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First Person Interpretation for Old Mills

English Farm Windmill Toy Set, circa 1920's.
Casted in white metal and hand painted in Endland.
Reissued in 1995 from the original issued in the 1920's style.
The set comprises of a cast metal windmill, the miller, the miller's assisstant,
dolly (hand truck), flour sack, flour sack, mill's cat, bucket and set of scales.


From Chapter 3, "History of Delaware County, New York," by Jay Gould, 1856. When a lad of a dozen years, his father packed him off to this mill, the first he had ever visited, upon horseback, with small grist to be converted into flour for the consumption of the family. The father, before he left, impressed upon the mind of the young lad the necessity of watching the miller pretty closely, remarking, "that millers sometimes steal." This caution placed the young boy on his guard, and sure enough, shortly after the grist had been emptied into the hopper he saw the miller go to a small bin nearby, and taking a measure, filled it from the grain in the hopper, and, emptied it back into the bin. The boy kept watch, and when the miller's back was turned, he filled the measure out of the bin, and emptied it back into the hopper, replacing what he supposed the miller had intended to steal. To use his own words, he said: "I felt really proud of what I had done, and when I returned home that night I related to my father what had transpired at the mill, telling him that the miller did not get much the best of me, for he struck the measure full he took out of the hopper, while I heaped up the one I put in: that he was a big thief for there was a large bin full of grain, which I felt sure he had stolen in like manner. My father laughed heartily over the joke, and then explained to me that this was the way they were paid for the use of the mill."

(2) This article entitled "A Haunted Maryland Mill" appeared in the Oct. 1, 1888 edition of the "American Miller" magazine: A Haunted Maryland Mill.

Not far from Westminster, Md. a beautiful stream makes its way between high hills and densely wooded valleys until it reaches a spot between two lofty summits. Across this valley many years ago was built a dam 30 feet high. Not far below is the old-fashioned mill, whose water wheel is never still, but turning ceaselessly, makes music for the old miller, who still plies his trade as though, almost within hearing, stream flour mills did not turn out 1,000 barrels of flour every day. Passing by the mill a few days ago, the Herald correspondent was startled by the silence of the old mill, and entered to inquire the cause. To his question as to whether he was going to give up the mill, the old man replied:

"Oh! No, but don't you know that this evening the August moon will be full?"

"Certainly, but why should the moon's getting full stop your mill?" asked the newspaper man.

"Well, sir, I will tell you," said the miller. "Many years ago, one of the most reckless and dare-devil fellows in this country laid a wager that he would on horseback ride down and capture a fox that had baffled hunters and hounds in every chase even if he were compelled to ride into the other world. On the morning following the full moon in August, 1840, the body of the young farmer, whose name I will not mention, for his children and grandchildren live not far from this place, and are among the most respected people in the community, was found on the banks of the dam. Just below him lay his horse, and young man, I tell you, you don't see such horses around here now-she as a beauty. Both were dead. How it all happened no one knew and for a year the mystery remained unsolved, but on the night of the full moon in August, 1841, I was running the mill, and about midnight a feeling of the desolateness of the place came over me. I had never been lonely before. The dog, which always slept on the porch, came to my door whining, and when I let him in he crawled under my bed. The noise of the rushing water and the turning of the wheel drowned all sounds from without, and although my nervousness continued, throughout the night until day dawned, I could not account for my condition. In the morning I was ashamed to speak to anyone of my experience, and in a few weeks it was forgotten.

"This same experience was repeated for five successive years before I began to associate it with the August full moon. Then when I began to feel the sensation of loneliness and fear, I went to the door of the mill and looked toward the dam. The night was a perfect one. Just overhead hung the full moon, and glistening like burnished silver under her rays I could follow with my eye for many hundred yards the winding course of the stream. While I was looking far up the west side of the stream, I saw a moving object, which rapidly drew near. As it appeared, I beheld a sight which filled me with horror and held me motionless. Both horse and rider were as white as the morning mist, but from their eyes fire seemed to flash, and in the man I recognized Jack (I had almost mentioned his name), who was found dead six years before. As they reached the breast of the dam, I saw just before the ghostly rider a fox running a zigzag course, as though seeking to avoid capture. Across the dam they flew until about midway: then I saw the rider lean forward, as with a muttered curse, and strange to say, I could distinctly hear his words--he swore that he would capture the animal if he had to follow it to the lower regions.

"Just then the fox leaped far out into the water, and horse and rider followed close upon him. As they sank beneath the water I lost consciousness and knew no more until in the morning a farmer came to the mill for flour. Since that night, there is not enough money in the world to keep me in this mill after nightfall at the time of the full moon in August. It is growing near sunset now, and if you will excuse me I must get ready to go, but if you would like you can spend the night in the mill and take a look at the ghostly horseman, and I hope you will enjoy his visit."

The invitation was declined, and the visitor passed the evening in calling on a number of farmers in the neighborhood, all of whom expressed belief in the miller's story, and a number told of belated travelers who had seen the phantom hunter.

One of the classic stories is of the Fincastle Mill. It was so haunted no one ever set foot in the mill after dark. This is the story of one girl who dared to defend herself from a leering Brownie.

A young girl on the eve of her wedding day is baking her wedding cake, and she runs out of flour. So she goes down to the mill to get some more flour, but by the time she arrives at the mill the miller has gone home for the day. The mill stands dark and silent, she has always heard stories of the brownie who lives in the mill and protects the mill from harm. The young girl desperately needs more flour for her wedding cake so she goes into the mill in search of some ground flour. It is so dark in the mill that she lights a fire in the mill's fireplace to see her way around. As the fire begins to burn she swings the huge pot of water back over the fire to get it out of the way. Then she begins to search the sacks standing on end for ground flour for her wedding cake. The young girl looks into every sack but all she can find in unground grain. So she decides that she must start the mill and grind some wheat into flour if she is to have any this night to make her wedding cake for tomorrow.

The young girl lifts up a sack of grain and pours it into the millstone hopper. Then she pulls down on the gate arm that lets water onto the wheel. Very soon the water wheel begins to turn and the gears in the mill's dark basement also turn the millstones and soon flour begins flowing into the bin. In a short time there is enough flour to sift it by hand into the other bin. Usually the miller never works into the hours of darkness, and so the young brownie that watches over the mill at night for the miller. The brownie, with the face and looks only a mother brownie could love, goes about the mill to see what is going on. He knows that the miller is not usually here in the mill at this time of the night. Up stairs on the main floor of the mill he finds a strange looking person. So he walks over to that person, and asks her in his horrible sound voice, "Who are you?"

The young girl is almost frightened to death by this appearance of this ugly brownie, but she is a fast thinker on her feet and out of the blue she answers, "Me myself!"

The brownie is a most ugly creature that is mostly covered in all over with hair instead of clothing. It has an ugly face with a big ugly noise and long thin arms and fingers so it can reach into cracks and collect the miller's mite for the miller.

Upon hearing the strange response, "Me myself!" The brownie had to stopped to think. Perhaps I did not hear her correctly? Did I understand her correctly? "Me myself," is a strange sounding name. Perhaps I should ask this creature again what who are you? So the brownie gets a bit closer to the young girl but not realizing that he is making her all the more afraid again asks her in his best sounding horrible voice, "Who are you?"

The young girl is become more afraid for her life, and begins to back up but she quickly answers the brownie again with, "Me myself!"

The brownie is now even more confused, what sort of name is "Me Myself?" I think I may have mill water in my ears and just did not hear her correctly, so I perhaps had better ask her once more who this creature is. So again in the voice that sounds like iron spikes being yanked from wood, the brownie asked the strange creature, "Who are you?"

By now the brownie has a hold of the gown of the young girl that she has backed up almost into the fireplace. Then again she cried out, "Me myself!" The brownie begins to shake his head back and forth. The young girl turns and grabs the pot of water which by now is boiling and throws it onto the brownie, who runs out of the mill screaming. The young brownie runs all the way home streaming into the darkness of the night. He then lays at home in his bed dying from his mortal wounds, as his mother tries to comfort her dying son. The mother brownie asks him, "Who did this to you my beloved son?"

As the son of the mother brownie lays in his bed slowly dying from his burns, he answers his mother, "Me myself!"

Shortly afterwards the brownie dies. The young girl now has her flour for her wedding cake and gets married the next day. Years pass by and the young girl enjoys telling the story of how she forded the brownie on her wedding eve, and got flour for her wedding cake. One day she was telling the story once again to her friends, when the mother brownie (remember the mother brownie?) was walking by an open window and over heard the young girl telling the story once again that explained the killing her son. The mother brownie was so outraged upon hearing that this strange looking person caused the death of her beloved son that as she looked around she grabbed the first thing she saw was a three legged stool. The mother brownie then tossed it as hard as she could through the open window. It hit the young girl on the head and killed her dead on the spot.

Question: So what does the story tell you?

Answers: Don't go around the mill at night or the brownie will get you. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

(4) Eugene S. Ferguson, "The Legacy of Oliver Evans," editorial notes, pages 357-8, AIPLA Bulletin, September-October 1986, America Intellectual Property Law Association, Inc., first published Fully, Freely, & Entirely, Delaware Heritage Commission, Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 1986.

Jacob Franklin Abbott, "The Apprentice Boy," New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855, 160 pages, illustrated with engravings. A child's biography of Benjamin Franklin, in the "Harper's Story Book" series.

(6) An indenture is a legal document. It is contract between two or more parties. It was a legal binding document a step beyond a gentleman's agreement. Sometimes indentures were made for the building of a mill between the owner of the mill and the mill builder or millwright. The would be affixed with the proper stamps (tax stamps) and seals. Such contracts between master and apprentice would bind the two together in an indenture or into a legal agreement. So when the apprentice ran away, the apprentice was breaking a legal document between the master and apprentice.

Now if you read both versions from different books published almost 100 years apart, you can compare and contracts. What is the miller's most important duties of being a miller and working in the mill. Actually if you read both they are very similar, so perhaps then the millers job did not all that much change with technology? "The Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," still mentions the use of branding irons but other than that they are almost the same.

