Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spanish Fork Flour Mills

Continuing on with Spanish Fork, today we are going to the old grist mill.  For everyone who doesn't know what grist is (to which I would include myself), it is essentially grain that can be ground into different things, such as flour.  The cool thing about this site is that I actually found two photos that I didn't know were of the same place until I went to take the picture and read a plaque about the site.  Here are the two pictures, the first from 1874-1888 and the second from1888-1927, and what the site looks like today.


Photo courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University

Photo courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University


The plaque says, "Spanish Fork was settled in 1857.  The first flour mill was built by Archibald Gardner in 1858-59.  The water for the mill came from the Spanish Fork River.  The stream was enlarged to give sufficient power to run the mill.  This mill was constructed of rough lumber...

Gardner sold the mill to the Spanish Fork Co-op in 1874.  Shortly after it was torn down, it was replaced by a larger, two-story building with more advanced equipment.  This mill was built of shiplap lumber with gables facing north and south.  The flumes carried water to the mill wheel, with a fall of twenty feet.  Flour was made in the mill for fourteen years until April 15, 1888, when it burned to the ground, probably from spontaneous combustion.

Within a short time, a four-story brick building was started at a cost of $40,000.  New machinery was installed, and large steel rollers replaced stone burrs.  The new mill burned in December 1927.  It was never rebuilt.  Today nothing remains of the once busy whirring mill."

Like the plaque states, there is nothing where the old mill used to be located.  The property is part of what is now the  Spanish Fork fairgrounds.  I have been meaning to go and watch the rodeo for the last few years.  I've heard its a lot of fun.  Also, probably the coolest festival, the Festival of Colors, happens just down the road from here at the Hari Krishna temple.  Shuttles are provided from the Spanish Fork fairgrounds.  The Festival of Colors celebrates the coming of spring and thousands of people gather to throw colored flour on each other.  This years festival is bigger than ever (every year it gets bigger and bigger and more crazy than ever) and is happening Saturday, March 26th from 10 am-8pm and March 27th from noon-4 pm with color throwing happening every two hours.  If you miss it, you will be really disappointed, especially cause all of your friends will have cool facebook profile pictures where they are covered in pink, green, and yellow dust.  I can almost feel the suffocating taste of flour in the air as I am writing this.

1 comment:

  1. This is a cool site, I too am fascinated with old things and really disappointed that some of these old buildings they don't rebuild like they do in Europe or on the east coast of the U.S.

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