Dillard Mill

The photograph of Dillard Mill that you see below is actually the second mill built on this site.  The first one was built in 1850 and was named the Wisdom Mill after the owner, Frances Wisdom.  It was purchased by Joseph Dillard Cottrell who changed the name.  It burned down in 1895.  The current mill was built by new owners of the property and built on the same site using the existing dam.  The new mill was built with an underwater turbine and was completed in 1908.  It remained in business until 1956.  It is located on a 132 acre private property but is administered by the state of Missouri.

 This is actually the back of the mill.  When we arrived it was late in the day and we found the front of the mill to be completely shaded.

This is actually the back of the mill.  When we arrived it was late in the day and we found the front of the mill to be completely shaded.

 In addition to the shade, there was a wedding in process!!  We gave them full privacy and photographed other areas before heading into the mill to check it out.

In addition to the shade, there was a wedding in process!!  We gave them full privacy and photographed other areas before heading into the mill to check it out.

 This mill was powered by damming Huzah Creek.  Beyond the dam is a collection pond that is just gorgeous.

This mill was powered by damming Huzah Creek.  Beyond the dam is a collection pond that is just gorgeous.

 On the right is the gate that would have controlled the amount of water flowing past the turbine.  The overflow would go to the left where you see some water going over the dammed area.  There is still some water flowing through the open gate, but you cannot see it from this location.

On the right is the gate that would have controlled the amount of water flowing past the turbine.  The overflow would go to the left where you see some water going over the dammed area.  There is still some water flowing through the open gate, but you cannot see it from this location.

 Dillard Mill is one of the few restored and fully operational mills.  All of the original equipment remains in place.

Dillard Mill is one of the few restored and fully operational mills.  All of the original equipment remains in place.

 We asked if the mill still ground grain.  "Oh no!!! It would take us two weeks to clean up the mess it would create.  We could not give tours in such a mess."  Ok then, we will just watch the wheels whir and pretend.

We asked if the mill still ground grain.  "Oh no!!! It would take us two weeks to clean up the mess it would create.  We could not give tours in such a mess."  Ok then, we will just watch the wheels whir and pretend.

 Millstones were the primary means of grinding grain until about 1875 when roller mills came into general use.  The invention of the roller mill caused a revolution in the milling industry.  Wheat could be ground and sifted several time until all the useable flour was extracted.  This gradual reduction roller milling process required the stock to make several trips between floors while passing through a succession of machines.  The bottles above show the various stages of grinding taken to get to the final flour product.

Millstones were the primary means of grinding grain until about 1875 when roller mills came into general use.  The invention of the roller mill caused a revolution in the milling industry.  Wheat could be ground and sifted several time until all the useable flour was extracted.  This gradual reduction roller milling process required the stock to make several trips between floors while passing through a succession of machines.  The bottles above show the various stages of grinding taken to get to the final flour product.

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 The day we toured it was hotter than heck!  There is no refrigeration units adorning the roof or windows.  I could only imagine the heat in the late summer when real grinding was underway.

The day we toured it was hotter than heck!  There is no refrigeration units adorning the roof or windows.  I could only imagine the heat in the late summer when real grinding was underway.

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 I tired of all of the machinery and while on the third floor decided to check out the view.  Below is the water flowing through the open chute!!  I was surprised.  The window was open so I leaned over . . . carefully!  Click!

I tired of all of the machinery and while on the third floor decided to check out the view.  Below is the water flowing through the open chute!!  I was surprised.  The window was open so I leaned over . . . carefully!  Click!

 When we were done with the tour on the inside we were offered the opportunity to go around the back for a better late day photo.  To do so we followed one of the people associated with the mill.  The area he took us to is on private property but he has permission to use it when he wishes.  We were so glad that we were able to see it from this side as the other side was so dark.

When we were done with the tour on the inside we were offered the opportunity to go around the back for a better late day photo.  To do so we followed one of the people associated with the mill.  The area he took us to is on private property but he has permission to use it when he wishes.  We were so glad that we were able to see it from this side as the other side was so dark.

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 We got lost on our way back to our car and ended up walking a lot more distance down the road than we really needed to.  Sigh!  Some long days end that way.

We got lost on our way back to our car and ended up walking a lot more distance down the road than we really needed to.  Sigh!  Some long days end that way.