"The Duty of the Miller," from Chapter XVIII, "Directions for keeping the Mill, and the business of it, in good order." Article 116. The Duty of the Miller, from "The Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," by Oliver Evans.

The Duty of the Miller

The mill is supposed to be completely finished for for merchant work, on the new plan; supplied with a stock of grain, flour casks, nails, brushes, picks, shovels, scales weights, etc., when the millers enter on their duty.

If there be two of them capable of standing watch, or taking charge of the mill, the time is generally divided as follows. In the day-time they both attend to business, but one of them has the chief direction. The night is divided into two watches, the first of which ends at one o'clock in the morning, when the master miller should enter on his watch, and continue till day-light, that he may be ready to direct other hands to their business early. The first thing he should do, when his watch begins, is to see whether the stone are grinding, and the cloths bolting well. And, secondly, he should review all the moving gudgeons of the mill, to see whether any of them want grease, etc.; for want of this, the gudgeons often run dry, and heat, which bring on heavy losses in time and repairs; for when they heat, they get a little loose, and the stones they run on crack, after which they cannot be kept cool. He should also see what quantity of grain is over the stones, and if there be not enough to supply them till morning, set the cleaning machines in motion.

All things being set right, his duty is very easy- he has only to see the machinery, the grinding, and bolting, once in an hour; he has, therefore, plenty of time to amuse himself by reading, or otherwise.

Early in the morning all the floors should be swept, and the flour dust collected; the casks nailed, weighted, marked, and branded, and the packing begun, that it may be completed in the fore part of the day; by this means, should any unforeseen thing occur, there will be spare time. Besides, to leave packing till the afternoon, is a lazy practice, and keeps the business out of order.

When the stones are to be sharpened, every thing necessary should be prepared before the mill is stopped, (especially if there be but one pair of stones to a water wheel) that as little time as possible may be lost; the picks should be made quite sharp, and not be less than 12 in number. Things being ready, the miller is then to take up the stone; set one hand to each, and dress them as soon as possible, that they may be set to work again; not forgetting to grease the gearing and spindle foot.

In the after part of the day, a sufficient quantity of grain is to be cleaned down, to supply the stones the whole night; because it is best to have nothing more to do in the night, than attend to the grinding, bolting, gudgeons, etc.

"The Duty of the Miller," pages 89 to 91, from "The Miller, Millwright's and Engineer's Guide," by Henry Pallett, Henry Carey Baird & Company, Philadelphia, 1890. "

Duty of the Miller

We suppose that the mill, in all its various departments, is completely finished and ready for grinding, and supplied with a stock of grain, flour barrels, nails, brushes, picks, shovels, scales, weights, etc., when the millers enter upon their duty (properly speaking: I have therefore thought it both right and proper, in a work of this kind, to add the following remarks, in order to show of what the duty consists.

In a large mill, where three millers are employed, there should be one head miller, to whom is entrusted the whole management of the mill, and who directs the other millers and work hands about the mill the work they have to do. The head miller should be at the mill early in the morning, and take, charge of it during the day;see that every part of the mill is doing its work properly before he leaves at night, and that there is sufficient wheat cleaned to last throughout the night, as the other millers, when on watch during the night time, should have nothing else to attend to by the grinding and bolting. In the day time, however, it is best to take up one pair of stones daily and have them dressed. The head miller can test the face of the stones with the staff, and give instructions to the other millers in which way he wishes them dressed; while in this manner, each of the other millers dresses a stone in his watch. The night is divided into two watches, the first of which ends at one o'clock in the morning, and belongs to the second miller; the third miller then takes the watch, and continues on till one o;clock in the day.

When the mill has only two millers, one of these is called the head miller, being responsible for all the work done in the mill; therefore, he should have full management of it, and his instructions the second miller should observe attentively, and do the work accordingly, The head miller should, however, consult and be agreeable with his partner; thus they will work cheerfully and pleasantly together, each taking his watch, and having charge of the mill, time and time about.

The miller should not be entirely governed by the mill owner as to the time the stones should be dressed, the owner often wishing them to run a long time without dressing, thereby loosing no time in the working, but very, very often loosing a great deal otherwise by spoiling the flour. A miller should therefore, stipulate to have it in his power to take up the stones and dress them whenever he thinks they want it.

The mill should be kept clean, as nothing looks much worse than a dirty mill.

To make the machinery run easy and smooth, the cogs should be well greased with a mixture of black lead and tallow every day, and the gudgeons should be oiled in each watch. A few drops of oil are better than pouring on a large quantity; when a few drops only are applied, they stop there and serve for purpose, whereas a large quantity runs off, is wasted, and creates dirt and filth. When a large gudgeon takes to heating, it is often stopped by laying a piece of rusty bacon on the top. The cause of the gudgeon heating is from the friction of the parts rubbing together, and the velocity with which the move. If grease will not stop heating, cause a small quantity of water to drop on the gudgeon, but not so much as to destroy the polish made by the grease.

If the owner of the mill is not a practical miller himself, yet he may form some idea of the capability of the miller from examining the quality of the flour made; if it is white and free from specks, and the offal light and clean, he may feel satisfied that the mill is doing good work.

Three sources:

1. Allen C. Clark, "The Old Mills," Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Volume 31-32, Washington, D.C., published by the Columbia Historical Society, 1930, pages 81-115.

2. Historic American Building Survey, "Peirce Mill," (DC-22) 7 data pages (1936).

3. Charles H. McCormick, "Milling in Rock Creek Park, General Background," Division of History, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, November 1, 1967.

(9) My favorite Civil War related mill story comes from Lewis Zirkles' Mill built in 1773, on Holmans Creek on State Route 757, Forestville, Shenandoah County, Virginia. Andrew Zirkles sold the mill to George Mowery in 1817. During the Civil War, the miller at the time looked out of the mill one day, and realized that Union troops were burning the nearby town of Forestville, Virginia, just a stones throw away. The miller ran to where he had been hiding a Union flag, and quickly placed it up on a pole just outside of the mill. As the flay waved in the breeze with the black clouds of smoke rising from the buildings just up the mill race, the Union troops marched by the mill and left if alone untouched. It makes me wonder if you could travel back in time to that exact moment in time to answer the following question. Was the miller standing outside of his mill saluting the Union troops as they marched past, did the miller run off to hide just in case they decided to burn the mill, or did the Union troops salute the flag as they march past the mill?

See: Lee Moffett, "Water Powered Mills of Fauquier County, Virginia." Lee Moffett,
Warrenton, Virginia, 1972. The following is my understanding of the history of the mills.

Jonathan Chapman chose a location the gap for his new mill in 1742, building a three-story stone building near the site of the present mill. The ruins of the original building show little except that it was a stone building of considerable size at that time. The present mill, which is to the south of the first Chapman Mill was built into the mountain where it utilized water flowing off the mountains, probably what is known today as Spout Spring. Farther south of the second Chapman Mill is the ruins of the Meadowlands, the Chapman homestead. Just outside of the ruins is an "open" about 8 foot diameter stone line hole in the ground which is similar to the ice houses at Jefferson's Monticello and Madison's Ash Lawn. Their family cemetery is farther up the side of Bull Run Mountain. Major change came to Thoroughfare Gap with the construction of the Manassas Gap Railroad in the 1850's, that hugged the side of the mountain very close to the Chapman Mill and the Meadowlands. The railroad linked the Shenandoah Valley to Manassas and then Alexandria, and the railroad offered the Chapman's prospects for bigger markets and bigger profits. Lost in the pages of history but perhaps caused by a spark from from one of those early passing locomotives may have set the first Chapman Mill afire. After the burning of the first Chapman Mill, the second mill was primarily used as a merchant and grist mill for the next 100 years. Consequently, the then owner John Chapman decided to rebuild his milling operation. Slaves and other workers swarmed over the slope of Mother Leathercoat to quarry limestone out of several veins that ran down the mountain in the direction of the new mill. Trestles, ropes, pulleys, horses, and people hauled the huge stones down the slope to the mill. The quarried rock was used to more than double the size of the new mill. When completed in 1858, Chapman's Mill loomed seven stories tall beside of the railroad tracks between the old Chapman's Mill site and the Meadowlands. One of the last stones to be put in place was a cornerstone set in the middle of the north wall facing the mountain. It identified the six Chapman men most actively connected with the history of the mills. The names included, Jonathan, Nathaniel (son), George and Pearson (sons of Nathaniel), and John Chapman built tithe new mill in 1858.

After the first Battle of Manassas, John Chapman went into business with the Confederate government when General Joseph E. Johnston who turned Chapman's Mill into a huge meat packing operation. By March 1862, more than two million pounds of meat was cured or in storage at Thoroughfare Gap, much of it located in the mill. Additional sources of meat were grazed in the nearby fields in the form of herds of hogs and cattle. Even with the railroad next to the mill transportation presented a huge problem to the Southerners. When the Confederates abandoned northern Virginia in March 1862, they did not have the means to transport from the stores at Chapman's Mill. During the second Battle of Manassas a Union canon ball shot off a portion of the chimney of the mill. Fearing that the Unions troops would over run the mill, the Confederates took their meat and burned the mill. By middle of 1863, Chapman's Mill had been gutted, no floors, no windows, and by one account a burned roof, and its condition at that time perhaps similar to its present appearance in the wake of the October 22, 1998 fire. From the first fire on the downstream side of the building ran a huge crack up the building near the east corner. The hardships of war took a heavy toll on John Chapman, and he business never recovered, and he entered an asylum in Staunton, where he died in 1866.

