Pine Creek Grist Mill
After an "interesting" ride on back roads, we finally arrivedat Pine Creek Grist Mill. It was toward the end of the school year; thus, lots of classes of grade school children were on field trips here. We "tagged" along and listed to the tour guides.
THE PINE CREEK GRIST MILL IS IOWA"S OLDEST, OPERATIONAL MILL
The mill was built on Pine Creek by Benjamin Nye in 1848 [it was the third mill he had built on this location because he kept outgrowing them]. It was built of native lumber sawn at Nye's sawmill nearby. It cost about $10,000.00 to build.
They ground coarse wheat flour that was packed in barrels and shipped down the Mississippi River by steamboat. Pine Creek is one mile away from the River. After the Civil War, this practice stopped. However, settlers around Muscatine continued to use the mill for flour supplies.
In 1927, the state of Iowa purchased the mill for less than $9,000.00. Fortunately, most of the machinery within the mill was left intact. At that time, it became part of Wildcat Den State Park.
They have some of the original machinery from the 1848 mill as well as newer machinery from 1927 that was added to increase production.
In 1996, The Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill became organized with the mission of restoring the mill to operational format and in preserving the heritage of the mill. With the help of the Dept of Natural Resources, the State Historical Society, and the community, the mill's foundation has been stabilized, the structure and dam have been repaired, and the machinery is now in working order.
Grist Mill is Open:
May through October
Wednesday through Sunday
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
No admission is charged
Donations are welcomed