Milling Videos from the Cannon River Valley

Gristmills & Flourmills

“Our Story” Flourmilling in Cannon Falls
An interview with Art McKinley and Jeff Jarvis. Art McKinley is age 95 and the last surviving Cannon Falls flour mill worker.
Video by Cannon Falls Community Television, 2014

“Grist Milling at Schech’s Mill”

Schech’s Mill near Caledonia, MN is an 1860’s grist mill that still grinds wheat with machinery driven by water-driven turbines. This is just one of 2 or 3 grist mills that still exist in Minnesota operating with original machinery. This mill was researched as it was typical of the limestone grist mills constructed along the Cannon River between 1850 and 1870.
Video by Jeff Jarvis


“Loading a Log at the Geldner Sawmill”
At the 1870 Geldner Sawmill at Beaver Dam (near Cleveland) MN, August 2009. This video shows how a 3-foot diameter cottonwood log is loaded into the sawmill and the preparation it goes through to be sawn into planks. This sawmill is one of the last surviving stationary sawmills left in Minnesota. This mill was researched as it was typical of the steam sawmills found along the Cannon River that helped clear the Big Woods.
Video by Jeff Jarvis.

“Ripping Planks at the Geldner Sawmill”
At the Geldner Sawmill in Beaver Dam (Cleveland) MN, August 2009. Video shows a huge cottonwood log being sawn into rough planks by the steam-powered 54″ circular saw. The sawmill machinery was manufactured in the late 1860’s and placed in this renovated mill around 1870.
Video by Jeff Jarvis.

Feed Mills

“Stone Ground in Morristown”
The Morristown Feed Mill is truly a gem by historical standards. Built as a sawmill on an 1855 mill site, the feed mill still grinds corn and wheat the old-fashioned way. On occasion, one can watch the authentic wooden waterwheel power a small gristmill. One aspect of feed milling was taking corn off the cob manually, as shown by three boys in this video. The Feed Mill is operated by the Morristown Historical Society.
Video by Jeff Jarvis

Woolen Mills

“Faribault Woolen Mills”
Established in 1865, the Faribault Woolen Mill Co. has been dedicated to designing, weaving, and distributing the highest quality wool blankets, wool throws, and wool accessories ever since. This mill began production before the Civil War. It did use water power for a time, but now is steam-powered. It is one of the only mills left in our country fully-integrated to produce woolen goods from start to finish under one roof.
Video by Faribault Woolen Mill

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