The mill soon changed ownership to the Beverley family (hence its current name of Beverley's Mill). By 1876 the Beverley family had restored the ruins to a very successful milling operation and the mill took on their name. A succession of owners followed, and each contributed to the rehabilitation of the mill. In 1909, a 29 foot diameter Fitz Steel Overshoot Water Wheel was installed and a roller milling system. The roller mills was located on the floor above the main loading dock level, and on the floor below was retained a pair of millstones for grinding corn meal. Above a trap door in the loading dock roof was a stone projecting from the wall that held a sack hoist pulley that once hoisted grain the level were roller mills located. An extra rim or shroud was added around the water wheel to prevent the wind blowing up Broad Run from blowing the water out of the buckets of the water wheel. Water from Broad Run continued to power the mill's machinery until the 1920's when the mill was modernized with electrical power. As late as the 1940's, the mill was still grinding approximately 100,000 bushels of grain annually and employing 6 persons. Initially at risk when Interstate Route 66 was constructed, the mill was saved when a coalition of citizen groups and state and federal agencies agreed to reroute the path of the Interstate around it. The mill continued to operate until January 1951, when faced with citations from the Food and Drug Administration for rodent infestation, the owners closed the doors for good. With most of the machinery still in place, the mill would sit neglected for the next forty-seven years, and the mill's owner plan was to have it restored in the next 25 years. Over the years vandals gutted the door, windows and the interior of the modern wood frame house along Old Route 55. The small stone building in front of the mill closest to Old Route 55, was the office for the mill, the United States Post Office of Thoroughfare Gap, and a country store.

(11) Paul Brent Hensly, "Graves Mill, a Symbol of the Past," J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1959, page 21.

(12) Marshall W. Fishwich, "Virginia: A New Look at the Old Dominion," by Harper & Row Publishers, 1959, from pages 44-46.

(13) "The customer was not devoid of obligations either. Each customer was required to wait his turn for his flour or corn to be processed. In fact, the word "turn" was derived from a law which required that each customer "await his turn for his grinding." Lula Jeter Parker, "Scrapbook #5 on Bedford County," unpublished manuscript, Jones Memorial Library. This requirement sometimes caused conflicts. Often wagons were lined to be unloaded. Even after a customer's wheat or corn had been prepared, he often had to wait until the incoming wagons were moved before he could pick up his flour or meal," from Paul Brent Hensly, "Graves Mill, a Symbol of the Past," J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1959, page 35.

(14) Henry Magee, "The Miller in Eighteenth Century Virginia," Colonial Williamsburg foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1958, reprint by Thomas K. Ford, Williamsburg Craft Series, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1978.

(15) In a letter written to Augusta, Maine on 22 January 1862, William Jackman writes to wife. Jackman is extremely angry at the miller at a grist mill in Patten who has
"been so cursed mean as to steal my grain under the present circumstances" (Jackman's joining the Army and going off to war). "Augusta January 22, 1862
Dear Nancy
Yours of the 19 was received to day I am very glad to hear again that you are all well it is the best news that I can bear if it is all well with you, I am content.

It appears to me that there is SOMETHING WRONG ABOUT THE GRIST MILL. I thought I had more than two bushels of wheat there when I left. I am afraid that the miller has taken the advantage of me in my absence. I wish you would send for Jack Mitchell. Have him come up there and tell him that I want him to INQUIRE INTO THE MILLER'S ACCOUNT AND SEE HOW MUCH HE HAS CHARGED TO ME of each kind of grain and the dates of each charge and also

I would have him find out how much grain he has sold to Gardner & Coburn and others about there and see if it is all right on the books. To make a long story short I would have him find out if Lincoln HAS BEEN SO CURSED MEAN AS TO STEAL MY GRAIN UNDER THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES. I ought to have 15 or so bush of wheat certain if the mill has done anything at all, according to his own acct. I had 5 or 6 bushels when I left undivided. Tell Jack that I want him to manage the case just as if it were his own if he has asked the whelp. Work easy with him till he can get what belongs to me and then get him out of the mill as soon as he can. But not to do anything touching the interest of the other owners without first consulting them and they are agreed.

I would have Jack send me a copy of what the miller has charged to me each charge with date all that I have had from the mill since this man has been in the mill I have used about the house. I have had no provision no corn that I can recollect of. I believe sold a few bushels of buckwheat for me that is all I have had. I have had two or three small grist of wheat don't think of only two which would amount to 5 or six bushels. I have written Lincoln asking him how much toll I had on hand. Tell Jack to tell him to answer immediate if he has not. I want his report. I think I can tell something by that.

I HEAR THEY HAVE GOT ONE MILLER IN JAIL FROM THERE AND IF I HAVE NO WHEAT THEN THE OTHER OUGHT TO BE THERE WITH HIM. I have often been told that Lincoln was dishonest. I thought I watched him pretty good but did not discover anything to make me think him so. I hope it is not so.................

Yours truly
Wm Jackman"
40 years old William Jackman was from Patten, Maine. He enlisted on 26 December 1861 as a Sergeant into "I" Co. Maine 14th Infantry. He was promoted: Sergeant Major 10 February 1862, 2nd Lieutenant 15 June 1862, & 1st Lieutenant 9 January 1863. He was Killed on 19 September 1864 at Winchester, Virginia. The letter was postmark of "4 December 1882 New Orleans, Louisiana," addressed to Mrs. William Jackman, Patten, Maine.

(16) One of the differences between England and Europe versus America, was in the attitude or feels about the "quern." In England and Europe the quern was something that was kept hidden to cheat the lord or master. At times it was against the law to be caught hiding a quern, punishable by death. The lord often confiscated and destroyed any and all querns that he found. "Soke rights" meant that you, if you were a peasant, you had to take all grain that you grew to be ground at the lord or master's mill. You did not have the freedom of chose to go elsewhere, even if you were being cheated by a dishonest miller or lord. Sometimes the lord or abbot would say that he felt the peasants were not giving him his just due, so he would say to the miller to steal more for him. So the miller was caught in the middle, the miller would think well I could just steal more for myself. It was dangerous for the whole family because they would often punish the bread winner, the father of the family or the oldest son. Using a quern was done in secret. In the mid-1800's, in England there were querns on many farms that operated with a crank from the side. There is a good drawing of this found in John Vince's book, "Old Farms: An Illustrated Guide," Schocken Books, New York, (1982) 1983, Bramhall House, New York, 1986. In other parts of the world the quern was often the only means of grinding grain because of the lack of suffocated milling facilities. The miller of the family was the woman and she was often helped by the children.

In America, the quern was seen very differently. A quern was used because of the lack of established milling facilities. Children could operate a quern at home, and not have to travel to the mill. The older child who had the responsibility of taking a "turn" of grain to a mill over a back of a horse, if they could not go to the mill for some reason or another, it was his job to grind it at home if the family had a quern. Reasons for not being able to go to a mill were, floods, travel on roads difficult or they are washed out, during winter months when the mill was locked in ice, or summer periods of low water to operate the mill. A family was always glad to give up the use of the quern when a mechanical mill was built in their area. A tub mill could grind more than a quern, and a water mill could grind even more. Using a quern gets old after a while, but it was something the children could by take turns doing. If a family wanted a larger quantity of flour or meal ground it had to be done by wind or water power.

For a long time corn shelling was done by hand. Everyone in the family would sit around the barn and shell corn. If you spilled some kernels on the floor they would have been picked up and placed into the sacks that were taken to the mill. Every lost kernel meant a lost of income and food for the pioneer families. In many places communities would have community corn shuckings. Then about 1840 machines were develop and sold on the market that could shell corn. The corn had to be dried in a corn crib until it was dry enough to be shelled. The type of corn that you grind in a mill for corn meal is field corn.

Of people or a community did not have a quern they were forced to use more primitive methods such as the mortar and pestle. They pounded corn in a mortar, this was a hole rounded out in the end of a block formed into the pestle. Sometimes they would make a sapling mill, a type of mill with the early settlers learned to build from the Native Americans. This is a type of plumping mill which harnessed the resiliency of a sapling to aid in driving a mortar and pestle. A sapling branch is attached to the pestle and under it is placed the mortar. The operator pushes down on the pestle upon the grain and the sapling pulls it upward so the operation only had to work one motion of the grinding action.

Another type of mortar and pestle plumping mill is called a pounding mill. It build to harness the flow of water flowing in and out of a box. The adding and removing of the weight of the water, in and out of the receptacle works the up and down action of the pestle in the mortar. The mill is situated near a falling water source, a sluice box overflow or a simple sluice box built on a water falls. The pestle is down in the mortar while the other end of the hinged beam in the center is elevated underneath the falling water that holds a box or receptacle. To begin working the mill, water is allowed to fill the box or receptacle, then the weight of the water gradually filling the box lowers the it in the direction of the ground, The weight of the water filled a box as it begins to fill it is gradually lowered in direction of the ground where it will empty out. As it does the suddenly now heaver other end that holds the pestle comes crashing down into mortar and crushed it.

The last know such pounding mill was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey- Historic American Engineering Record, before it was lost to the weather and the elements of nature. It the Jim Bumgarner Corn Pounding Mill. File named: Pounding Mill, Pioneer Museum, Route 441 (moved from Deep Creek), Newfound Gap vicinity, Swain County, North Carolina, 2 measured drawings, and 8 black and white photos.

Later on, some enterprising individual might made a hand mill. A hand powered mill was called a quern, which is a simple form of rotary grist mill consisting of a stationary lower bed stone and an upper runner stone usually rotated by hand with the aid of a stick or lever fastened to the upper stone. In many parts of the world the woman are the millers and milling is done in the home. As soon as milling became a separate place powered by another source such as wind or water, then the gender of the miller changed. These smaller pairs of millstones were portable and traveled with the pioneers over the mountains into the wilderness. The settlers would gather and wait their turn to run the mill by turning the crank by hand while their grist was ground, the owner of the mill taking a share of the corn for others to use the use of the mill. The settlers would also make up songs that they sung to pass the time while they waited their turns. This made it easier for the person grinding the grain to do the work.

(17) Joyce and Richard Wolkomir, "When Bandogs Howle & Spirits Walk, In the days before electricity, when only the rich could afford candles, night had a whole different meaning," Smithsonian Magazine, January 2001, Volume 31, Number 10, pages 39-44, see page 40.

