A grist mill, in case they're unfamiliar to you, was a very familiar sight in most small towns of centuries past. This is where people would've brought the grain they grew to be ground into flour. This particular mill was built in 1798 and recently restored. It still stone grinds grain today, although not under the power of the water wheel anymore, but with electricity.
The water wheel would've turned the giant gears in the basement of the mill. The gears there today were reproduced from fragments of the original gears found in the mud of the excavated basement. I believe the video presentation we watched said that they were reproduced by the owner's 13-14 year old son who was "quite precocious with wood". I was impressed!
Upstairs was the hopper, into which the grain would be dropped to grind between the two heavy mill stones (contained in that wooden box on the floor).
They grind all sorts of different type of organically grown grain at the mill today.
Colette, studying the bags of flour and trying to decide what to purchase. In the end, whole wheat bread flour and a bag of chocolate chip pancake mix came home with us.
Then we walked to the Littleton Diner, which has been winning culinary awards for its pancakes. They make their pancakes from the mill's flour!
And I must say, that I thought it was the best pancake I've ever had!...soft and fluffy, yet hearty and gently chewy.
That bite missing from my pancake? It was Colette.