The History of Millstones

Millstones have been used to grind grain since the dawn of man. The Egyptian, Greek and Roman empires all used them. There are even several millstone references in the Bible.


Our first economies in America were built around the grist mill. Come harvest in an agrarian society, farmers finally recognized the fruits of their labors.

Most of these mills have long since vanished. With rocks grinding against each other at 110 revolutions per minute (that’s twice a second), many caught fire and burned. Some mills were washed down stream in flood waters. But the development of the roller mill in the early part of the twentieth century spelled doom from a technology and efficiency standpoint.


millbox-imageSearch your own state’s history for working mills in your area. They are rare but fascinating when you can find one in operation. You’ll soon realize the real genius of our forefathers in keeping these going.

There’s even a group of old mill enthusiasts called “the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills”, or SPOOM for short. Online at www.SPOOM.org, you can go to your state’s own mill list organized by US region first, then state to help you in your quest. SPOOM sells these list very reasonably, and while you are there on the site, join, it’s inexpensive and a great value.



Visit the Falls Mill Website

Visit the SPOOM Website