(18) So the problem was that for a long time, that they thought it was ghosts, demons and evil spirits that caused mills to suddenly and violently blow up. Basically hell fire would happen, the air would become full of fire and flames and everything inside of the mill be burned up in the fires of hell. The closer time came to this event happening in 1878 they began to believe that it was something other than supernatural beings that caused this to happen. The sort of gray area from 1840 to 1850? More than likely after the Civil War to 1878, for sure, they thought it was more than supernatural forces at work here.

The basement fireplace for heating branding irons, and the office fireplace or stove was used for a long time, because they did not know it was the dust that would cause mills to blow up. After all how could the unseen air cause an explosion? It was not until a major dust explosion ripped tough the Washburn Crosby "A" Mill in Minneapolis that leveled the seven story limestone structure to a gapping hole in the ground. The explosion leveled the whole milling district and shook the town of Minneapolis. It happened at 7:30 AM May 2, 1878. This was at a time when the shifts were changing in the mills, so only 14 men were killed. They only found bits and pieces of them, like a finger and a ring, someone's jaw, that sort of gruesome stuff. Most large newspapers across the country, like the New York Times ran full page articles about the disaster and its aftermath.

For a long time such people as the blacksmith were thought to be in league with the devil. The blacksmith worked with fire and because of this, and when in the mornings when he started his forge it looked and smelled like the fires of hell. In some areas they made the blacksmith set up his forge on the edge of town so people would not have to walk past his shop anymore than they really had to in your daily activities. This way he would not give you the evil eye. So who knows, perhaps the miller got his mill picks tempered by the blacksmith, and when to the mill to dress the millstones and the mill blows up. Where was the last place anyone saw the poor miller go? It was to deal with the blacksmith who after all was in league with the devil. Had the deal gone done? Perhaps the dishonest miller tired to cheat the blacksmith, and the blacksmith to get back at the miller worked his black magic of the poor miller and his mill.

(19) interview with Mike Grimm, Union Hall, Virginia, November 1996-December 1996.

(20) Interview with Doug Minnix, Callaway, Virginia, November 1996-December 1996.

(21) Interview with Mike Grimm, Union Hall, Virginia, November 1996-December 1996.

(22) Marshall Wingfield, Chapter 8. Milling, Franklin County, Virginia, A History, 1964.

(23) Lauren Carter, "Angle Family has a Long History in County," Blue Ridge Traditions, November 1996, page 6.

(24) Virginia Greer Williams, "Communities and Villages of Franklin County," Franklin County Virginia Yesterday and Today.

(25) Raymond Sloan, "Uncle Esom's Grist Mill - other stories, folk tales & tall tales."

(26) "The Canterbury Tales," by Geoffrey Chaucer. You can read the following and know what the tale is about, and then retell it so it is approbate for your audience.

The Plot: The Canterbury Tales consists of a number of stories related by the 29 pilgrims on their way to Saint Thomas Becket's shrine in Canterbury. The host, had proposed a scheme whereby each pilgrim was to narrate two tales on the way to Canterbury and two while returning. This is a basic legal principle (use of narration in self-defense) is then followed by another, in which the defendant basically calls for his choice of weapons in this duel. This is the way the whole tale telling game operates as in a legal defense. So tale telling is like a legal defense, the object being to out tell the previous tale. This could also (like a lawsuit) propagate other offenses which would generate their own problems. The person that has told the best tales or presents the best arguments will win the coins collectively placed in the purse.

The Reeve's Tale: This tale is told by Oswald, the elderly reeve. The Reeve's tale is motivated as it is by the Reeve's desire for revenge. The Reeve has compared Robyn, the pilgrim miller with Sympkyn. Sympkyn is like the pilgrim miller, both men are most of the time drunk. It presents a far less jolly view of the world than does the miller's tale, and to some readers it suffers by the comparison. However, the tale has its own virtues, combining the farcical elements of the "mistaken beds" with the slapstick humor of the conclusion, and the intellectual trickery of the clerks. When they first appear, the miller is sure he can outwit them, and he taunts them with the sophistry traditionally ascribed to university students.

The Characters: The ridiculously proud drunken miller, known as "Sympkyn," the unnamed wife, their 20-year-old daughter Maleyne, and an unnamed and infant child in the cradle. Aleyn and John, two Cambridge students from Soller Hall, perhaps now part of Trinity College, and their horse.

The Folklore: The Miller's (self serving) Golden Thumb (the millers game): The miller will toll it twice, and then twice again to make sure. If you are not watching he will even steal your sack. The miller's thumb was anthropomorphic, in that it had a mind of its own. The miller's thumb is always trying to make money for its master without the master realizing it or giving it a second thought. This is much like the traditional heavy lead weighted thumb of the butcher upon the scales. Large tolls this miller took, beyond a doubt,
With wheat and malt from all the lands about.
Whereon this miller stole both flour and wheat,
A hundredfold more than he used to cheat.
For theretofore he stole but cautiously,
But now he was a thief outrageously.
The miller snapped his fingers, truth to tell,
And cracked his brags and swore it wasn't so.
And when the miller saw that they were gone,
He half a bushel of their flour did take.
The Story (Synopsis): At Trumpington, near Cambridge, there is a brook where nearby stands a mill. There is a miller who lived there with his family, Once the miller wore ostentatious clothing and could play the bagpipe, wrestle, and fish. He always had a knife with him, and had a round face and flattened nose. His name was Simon, but was nicknamed Sympkyn.

Sympkyn is a proud, and thieving miller. His wife came from a noble family, who is the daughter of the parish priest. Sympkyn is a jealous man and his wife pretentious. They have a daughter who was now twenty and an infant child. Maleyne, the daughter is described as an ugly daughter.

The miller is dishonest in his business dealings. He has cheated the nearby college worst of all, and stole meal and corn from the dying steward of Cambridge. Two students, John and Aleyn, received permission from the provost to take and witness the corn ground at the mill.

Two students, Aleyn and John, bring the college's wheat to be ground into flour. They are determined to outwit the thieving miller this time. Their flour had been stolen in the past, and they now try and cheat the flour miller. Aleyn tells Sympkyn that he is there to ground the corn and bring it back, since the sick steward cannot. Aleyn watches the grain pouring in the top hopper while John watches it coming out the bottom chute. The miller lets their horse run off into the marsh. John and Aleyn run after it into the marsh, and the miller steals some of their grain and flour.

The students' plan is to prevent theft of the college's corn, and the miller's reaction to it, depends upon them knowing how the grain mill operates. The location of the mill on a watercourse that was arranged so arriving wagons of grain discharged their loads at the top of the mill, where the grain was fed into the hopper leading down to the grinding millstones that produced the flour. The millstones were closely attached to the axle of the mill wheel to avoid loss of mechanical energy due to friction (until metal parts replaced wood). Gravity similarly transported the ground flour to the lowest level for bagging and return to the peasants. Mills were regarded as "high technology" by medieval peoples. Aleyn and John, the scholars, try to defeat the miller's two most likely locations for making off with the grain at the top or the ground flour at the bottom, but they fail to account for the miller, himself, and their unruly horse. 

The students spend a long afternoon's mucking about in the marsh chasing strongly motivated horse. When the students finished catching the horse, they have forgotten about the corn and the meal. While they were gone, the miller took part of their flour and told his wife to knead it into dough. The students returned to find some of their meal has been stolen. They begged the miller for help, and he only offers them a place to stay for the night.

All must sleep in the one room of the house. John and Aleyn in one bed, the miller's daughter in another, and the miller and his wife in yet another, with the baby's cradle at its foot. Sympkyn, like the pilgrim miller, is drunk this night. The fact that Sympkyn, his wife, and daughter Maleyne, all are drunk, snoring, and farting in their sleep set up John and Aleyn's "insomnia."

The miller had said to the students, you have learned the arts curriculum, but don't try and use your tricky logic here. That is exactly what the clerks decide do. When the snoring (and worse) of the miller and his family keep the clerks awake they finally hit upon a point of the law. One who is injured in one point may be recompensed in another. John warns Aleyn that the miller is dangerous. Aleyn vows to seduce the miller's daughter, Maleyne, as revenge for the stolen corn, and so Aleyn sets out for Maleyne's bed. While John is left to feel humiliated that he was merely sleeping (laying is the bed) while Aleyn was having sex with the miller's daughter. Then John himself decides to seeks revenge by seduced the miller's wife.

Aleyn determines to have recompense for the lost grain, and he gets in bed with the miller's daughter. John, not to be outdone, moves the cradle to the bottom of the bed in which he lies. When the wife gets up in the night to go to relieve herself, she feels about for the cradle, finds it, and gets in bed with John. In the early morning John returns to his own bed but, finding the cradle, goes instead to the miller's bed. The miller awakes, a fight ensues, and the miller is beaten badly.

It is necessary for the plot that the two couples have sex in the same room. The teller of the tale does not shy away from the subject and informs the audience of what is occurring as clearly as the miller soon also becomes aware. Aleyn and Maleyne also have intercourse downstairs in privacy, away from John. The mother is committing adultery in the same room in which her daughter was having premarital sex. This can easily be construed as sexual perversion, to put it lightly. They are not aware they are participating in what amounts to an orgy. If the couples make no noise and do not hear one another, then, in a sense, they are in private. While having sex with the clerks, and women voice their pleasure at the experience, and the mother and daughter quickly realize the other's actions which is unallowable the standards of the day.

The next morning, the miller's daughter tells Aleyn where he could find the bread that she helped her father steal. At dawn Aleyn goes to the miller's bed and thinking that John is in it and boasts about his exploits, how he has had the miller's daughter that very night, but Sympkyn hears and grabs him by the neck. The miller is furious to hear this and starts cursing. Aleyn punches him, and the two fight, until the miller tumbles backward on his wife, breaking her ribs. The miller's wife, thinking that she is in bed with one of the clerks, mistakes her husband for the clerk, and strikes the miller. John sprang up quickly to find a staff. The miller's wife found one, and tried to hit Aleyn with it, but instead struck her husband. The students left him lying, got dressed and took their meal. So the proud miller got himself a beating, lost his labor, his wife committed adultery, and his daughter was seduced. The proverb rings true: "Let him not look for good whose works are evil," for a trickster shall himself be tricked. The clerks then escape with their flour and with what has been baked into a cake.

