October 15, 2013
It is a full year since the Grist Mill project was started. It has been one of the most fun, historic, and educational experiences we have done as a family. We have learned much about American History, the Mill's history and how much fun it is to run a historic mill.
The Grist Mill has her quirks such as: she can not be rushed. You have to ease up to full speed if you want her to keep her belts on! She lets you know who is the boss. Every time we grind cornmeal and/or grits we learn something new; kind of like dancing with a new partner as you have to learn how to move them.
The ground cornmeal and grits are the tastiest you will ever eat with freshly ground flavor and texture that will enhance any meal.
Restoration of the Grist Mill was done with the help of:
Mason G. Maddox Jr., Miller of Colvin Run Mill, VA. who mentored Pete and Chase on how to run/repair a historic mill, John our welder in Cumberland Gap, TN, Kerry our neighbor for turning a new wood piece for the wood pulley thing and the kids - Chase, Mario and Tyler for all of their help putting new belts on, cleaning, greasing and running, up, and down the stairs to make sure the belts stayed on. Still to come is leveling the front of the bed stone about 1/4 of an inch so that it will run flat all the way around. This will assist in a more constant production of corn meal.
We hope you will come and see us soon!
October 30, 2012
Pete has received some training in restoration of a grist mill (very different from being a commercial aircraft mechanic) and he is looking forward to the project.
First thing is to clean up the mill and grease it. Replace one outside log and have Seiverville Co-Op fix a belt.
We will be grinding grits, corn meal (white and yellow) wheat flour and Buckwheat flours that come from commercial grade products.
November 3, 2012
They start by taking off the top hopper then the horse. The grain drops into this little shovel looking thing and is shaken onto the stones and then the millers ring.
When farmers brought their grain to be milled, the Miller would push some of the finished meal off the stone and into the Millers Ring. This meal was his share, without the farmer's knowledge - his tip you might say. The Miller's Ring is a space about 3" located between the stone and the outer ring. When you clean out the mill and lift the Millers Ring there is a packed ring of meal that would be kept or sold by the Miller.
The 4" x 5" thick stone, located on the bottom, is the Dead Stone and it is stationary. The Grinding Stone, the stone that rotates, is about 18" thick. It is also topped off/sealed with plaster (unknown reason).
The Olde Mill Inn's Grinding Stone grinds "clockwise" which is rare.
The Grist Mill has not operated since the 1940's and it was full of Hickory nut shells. If anyone knows why they would be grinding these shells, please let us know.
After adjusting a few things, along with raising the stone approximately 2" the Grinding Stone spun freely. The Dead stone and Grinding stone should never grind against each other and when taken care of the stones can last forever (these are over 174 yrs old). The Olde Mill Inn's stones came from England and would have been ballast for the big sailing ships.
(just a little of the stuff found under stones)
A hoist/lift must be built so that the Grinding Stone, approximately 600 lbs, can be lifted for cleaning and also so that there is access to relevel the Dead Stone. Shoring up the floor must also be done as when duct work was added, floor joists and beams were cut.
Holes used to lift stone for cleaning ~ Miller Ring is that at the bottom of stone
Metal poles were purchased and the floor was leveled around the mill. Fish friendly great is need for the Fitz Wheel outside.
Unable to run the mill with the current creek water force, repairs to the flume were done and a pump was installed to force the creek water over the top.
November 15, 2012
Met with the welder to design the new "Stone Hoist" that is needed to lift the stones to clean and grind the grains. First step is place a steel beam as a floor joist. Once completed then a hole will be cut in the floor so the stone lift can go all the way
to the basement ground floor.
December 20, 2012
The steel is here and ready to be turned into the Stone Hoist.
January 15, 2013
The cracked beams are repaired, the new support plates are in and the new post to hold the outside gear is ready to be installed. Just waiting on dry weather. New belts sizes are done and ready to order.
January 21, 2013
New belts are on order and the outside gears are realligned. The new beam is in place and the gears are all greased.
February 5, 2013
Water should be flowing to the sleuth sometime in the next few weeks! New pump and new stone hoist are almost installed. Rain and snow are delaying the work.
Pete and Chase got the stones to turn using the water for the first time in 75 years!
July 28, 2013
We have home ground grits and corn meal!
$5.00 for 2 lbs bag
no preservatives so seven day self life or indefinite if product is frozen