Monday, July 8, 2013

356 Spring Mill Park and other good stuff

Just a few miles south of Bedford and just east of Mitchell Indiana the hometown of Gus Grissom lies Spring Mill State Park. If you have not been there it is worth the 3 hour trip from Lafayette Indiana.  Sweet Pea and I visited the park over the 4th of July week end.  The camp ground offered us about the worst site they had but since we are in a very comfy coach as long as we have power and level ground our camp site is mostly inside the coach so we don't bitch too much. However a gorgeous site just across the road remained empty the full three days and we were told it was rented...So much for that for once we have visited these distant parks we probably won't be going back...So lets move on here to the wonders we saw there. I liked the memorial museum to Gus Grissom and the fact that he got D's and F's on his report card like I did at good ole Dayton High...Gus went on to Purdue and picked up a great education and was one of our greatest most accomplished astronauts of the era.  But better than that was the old town located there and the jewel of that was the mill that ground corn and wheat for the locals who made corn bread, regular bread and things and also moonshine which made them all smile a lot on Saturday nights.
 The mill seen here  was of stone about two feet think, three stories and the water was brought to it by a raceway of wood from about 300 yards up stream.  It powered the huge wheel which turned all the stones for grinding the grain.  It is still operating today and I purchased a bag of freshly ground corn meal for some excellent corn bread some day in the future.The top picture shows the raceway bringing the water to the mill the one to the left here shows the stone wall path the water took back to the small spring fed stream.

I look at these old mills and I wonder what the hell happened?  Here we had a system of grinding grain that took nothing from the enviroment, added nothing to it and we closed them up for gasoline and steam powered equipment...What the hell were we thinking?  And why are we not going back to them instead of expensive wind and solar power ahead....Are we nuts or just manipulated?
This little community of Spring Mill had it all...Blacksmith, stores, tavern, farming but we could not wait to close these up and go for other sources of power....And they are still in good shape and still doing what they did but only for the visitors of the park.   I know my home town of Dayton had a mill and my even closer town of Wyandotte had a mill, they were all over the place throughout our nation...Go Figure....

Down the road a piece is French Lick my next blog story....

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