Analysis: The Reeve's Tale is a vulgar comic tale intended to humiliate the miller on the pilgrimage. The Reeve pursues an obvious vendetta with his story, which he indicates in the story's prologue. Sympkyn, the central character of the tale, is meant to represent Robyn, the miller, and consequently has no redeemable characteristics. Sympkyn is a miller who has a sense of incredible vanity with regards to his high born wife. The miller is violent and vulgar, and resorts to thievery. His pride in his wife is mere foolishness, for as the daughter of a parson, Sympkyn's wife is, strictly speaking, illegitimate. Even his wife and daughter are subject to intense ridicule. The Reeve describes the daughter as "thick" and "round," while the wife is an empty, passive character who freely submits herself to John. But even though the other characters exist only as targets for the Reeve's scorn, the force of the plot concerns heaping scorn upon the miller. The story exists primarily for the purpose of setting up and developing a situation in which Sympkyn will be humiliated.

The Reeve's tale therefore lacks any degree of compassion toward any of its characters. The nominal heroes of the tale, Aleyn and John, are more sympathetic than Sympkyn and his family only to the degree that they are more intelligent, yet even this distinction is minor. Although they are students, they come from the more rustic northern area of England. They are cheated out of their corn and lose their horse through the miller's deception. When they seduce the miller's wife and daughter, they do so merely out of opportunity and jealousy, and their actions seem to be little better than rape. The two students even lack that measure of lust that is present in the miller's tale, and which might make the characters more sympathetic. In the end, most of the characters suffer some physical injury, but most of all the miller. For deceiving the students he found himself cheated, his daughter deflowered, and himself robbed and severely wounded. Even the means by which he is wounded is comic and his wife hits him on the head with his own staff.

The Reeve's tale has little of the "Merry Old England" that seems to be embodied in the miller's tale, but it has its own hard-edged wit, and in some ways is probably closer to the life of the times than is the miller's tale. The tale reveals in how many ways can a miller be "beaten" in this game. The proverb rings true, "Let him not look for good whose works are ill," An evil end to evil man and thus the cheater shall himself well cheated be.

(27) This is based upon a Grimms Fairy Tale, "The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat." I have a Walt Disney children's book, "Goofy and the Miller," which is a modern retelling of the same tale

In a certain mill lived an old miller who had neither wife nor child, and three apprentices served under him. As they had been with him several years, he one day said to them, "I am old, and want to sit behind the stove. Go out, and whichsoever of you brings me the best horse home, to him will I give the mill, and in return for it he shall take care of me till my death."

The third of the boys, however, was the dunce, who was looked on as foolish by the others, they begrudged the mill to him, and afterwards he would not even have it. Then all three went out together, and when they came to the village, the two said to stupid Hans, "You may just as well stay here, as long as you live you will never get a horse." Hans, however, went with them, and when it was night they came to a cave in which they lay down to sleep. The two smart ones waited until Hans had fallen asleep, then they got up, and went away leaving him where he was. And they thought they had done a very clever thing, but it was certain to turn out ill for them.

When the sun rose, and Hans woke up, he was lying in a deep cavern. He looked around on every side and exclaimed, "Oh, heavens, where am I?" Then he got up and clambered out of the cave, went into the forest, and thought, "Here I am quite alone and deserted, how shall I obtain a horse now?" Whilst he was thus walking full of thought, he met a small tabby cat which said quite kindly, "Hans, where are you going?" "Alas, you can not help me." "I well know your desire," said the cat. "You wish to have a beautiful horse. Come with me, and be my faithful servant for seven years long, and then I will give you one more beautiful than any you have ever seen in your whole life." "Well, this is a strange cat," thought Hans, "But I am determined to see if she is telling the truth."

So she took him with her into her enchanted castle, where there were nothing but kittens who were her servants. They leapt nimbly upstairs and downstairs, and were merry and happy. In the evening when they sat down to dinner, three of them had to make music. One played the bass viol, the other the fiddle, and the third put the trumpet to his lips, and blew out his cheeks as much as he possibly could. When they had dined, the table was carried away, and the cat said, "Now, Hans, come and dance with me." "No," said he, "I won't dance with a pussy cat. I have never done that yet." "Then take him to bed," said she to the cats. So one of them lighted him to his bed-room, one pulled his shoes off, one his stockings, and at last one of them blew out the candle. Next morning they returned and helped him out of bed, one put his stockings on for him, one tied his garters, one brought his shoes, one washed him, and one dried his face with her tail. "That feels very soft," said Hans.

He, however, had to serve the cat, and chop some wood every day, and to do that, he had an axe of silver, and the wedge and saw were of silver and the mallet of copper. So he chopped the wood small, stayed there in the house and had good meat and drink, but never saw anyone but the tabby cat and her servants. Once she said to him, "Go and mow my meadow, and dry the grass," and gave him a scythe of silver, and a whetstone of gold, but bade him deliver them up again carefully. So Hans went thither, and did what he was bidden, and when he had finished the work, he carried the scythe, whetstone, and hay to the house, and asked if it was not yet time for her to give him his reward. "No," said the cat, "you must first do something more for me of the same kind. There is timber of silver, carpenter's axe, square, and everything that is needful, all of silver, with these build me a small house." Then Hans built the small house, and said that he had now done everything, and still he had no horse.

Nevertheless the seven years had gone by with him as if they were six months. The cat asked him if he would like to see her horses. "Yes," said Hans. Then she opened the door of the small house, and when she had opened it, there stood twelve horses, such horses, so bright and shining, that his heart rejoiced at the sight of them. And now she gave him to eat and drink, and said, "Go home, I will not give you your horse now, but in three days, time I will follow you and bring it." So Hans set out, and she showed him the way to the mill.

She, however, had never once given him a new coat, and he had been obliged to keep on his dirty old smock, which he had brought with him, and which during the seven years had everywhere become too small for him. When he reached home, the two other apprentices were there again as well, and each of them certainly had brought a horse with him, but one of them was a blind one, and the other lame. They asked Hans where his horse was. "It will follow me in three days, time." Then they laughed and said, "Indeed, stupid Hans, where will you get a horse?" "It will be a fine one." Hans went into the parlor, but the miller said he should not sit down to table, for he was so ragged and torn, that they would all be ashamed of him if any one came in. So they gave him a mouthful of food outside, and at night, when they went to rest, the two others would not let him have a bed, and at last he was forced to creep into the goose house, and lie down on a little hard straw.

In the morning when he awoke, the three days had passed, and a coach came with six horses and they shone so bright that it was delightful to see them - and a servant brought a seventh as well, which was for the poor miller's boy. And a magnificent princess alighted from the coach and went into the mill, and this princess was the little tabby cat whom poor Hans had served for seven years. She asked the miller where the miller's boy and dunce was. Then the miller said, "We cannot have him here in the mill, for he is so ragged, he is lying in the goose house." Then the king's daughter said that they were to bring him immediately. So they brought him out, and he had to hold his little smock together to cover himself. The servants unpacked splendid garments, and washed him and dressed him, and when that was done, no king could have looked more handsome. Then the maiden desired to see the horses which the other apprentices had brought home with them, and one of them was blind and the other lame. So she ordered the servant to bring the seventh horse, and when the miller saw it, he said that such a horse as that had never yet entered his yard. "And that is for the third miller's boy," said she. "Then he must have the mill," said the miller, but the king's daughter said that the horse was there, and that he was to keep his mill as well, and took her faithful Hans and set him in the coach, and drove away with him.

They first drove to the little house which he had built with the silver tools, and behold it was a great castle, and everything inside it was of silver and gold, and then she married him, and he was rich, so rich that he had enough for all the rest of his life. After this, let no one ever say that anyone who is silly can never become a person of importance.

This story has been retold in several song versions in to modern times either under the title of "Miller's Will," or "The Miller's Three Sons." Miller's Will

There was an old miller by everyone known
He had three sons was all nigh grown
When he came to die and make his will
He had nothing to give but an old tub mill

He called up his eldest son
He says, "My son, I'm almost done
And if the mill to you I'd make
Pray tell me how much toll you intend to take?"

"Oh dear father, my name is Heck
And out of each bushel I'll take one peck
And every bushel I do grind
A very fine living at that I'll find"

"You are a fool," the old man said,
"You have not fairly learned my trade
The mill to you I will not give
For never a miller at that can live"

He next called up his second son
He says, "My son, I'm almost done
And if the mill to you I'd make
Pray tell me how much toll you intend to take?"

"Oh dear father, my name is Ralph
And out of each bushel I'd take one half
And every bushel I do grind
A very fine living at that I'll find"

"You are a fool," the old man said,
"You have not fairly learned my trade
The mill to you I will not give
For never a miller at that can live"

He next called up his youngest son
He says, "My son, I'm almost done
And if the mill to you I'd make
Pray tell me how much toll you intend to take?"

"Oh dear father, I am your son
I'll take three pecks and leave just one
And if a good living at that I do lack
I'll take the other and swear to the sack"

"You are my son," the old man said,
"For you have fairly learned my trade
The mill is yours," the old man cried,
And he closed up his eyes and died.
Note: Some rural versions end with, "and he kicked up his heels and died."

(28) Chaucer in Canterbury Tales does not speak highly of the miller: He was a master hand at stealing grain.
He felt it with his thumb and thus he knew.
Its quality and took three times his due.
A Thumb of gold, by God, to gauge an oat?

On the Southern States Recording Trip of 1939, John and Ruby Lomax recorded, "The Miller." There was an old miller who lived by the mill
Every time the mill turned it turned to its will
Hand upon the hopper and the other on the sack
Every time the mill turns
Grab boys grab. (Back)
Turn right back.
Another variation of this found the following square dance verse. Same old man working at the mill
The mill turns around on his own free will
Hand upon the hopper and the other on the sack
The ladies step forward and the gents fall back

(30) Soke rights is well defined in Volume 3, "Feudal Laws and Customs," London, 1900, "History of Corn Milling," by Richard Bennett and John Elton, 4 volumes, reprint Burt Franklin, New York, 1964, Research and Source Works Series #74.

