This is for you Brian

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This is for you Brian

Post by Squire » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:48 pm

As one who grinds his own grain you might find this interesting. Years ago I opened a branch office in Meridian and heard about this old family mill north of town in Dekalb. We finished early one day and decided to swing by on the way back to Jackson. All I knew is it was family owned and rumored to have been in business since 1790.

A small hand written sign on the blacktop road led us down a single lane gravel road to a large clearing where sat a few old country houses and the mill. Yep, that was the Sciple Farm. A sizable live creek had been dammed up creating a lake with a millrace running under a spread out ramshackle building that looked like a step back in time. I walked in what appeared to be the front door to find an old guy sitting at a table with hammer and chisel hand cutting grooves on the surface of a large round mill stone. My first thought was a living history museum. The walls were covered with all sorts of memorabilia, family photos and whatnot. Said I was looking for the Sciple place and he said. "you found it, I'm Ed Sciple". We shook hands and I swear you could strike a match on his calloused palm.

After some polite talk I commented I'd half expected to see a large water wheel as a power source. Mr. Ed laughed and said there probably was one in times past but, "we use a water turbine now". I asked how long they'd been using that and he said, "my great great grandfather installed it back in the 1880s so of course it isn't original to the place". All said in an easy conversational way but an extraordinary statement when you think about it. A piece of equipment installed just a hundred years ago couldn't be considered a part of the original operation.

They grind mostly corn except in the Fall when the Menonite farmers bring in their wheat crop to be made into flour. He doesn't much like grinding wheat though, makes such a mess of his clothes his wife won't let him tramp through the house scattering dust everywhere. He starts in the morning after breakfast, walking the 50 yards to work, and closes after lunch unless he has to leave earlier to work in the garden, take the grand kids fishing in the lake, or suchlike things that take priority over a fixed operating schedule. You can come by anytime though to get some meal or grits, bags of which are set out on the bench on the porch. Just leave payment in the metal box (unlocked of course) and make your own change if need be.

Members of the community do gather there on Saturday evening bringing the family for cookouts, group singing and just visiting generally. Mr. Ed doesn't allow any drinking or anything like that, what with the kids and all. Anybody who misbehaves is politely told to leave and if they try it again he will "sic the dogs on 'em".

These clips gives a glimpse: ... 162666902/

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Re: This is for you Brian

Post by ShadowsDad » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:07 pm

I wish we had one of those in Maine, but with all of our potential water power I know of none that exist. We have modern mills, but nothing like that. That's interesting.

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Sciple Mill

Post by dosco » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:10 am

A most excellent story. Many thanks for sharing.


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Re: This is for you Brian

Post by brothers » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:04 pm

Thanks for sharing the story Squire.

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