The miller would rub it between his fingers

Posted by | October 28, 2007

“This was last used in 1942. It’s one of the mills that supplied part of the valley in here.

“The original mill didn’t belong to my grandfather. It belonged to a family of Matthews that owned this property at that time. The Matthews were . . . I’m sure you’ve heard of the old Federal Judge George McClintock used to sit on the bench in Charleston. Well it was his grandfather that had it originally.

Grist Mill workings“I can remember when I was a kid people would come in covered wagons. I can still remember the wagons coming, and they would spend the night. In fact in that old log barn up where . . . up on the hill where I lived . . . there were two stalls they called the mill stable . . . that the people who stayed overnight to get their grinding done kept their horses in, and we had a room up in the house . . . in our home up there that they spent the night in.

“My grandmothers fed an awful lot of people there who have come to the mill, and that was part of the service. They got patronizing this mill. Was a place to spend the night if they were going to stay overnight.

“They had a millwright come twice a year and sharpen the stones. If you got [the two stones] a little too close, it burned the corn . . . well you could smell it . . . You’d see the miller run to the . . . raised the stone up a little bit . . . start burning a little bit . . . You could smell it all over the mill. The miller would stand around there when he was grinding . . . he’d feel the texture with his hands . . . and then he would smell it . . . I remember seeing him do that, and then he would rub it between his fingers . . . see what texture he was getting . . . whether it was going to be too coarse or not.

“[The wheat sifters were] covered with fine silk That was one of the reasons . . . It was right at the beginning of World War II, and the silk came from Japan. And they couldn’t get it, and that was one of the reasons the mill went out of use.”

Richard McNeel
1913-1980
Describing the old grist mill at Mill Point, WV, thought to be the oldest mill of its kind in the state

Source: www.marshall.edu/library/speccoll/cass/html/richard_mcneel.asp

Mill+Point+WV grist+mill appalachia appalachia+history appalachian+culture history+of+appalachia

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