(31) First person interpretation is a unique and different approach to conveying information to visitors. First person allows the interpreter to step into the shoes and the mind set of an individual in a certain time period. Doing first person should not be a painful experience. It is not as hard as you would think. It just takes is a little practice and some practical sense. These are some tips that should help began to have period conversations. 1. You must first understand that you have to be a conversationalist. To improve at it you have to join into the conversation. Don't get into the trap of simply nodding your head as in saying "yes" or "no." This first sign of inexperience at doing first person interpretation is the typical agreeing and disagreeing of topics in the conversation. Speak up for yourself and let the audience know why you have certain feelings. A statement like "I think it works this way because." is so much better than a simple reply, or saying I don't know. Once that you have learned to break the ice in the conversation and make yourself heard. A person is never going to learn about first person conversation unless they have tried it and practiced it.

2. Once you have begun conversation and have created a situation, make sure that you are in the right mind set, and remain that way. Peoples beliefs in one century might not hold true previous or past century. There are certain words and ideas which are totally unacceptable today, however, they might be perfectly fine for another time period and vice versa. In creating an impression or character, you will need to alter your modern day opinions. Try to look at it from the people's point of view in the time period you represent.

3. When conversing in character, there are a number of things to watch out for.

3-A. The speaking voice should really not be any different from what it is in the present time! Often you hear people alter their voices while in character.

3-B. Sometimes they may sound dramatic, softer, louder or more poetic. A character in conversation may remember things in his past that may draw out memories or emotions in his presents time. Does this mean that everyone in the past spoke like an actor

3-C. If you speak in your everyday voice and you will sound fine.

3-D. One of the biggest mistake made by individuals in doing first person is to use an
accent of sorts. These are the generic accents that you hear in our modern world. A fake accent is nine out of ten times done sounds like a fake accent. We have all heard them: The German accent on Hogan's Heroes, the Swedish Chef on the Muppets, the Frenchmen in Monty Python in Search of the Holy Grail, the foreign man in Taxi and other television shows, and the fake Irish and Southern accents that singers use. The problem with fake accents is that we hear so many in television, cartoons, radio and the movies, is after a while we think they are real. Charlie Chapman as the Great Dictator, the Swedish Chef, and Native Americans in early western movies on the other hand these are not examples of actual languages at all, but accented gibberish. So leave the fake accents to someone who makes their living using fake accents like comedians. Unless you can really sustain a fake accent all of the time and in the course of conversation, and make it a believable one, it should not be attempted.

4. A most common problem with first person, is the use of modern words or slang. Not only should we try to put yourself in the period mind set, you should also try to follow their vocabulary of that time period. In doing your research and study what words or phrases were commonly used or what is period approbate to say. This means that if you are not sure about a word being period correct, then don't use it until you know. This especially applies to slang. One may have to find a dictionary that was published in that time period and know it inside out.

4-A. Often period slang can be used to highlight a period conversation. You have to remember that words and their meanings change over time. What may mean one thing in an historical time period may mean something totally different today and may upset individuals in the audience today. Also remember that English is not just English, American English is very different that the English used in the United Kingdom. If it is period slang, it might not be used all of the time or saying it every other word. A person or a character would be scratching their head over something the audience might say. Slang should be appropriate to its usage, but would be interjected into the vocabulary at certain times and not all at once.

5. A first person character should be natural. The best first person interpretation happens as if it is not noticed. Someone who is good at first person should always keep keep the audience guessing. The audience should always be asking themselves if that person is in character right now or not? Remember the conversation should be natural sounding and should not really be distinguished from one's everyday conversation. This means that it is getting better.
In a good first person conversation, by the use of period words, and the lack of modern phrasings, will really be the way that the audience can tell if the person is in character or not. Don't create a first person character that makes the visitor seem like you suffer from a spilt personality disorder, that there is such a dramatic change in you that you turn from Doctor Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Remember that first person interpretation should be both spontaneous and natural. It should not sound canned and dramatic, as if you are giving a stage performance that interacts with the audience. First person conversation is really not difficult as one might think, it is just simply a matter of putting one's self in the right mind set and acting natural.

With these understandings the next conversation should be about little things and in a small space. Avoid the pitfall of cause and effect in conversation. People living in certain time periods may not be aware of cause and effects of events in their time period for a number of reasons, because of communications, personal beliefs or attitudes towards certain ways or beliefs in their lives, and just because of the simple fact they don't know how the history books will deal with certain issues which also change over time.

(32) An interesting book to at least look at is, "A Day With a Miller (Day With)," by Regine Pernoud, Giorgio Bacchin (Illustrator), Dominique Clift (Translator), Runestone Press, 1997. The book offers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people in the 12th century. I know you may not be doing first person living history of an miller in Italy but how many books are there available about millers and mills? This book is a fictionalized account of the life of a miller and his family. This is a children's book for Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7.

Regine Pernoud begins the book by describing the development of the use of water power during the Middle Ages, and the implications of that technology on the social and economic history of Europe.The author also touches on the power of the church during this period. Also see: The Cheese and the Worms, The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller," by Carlo Ginzburg, translated by John and Anne Tedeschi, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. Since it is a children's book there is no character development or tension found in the story. While there are history books on technology for children, they are generally not devoted to a specific topics, such as the topic of mills, grist mills, water mills, etc. Another book on a similar age level for children is Bobbie Kalman's book, "The Gristmill," Crabtree, Canada, 1990. There are one or two technical errors found in this book, but it explores the technology of milling on a same age and grade level. The book is full of color photographs of Canadian and American mills, along with charts and drawings. Together, these two books provide a useful overview of the subject of milling for that age level and understanding. It is a good basis to write similar book such as "A Day With a Colonial Miller," or perhaps set in another time period.

(33) From "The Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," by Oliver Evans, Chapter XVIII, Article 117. "Peculiar Accidents by which Mills are Subject to Catch Fire." 1. There being many moving pars in a mill, if any piece of timber fall, and lie on any moving wheel, or shaft, and the velocity and pressure be great, it will generate fire, and perhaps consume the mill.
2. Many people use wooden candlesticks, that may be set on a cask, bench, or the floor, and forgetting them, the candle burns down, sets the stick, cask, etc., on fire, which, perhaps, may not be discovered until the mill in in flame.
3. Careless millers sometimes stick a candle to a cask, or post, and forget it, until it has burnt a hole in the post, or set the cask on fire.
4. Great quantities of grain sometimes bend the floor so as to press the head blocks against the top of the upright shafts, and generate fire, (unless the head blocks have room to rise as the floor settles) mill-wrights should consider this, and be careful to guard against it as they build.
5. Branding irons, carelessly laid down, when hot, and left, might set the mill on fire.
6. The foot of the mill-stone spindle, and gudgeons, frequently heat, and sometimes set the bridge-tree or shaft on fire. It is probable, from such causes, mills have taken fire, when no person could discover how.
There is no mention of the problem of dust in the mill (such as on cobwebs and elsewhere) or explosion. Does this mean that they thought that it could not be prevented, or that they just did not know what caused mill explosions at the time?

(34) From Chapter 27, "Mill Staffing and Management," Perch A. Amos, "Process of Flour Manufacture," Longmans' Technical Handicraft Series, Longmans, Green and Company, London, New York, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, 1912, 1915.

To the casual visitor a mill seems deserted. The total number of men employed in a big mill is quite considerable, but the relation to the plant is small, the output being enormous. Take, for example, a 30-sack plant. Its weekly output in flour is approximately 1,210,000 pounds or 4320 280 pound sacks and in offal is approximately 363,000 pounds.

The following is a list of operatives employed in all departments: 1. Intake: (receiving elevator, conveying, preliminary cleaning and dirty wheat storage), day only, 4 men- 1 intake, 2 barge-trimming, 1 silo.

2. Screening or What-cleaning Department: (including dry-cleaning, washing, drying and conditioning plants and blending bins), 6 men- 1 screen man, 1 washer and conditioner man, 1 sweeper and screenings, "sacker-off (lad), day and night shift.

3. Flour Mill, 20 men: 1 foreman for day, 1 assistant foreman (night), 2 roller men and lad, 1 purifier man and 2 lads, 1 silks man and lad, 1 cleaner, day and night shift.

4. Warehouse: (trucking, stacking, and loading-out), 7 men- 3 loading, 4 trucking, day only.

5. Packing, 12 men: 3 flour packers, 3 offal packers, day and night shift.

6. Power, 4 men: 1 engineer, 1 stoker, day and night shift.
All remaining men will be day only, and will comprise: 1 sack cleaner, 1 sack mender and sorter, 1 lad as sweeper. 7. Cartage: 4 dray men and motor men.

8. Repairs, 2 men: 1 millwright, (a good joiner and mechanic), 1 laborer.

9. Bakery: 1 baker and tester.

10. Stores: 1 storekeeper, general caretaker of all sundries required for all repairs in all departments.

11. Office or Administrative Staff: 6 men, 1 manager, 1 head clerk, 4 assistant clerks.
A properly equipped 30-sack port mill will thus require 70 men in all.

(35) The phrase "dusty miller" is meant the last child born in a family and should be really "dusty milder." "It's mildering" means that it is pouring rain. The Irish never say 'pouring with rain." Milder is a milling term that means the quantity of grain ground at any one time. So milder means a great amount, a flow, quantity, a deluge. The "melder, " flour or meal fell into a great wooden tub, then the miller's helper would have raised the tub to a flour bin or loft area. St. Mullins or anglicized to the name of St. Mulling. An Irish monk who lived from 614-696, and is remembered as to having succeeded in milling (a mixture of non-grain stuff such as apples, nuts and other particles, fibers, perhaps belly bottom fuzz, etc.) into rye flour after a disastrous harvest. He is the famous miller who maybe the source word for "Molinology." His mill race and remains of his mill can still be seen. He is supposed to be the earliest person who was named a "miller." So is the study of milling meaning "Molinology" come from the study of St. Mulling. The Dutch word for milling is "molin."

