Metamora Indiana Aquaduct

History of the Metamora Grist Mill

Metamora Indiana Grist Mill At the west end of Metamora on Main Street is the Metamora Grist Mill. This building, from its beginning in 1845, has housed a cotton mill, a flouring mill, feed mill and now an operating grist mill and museum.

Historic Plaque on Gristmill

Read this Grist Mill Plaque

Built in 1845 by Jonathan Banes as a cotton mill (spun cotton into thread) this mill was equipped with 1,000 spindles (the equivalent of 1,000 spinning wheels) and was known as the "Metamora Cotton Factory."

Soon, this factory was in serious financial difficulty because of the import of dry goods and ready made clothing via canal boat.  In 1856, the cotton machinery was taken out and the establishment changed to a flouring mill under the ownership of Murry and Banes.  Purchased in 1857 by John Curry, the flouring mill went by the name of John Curry & Son. Curry sold to Thomas Tague about 1863 and it was known then as "Hoosier Mill".  In 1877 the mill was acquired by William McClure and by the early 1880's it was called "Crescent Mills."

The original three story mill burned sometime between 1882 and 1900. In 1900, Frank Wright erected a three story brick flouring mill with a daily capacity of fifty barrels of flour.  This mill operated day and night, depending entirely on hydraulic power. The mill employs a 50 inch hydraulic breast wheel on an eight foot fall of water, thus receiving 30 horsepower.  Relics of these hydraulic turbines lie outside the mill today.

This mill burned again in the early 1930's and was rebuilt to its present two story structure. Ross Brumfiel bought the mill and ground corn meal, sold coal and mixed feed.  The mill continued in use until 1941 when its water power was halted by a break in the feeder dam at Laurel.

The Mill was acquired by the State of Indiana in about 1947 along with the canal and aqueduct, which was turned into the Whitewater State Historic Site to preserve the history. The Mill, along with the Feeder Dam, Aqueduct, and portions of the canal, were restored to operation by the State and are operated today as a State Historic Site by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources parks department.