On our way to a cross country meet, Google sent us down County Road 50 in Wyandot County. Much to my delight, I saw an Ohio History Connection sign and literally stop in the middle of the road to check it out. “What the heck? A historic mill? Let’s check that out!!!!!” Thankfully, my 13 year old was game!
We had stumbled upon the historic Indian Mill along the Sandusky River. This small site only takes a little bit of time to wander through, but was worth a stop.
The volunteer that was working at the museum gave us a brief history of the site. The following is my understanding of what he explained to us combined with a quick read of the OHC site. I have not verified the historical accuracy of the information.
In 1820, two mills were built along the Sandusky River; a saw mill and a flour mill. During The War of 1812, most Native American groups fought for the British (due to promises of rewards). The Wyandott Indians fought on the side of the Americans. These mills were built to “thank” the Wyandott Indians for their assistance. The two mills allowed the Wyandott farmers to build a community in the area. The mills thrived until the Wyndaott were forced to move out of Ohio a few years later.
After the mills fell into disrepair, Lewis Rummel rebuilt the flour mill on the current site. He used three water powered “horizontal wheels” (we now call these turbines) under the mill to power the process. The three-story mill was used to grind various grains for the local people. The mill was owned by a various companies, and eventually purchased by the Ohio History Connection in the late 1960s.
Inside the museum you will find some displays on the history of grinding grains, the history of the community and leaders, and some history of life in the 1800s. There is a working scale model of the mill that the volunteer has been restoring. The miller’s office gives a history of milling. You can see the mill stones and various aspects of the original mill including the wheel under the building.
The structure of the mill is still largely original and has some interesting cross bracing in the ceiling that has kept in in such good shape. The wood on the exterior has been replaced a few times.
We had a great time learning about how mills work. The volunteer working that day was very passionate about the site which always makes for a fun visit. We spent about 30 minutes wandering around and then headed onto our race.
Admission Cost: This site is $2 for people over 12, $1 for children, free for OHC members. I completely, legitimately forgot that my daughter had recently turned 13…blush…. so we spent $3.