Charles Howell and Allan Keller, "The Mill At Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills and a Brief History of Milling," Sleepy Hollow Restorations, Tarrytown, New York, 1977, pages 161-163.

(37) "And in the words of Howard Cope, recent miller and owner of Ancaster Mountain Mills (Ancaster, Ontario, Canada), "There's no life like a miller's," from Priamo, Carol, "Mills of Canada," McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, Canada, 1976, page 103.

(38) From conversations with Ben Mast, of Georgetown (Washington, D.C.), whose family at one time owned and operated the Watauga Roller Mill, Sugar Grove, Watauaga County, North Carolina, when I worked at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park. When World War Two began, and the mountain folk discovered that if you owned a mill (and made flour for the war effort) you did not have to go and fight in Mr. Roosevelt's war, suddenly over night a lot of people suddenly got mills. Ben Mast is now a member of the Friends of Peirce Mill Group.

(39) If you need to know at least one Limerick here is the most famous about the a mill. I think at least every person should know at least one Limerick for what they do. Now you will know that you have reached the pinnacle of your profession that someone at one time wrote a Limerick about what you do in life (making grist). I could not find this limerick in the books edited by G. Legman, "The Limerick," Bell Publishing Company, New York, 1965, reprinted 1969, and "More Limericks," Bell Publishing Company, New York, 1977, reprinted 1980. There once was a girl from Aberystwyth
Who took wheat to the mill to make grist with,
Then the miller's son Jack
Threw her flat on her back,
And united the organs they piss with.

A millers girl, Jill from Aberystwyth
took grain to the mill to make grystwyth
The Miller's son Jack laid her down on her back
and united the parts that they pystwith

(40) Two mills that were used as Post Offices were, Jackson's Mill, west of Township Route 412 & Township Route 409 junction, Breezewood vicinity, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Built in 1839 as a flour mill and later also became a Post Office. And the Rock Run Water Mill, now park of Susquehanna State Park, Stafford Road, Lapidum, Harford County, Maryland. Rock Run Grist Mill, erected in 1794 by John Stump, a prosperous businessman who owned several mills in Harford, Cecil, and Baltimore counties, is a three story stone structure and is mill equipment with its inside display of a Post Office.

Several examples as mills serving other uses are found in, "Old Mills of Far Southwest Virginia," by Emory L. Hamilton, Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, Publication 7 - 1973.

Duncan Mill: "John Duncan, who came into Scott Co., VA around 1835, built the mill and his home on Cove Creek in the edge of Rye Cove. The mill was a log structure and ground both wheat and corn. John Duncan operated it until his wife's death in 1857 when he turned it over to his son-in-law George W. Johnson who ran it until his death in 1866...........

Johnson had the log mill torn down and employed Pinkney Carter and George Peters, both noted millwrights, to build a new mill. Carter designed a three story mill with improved equipment for cleaning wheat. The new mill was completed about 1860, just prior to the out break of the Civil War............

This mill flew the Confederate flag and ground flour for the Confederacy all during the Civil War. Grain was hauled in from wherever available, stored and guarded by Confederate soldiers...........

The flour left the mill by wagon and ox-drawn wagons for such places as the Confederate encampment at Pound Gap in Wise County on the Virginia-Kentucky line..........

The mill was also a recruiting station for the Confederacy. On Saturdays rallies were held and speeches given to encourage enlistment in the Confederate Army."

And the Caleb Hawkins Mill that stood "between Dickensonville and Hansonville operated for many years. Built by Caleb Hawkins, the mill was once the hub of community life, consisting of a Roller mill, a Tanning mill which also operated from the mill machinery, and a nearby Blacksmith Shop. This mill was also once a Voting Precinct of Russell County."

(41) One of the oldest folklore stories that I have "heard" that concerns a mill is a Persian story. Persian's developed the (horizontal) wind mill about 3 thousand years ago, and from that invention about 2 thousand years ago they developed the (horizontal) water mill. When the Turks conquered the Persian empire they made slaves of their captive Persian's. The Turks thought the Persian's were inferior to themselves in every way. This one Persian kept talking about this mechanical wonder that they had before they were overrun by the Turks. The Turkish master thought the Persian slave was talking out of his head, because he did not believe for a moment that these inferior race creatures could ever construct such a device. And after a while the Turkish master got tired of hearing about this almost day after day, so to basically shut up this Persian from bragging about nothing, the master allowed him to have all that he need to build this piece of fantasy called a "mill."

The little Persian servant went to work. He began collecting different materials and working in secret in his spare time. Then after many hours, days and finally weeks of long hard work the big unveiling came. The Persian servant brought his master into this building that he built to grind grain, that was known as a mill. The Persian began to make the mill move for his master to see. His Turkish master could not believe his eyes, he never thought in a million years that this inferior Persian could build such a wondrous device such as this mill. So impressed was the Turkish master, he invited all of the big officials and the caliph of the area to see what this inferior Persian had build to amuse his master. All of the big Turkish officials and the caliph of the area came to see this wondrous thing that was known as a mill. They walked into the mill and were speechless. When the machinery turned, the grain went in here and the ground meal come out there, they could not believe their eyes. As the Turkish master and the officials walked around the mill in amazement, the Persian servant suddenly pulled a lever, and ran out of the door of the mill slamming it tightly shut behind him. The machinery of the mill suddenly burst apart and killed everyone inside of the mill.

The Persian servant now inherited all of his master's wealth and his house. One night when he was sleeping in his master's bed. A thief slipped through an open window, and slit his throat, and took all of his new found wealth.

The first time I heard this story, I asked myself where is the moral or the lesson to be learned here? Sometimes every story once you look into it far enough, you sometimes find a bit of truth. Even today is parts of what was ancient Persia, where you still find these types of horizontal windmills, they would abandon then rather than to repair them. They believe that the unseen power that makes them work, can either be used for good or suddenly turn evil on you. The simple fact of repairing the windmill, this power can reach out and take away your life. The windmills are built in a long row of mills facing the wind, in an area where the wind always blows from the same direction. On top of the building in a chamber, with a long slit that lets the wind enter turning a horizontal wheel and the air exits out the outer side of the building through another slit. The vertical blades of the wind wheel look like something they would have built on "Gilligan's Island." Below in an enclosed room is the single pair of millstones driven from above. Opposite the millstones is a trough along the wall, with a hole in the wall which acts as a simple wind tunnel that is used to winnow the grain. When the Persians conquered Greece and Cyrus, they found that the wind blew from many directions so they turned around this idea of the windmill, making the wind wheel smaller and having the water turn the horizontal blades of what became the first water mills. Archaeologists have not found evidence that these first water mills being used in ancient Armenia, which was then part of the Persian empire. For more information about this type of wind mill see: "Persian Windmills," by Michael Harverson, Bibliotheca Molinolgica, The International Molinological Society (T.I.M.S.), 1991.

(42) "Nevertheless, the miller was considered, along with the parson and the schoolmaster, an indispensable member of the community. He was not allowed to take time off for carousing and was exempt from military duty in time of warfare. In regarding to the later, Russell Pfrimmer, a twentieth century miller, once said, "I can stop only one bullet, but I can feed thousands of men," from Priamo, Carol, "Mills of Canada," McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, Canada, 1976, page 99.

"The activity of the farmers while waiting for their grain to be milled is a further indication of the pattern of life of the day. All mills were important centers of community activity, perhaps comparable to the famous rural general store. Here the farmers delighted in discussing farming methods, country politics, frequent jokes reserved for men's ears only an occasional tales that wound up whale-size," from: Paul Brent Hensly, "Graves Mill, a Symbol of the Past," J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1959, page 36.

(44) These stories even though they originate from the old county can still be told as if an ancestor brought them to America, must like the African Americans who came here, bringing with them the stories they told in Africa.The following are two traditional ghost stories:

1. The Miller Boy and the Cat (Austria, Ignaz and Joseph Zingerle)

Once a mill hand came to a miller and asked him for work, saying that he had been underway a long time and wanted to earn a few kreutzers once again. The miller liked the mill hand, for he was a quick and lively fellow. He would have given him work at once if it hadn't been for an unusual concern of his.

He scratched himself behind the ears for a while and then slowly expressed his opinion: "Yes, I need a mill hand, and I'm not likely to find a better one than you, but there is another problem."

"What sort of one? asked the miller boy hurriedly.

"Now you may not believe me, but what I'm going to say is the truth. Every time I have had a mill hand sleep in the mill, the next morning he was discovered dead. I've not been able to find out what is behind this, but that's the way it is."

It has never occurred to me that I should be afraid of someone," replied the mill hand, laughing. "Let me have a go at it. I am not by nature a fraidy-cat."

"It would be a shame to lose your young life," said the miller. "No one else has escaped alive. You won't be any different."

"The long and short of it is that I am not afraid. Give me work, and I'll stay with you."

"If you are willing to gamble with your life, then stay. It will serve you right," replied the miller, half pleased and half angry.

The new mill hand went into the mill and worked in spite of it all.

When night fell he lay down a bit, but he did not let himself fall asleep, looking and looking to see what might be haunting the mill. Suddenly a large, beautiful cat crept up to him, meowed, arched its back, wagged its tail, and continued to creep around the mill hand. It was all he could do to ward off the uncanny animal. When he realized that "Get!" and "Scat!" and such sayings were to no avail, he became angry, grabbed the cat by its tail and hurled it a good distance from him. With that the cat slunk out the

The mill hand thought to himself, "Just dare to come back!" and lay back down and slept without further disturbance.

Early the next morning the miller came, expecting to see the mill hand's corpse. Was he surprised when the boy approached him, singing and whistling, and told him the story of the cat.

