. N 41 49.618 W 86 81.660.
The waterwheel is a reconstruction of an overshot waterwheel and is made of wood.
The mill is in very good condition is part of renovated area of Buchanan, it is one block off the main street.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Beck's Mill

Beck's Mill is located in Washington County, Indiana south of Salem the county seat. It is located at 38 32.214 N, 86 09.290 W. The mill is in the process of being restored by the Friends of Beck's Mill. They recently received a grant from the Cooks Group which will pay for the complete restoration of the mill. The mill receives water from a cave located behind the mill. A smal dam holds water for the mill. The water for the mill comes through a metal pipe. The pipe once supplied water to a metal waterwheel and two turbines. The state of the tubines is unknown at this time. The waterwheel is in very poor condition.

Inside the mill on the second floor is a bolter and two carding machines. On the first floor is stone mill. Most of the contents of the mill have been placed in storage at this time.

The mill will be lifted from the foundation, so that it can be restored.

For more information: http://friendsofbecksmill.org


Monday, May 14, 2007

Falls Mill

This mill is located in southeastern Tennessee. Falls Mill is an operating grist mill that produces flour and mixes that are sold both to visitors as well in local markets. The mill has a large overshot waterwhell that receives the water from a dam behind the mill. Their is also a B & B located at the mill. It is about 30 miles from Monteagle on I - 24. This mill was visted in the spring of 2007.

John and Jeannie are great hosts.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Peirce Mill

Peirce Mill is located in Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC near the National Zoo. The mill is owned by the National Park Service. Peirce Mill is the last remaining waterpower mill located in Washington, at one time Rock Creek at eight operating mills. For many years this 1820s mill has been a popular attraction for visitors to Rock Creek Park. I have visited the mill numerous times, my first visit occurred about 20 years ago when Theodore Hazen was the miller. Ted now owns a mill restoration company, Pond Lily Mill Restorations. The mill was once an operating grist mill in Rock Creek until the failure in 1993. It has not operated since that time. The waterwheel at the mill was in very poor conditioned until restorations begun recently to fix the damaged portions. The National Park Service maintains two websites for additional information, www.nps.gov/pimi/ or www.nps.gov/archive/rocr/piercemill/. An organization Friends of Peirce Mill is in the process of raising funds and restoring the structure, the wheel is being repaired. www.peircemill-friends.org/index.html

The interior of the mill when I first photographed it about 20 years ago was one of the best examples of an Oliver Evans Mill. Oliver Evans was a 1700s millwright that invented ways to automate mills using the power from the waterwheel. This photograph shows runs of stones used to grind grain.

The mill dam on Rock Creek.

Blackston Mill

This mill was located in Southern Indiana on the Floyd Clark County Line, on the Floyd County side of Silver Creek. The mill collapsed into the creek several years ago. The mill area above the dam was a popular spot for area youth to swim. The mill dam still remains. This picture was taken as a 35 mm slide and scanned using a Nikon Slide Scanner. There are numerous paints done by local artist in particular Ray Day of New Albany.