As evening was approaching the mill hand fetched a little hatchet and hid it in his bed. Night soon came. The boy lay down, and again the cat crept up to him meowing. This time the mill hand did not shoo it away, but was nice to it and attempted to lure it closer and closer to him. When it was standing right next to his bed, he quickly pulled out the hatchet and with a laugh chopped off one of its front paws. With pitiful meows the cat hobbled on three legs out the door.

Early the next morning the miller came again to see how the boy had fared. The latter had scarcely come into his master's view when he joyfully cried out, "Just see what the beast left behind! It will never come to me again!" With these words he showed the miller the paw that he had chopped off the cat.

The miller had a good laugh and could not have been more pleased with his new mill hand. After laughing his fill, he went about his business, and the morning passed like any other, although the master did wonder why his wife was nowhere to be seen.

Noontime came, and there was still no fire in the kitchen. The master finally lost his patience, and he shouted everywhere for his "old woman." But she neither came nor answered. Finally the miller went upstairs to the bedroom where he found his wife still in bed.

"What you are doing? It is noontime already, and there is not even a piece of kindling burning yet in the kitchen."

"I can't cook today. Something is wrong with me."

The miller was curious what was wrong with her, noticing that she was holding her hands in a strange manner. Then he suddenly saw that one of her hands had been cut off.

"Aha," he thought to himself, "so that is what's wrong with you!"

Angrily he ran down the stairs and told the mill hand what had happened. The mill hand also perceived immediately that the cat had been none other than the master's wife, and that she was a wicked witch.

Source: Ignaz and Joseph Zingerle, Kinder- und Hausmärchen, gesammelt durch die Brüder Zingerle (Innsbruck: Verlag der Wagner'schen Buchhandlung, 1852), no. 39, pp. 251-254.

2. The Haunted Mill (Germany, Karl Gander)

In a village there was a mill. The miller could no longer get anyone to work for him, because several workers had died in the mill in a mysterious manner.

One day a mill hand came to the miller and asked about work. The miller said that he desperately needed a helper, but he had to tell him that things were not exactly right in his mill. The mill hand was an outgoing fellow, and he asked the master to hire him, saying that he would deal with the spook. The master agreed to this.

That night the mill hand went into the mill, taking a sword with him. At the strike of midnight a wet cat crept through a hole into the mill and sat down next on the stove bench. After it had sat there a while and second cat came, and then a third one, and they took places next to the first cat.

And then a miracle! The more they warmed themselves, the larger they grew.

Then the first cat said, "Shall we? Shall we?"

The next one answered, "Eeow!"

And the third one, "Get him!"

Then all three, each with a powerful leap, jumped at the mill hand, hissing and spitting, and with angry sparks spraying from their eyes.

The mill hand did not stand idly by. With his sword he cut off a leg of the first cat, and it began to cry pitifully. Then all three cats hurriedly slipped out the same hole through which they had entered.

He picked up the leg, and it was a human hand with a gold ring on one finger. He wrapped it in a cloth. The next morning he took it to the master and told him of the adventure that he had withstood. The latter was very pleased to hear this, for he hoped that the spook would no longer be interested in returning.

At breakfast the master said to his mill hand, "My wife is very ill."

The mill hand wanted to see her, claiming that in some regards he knew just as much as a doctor. The miller led him to the room where his wife was lying.

The mill worker said, "Show me your right hand!" The woman showed him her left hand.

The mill worker said again, "No, show me the right one!" but she refused.

Then the mill hand unwrapped the severed hand from the cloth and held it out. The woman began to shake like aspen leaves. Her face became distorted; and with moans and groans she confessed that she was a witch and that she had been the cat. She also named her two accomplices. And then she died a horrible death.

Since then nothing unusual has happened at the mill.

Source: Karl Gander, Niederlausitzer Volkssagen, vornehmlich aus dem Stadt- und Landkreise Guben (Berlin: Deutsche Schriftsteller-Genossenschaft, 1894), no. 75, pp. 29-30.

(45) My favorite Revolutionary War story that concerns a mill, is one from the Old Mill of Guilford, that was founded in North Carolina, on Beaver Creek built in 1767. The mill stands in Guilford County, Oak Ridge, North Carolina. In 1767 Daniel Dillon built a small tub mill on Beaver Creek. On February 10, 1781, during the Revolutionary War, British troops under General Cornwallis marched past the mill in pursuit of General Green who was encamped at Guilford Courthouse. Legend has it that British troops seized the mill to grind grain for the soldiers prior to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781.

The story goes that Daniel Dillon's son, James was operating the mill at this time during the Revolutionary War. One night James woke up suddenly in a cold sweat from a bad nightmare. He told his wife that he had a bad dream, in which, he dreamed that his right big toe was burning. His wife took it as a bad omen, saying you had better put on your pants at once and go down to check on the mill. When James Dillon got down to the mill, he found that it had been taken over by British troops, who had taken over the mill and were using it to grind their grain. James being a good Quaker just began waving his hands in the air saying something like, this is my mill what are you doing? The British troops upon hearing this wild man who came screaming out of the darkness of the night, turned around and with their rifles began shooting at poor James. James Dillon jumped behind the closest tree to avoid being hit by the rifle fire. The only problem was that his right foot was leaking out from behind the tree, and he got shot in the very toe that he, a short while before had dreamed it was burning. When the British troops finished grinding their grains they left poor James Dillon and his mill alone. The usual custom was when the occupying army would take over a mill after they ground all of their's and the mill's grain, they would torch the mill and burn it to the ground. James Dillon (minus his right big toe) and his mill were spared.

In 1898 Joel Sanders purchased the mill for $900 dollars. In 1819, Sanders moved the mill 500 feet down stream and built a new dam across the creek, which increased the millpond to 10 acres. The new mill was designed as a merchant corn and wheat mill with an overshot wheel to replace the small (public grist) tub mill.

(46) The problems with additives (preservatives) or processed foods, is that they are made white, refined and keep able. White comes from the idea, if it is white it must be clean. Before the days of grain cleaning machinery in the milling industry could not remove: dirt, seeds, fungus, smut, sticks, straw, chaff, stones, animal dropping and manure. The rich or better class of people people got white flour and white bread. The poor received the brown flour and brown bread. If you read the book: "Bread of Dreams," it talks about such thing as fungus ergot and mid-evil period additive opium in bread. The age old problem is that white flour makes white faces. The peasant class problem was, if starvation did not kill you eating the bread could. Brown bread was also called "dog bread," because it was not fit to feed dogs.

The "Bread of Dreams" is set in pre-modern Southern Europe, focusing not on aristocrats but rather on ordinary folk: peasants, city-dwellers, and the many beggars and poor people of Italy and to a lesser degree, France. Europeans lived in various ongoing states of "collective vertigo," hallucination and illness brought on by starvation or the eating of tainted foodstuffs, commonplace at that time. This state of affairs was promoted and exacerbated by various medical, social, and religious establishments. The medical establishments codified the foods 'medically' appropriate for rich and poor, resulting in additional loss of life. Hunger was the central organizing principle in the lives of so many. The notorious famine years were times of acute rather than chronic starvation, and "incredible and repugnant substances" were often eaten, often with fatal results. The "terrible noises, worms, vermin, ghosts and goblins," opiates, visions, toxic brews, exorcisms, violence, and always death and more death.

The luddite movement started by a "so-called" insane person (a Leicestershire textile worker) named Nathan Ludd who in 1779 stated a revolt against mechanization and industrialization by destroying mill's machinery. A luddite belief being that new technology and increased industrialization or the introduction of this new technology was evil to persons and workers in these mills. The luddite movement occurred in England, and here in America in New England. To learn more about the Luddites go to: Luddites at:

The Reverend Sylvester Graham believed if technology can be evil, then also the products of this new technology also can be evil. In the end of the 1700's Oliver Evans developed his improvements in the flour milling industry that increased the production of merchant super-fine white flour. Sylvester Graham believed that God meant us to eat grain whole, and that sifting out the bran and other parts of grains was against the will of God. Graham also did some looking into the history of bread production and discovered such things as back in 1421 there were court cases in Europe where bakers were putting chemicals into bread dough to make it absorb as much water as it could possibly absorb. So the bakers were not selling loaves of bread but fancy disguised loaves of water. Graham was big into his ideas also relating to white, refined and keep able food products. His ideas started the grahamite movement which was really the first vegetarian movement, where you don't eat: meat, fish, poultry, drink alcohol, drink only water and sleep with the window open even in the winter. Graham would travel America giving lectures of the subject and evils of refined foods. The large baking companies would stand out side of his hotel protesting is actions, until they realized that he had become so popular, they could go back home and make knock off's of his products and become rich. From Sylvester Graham is where Graham Bread and Graham Crackers come from. Today in stores are sold only bastardized version of his original products.

Sylvester Graham's ideas were embraced by the Shakers and the Seventh Day Adventist. The Shakers, Seventh Day Adventists and the Mormons all began as a reaction to the Luddite movement. The Reverend Sylvester Graham and the Seventh Day Adventists believed that the main cause insanity was the consumption of white flour. Only the rich people went insane and they only had access to white bread. Soldiers when they went to war, ate only white flour, and war was an insane act, so white flour, caffeine, white sugar were something to avoid. The Seventh Day Adventist moved to Battle Creek and built the Western Heath Institute in 1867. The main treatment of the insane was to feed them whole grains and things like oat meal. Sister Mary Ellen White then made Doctor John Harvey Kellogg head the the institute because she thought that he would be the new Messiah of the movement. Dr. Kellogg adopted 42 children and never consummated his marriage because he believed that sex was a drain on society. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg also believed if it tastes good you should not be eating it. If it tastes like crap it must be good for you. Dr. Kellogg invented a number of foods including the corn, wheat, bran flake, various kinds of cereals and a variety of nut butters so people do not have to eat meat sandwiches. That is another story along with the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Let me just say, Dr. Kellogg's brother Will, who was a low level worker in the sanitarium for 40 years, stole his brother's idea for corn flakes, took out all of the good things and made his corn flakes out of corn starch, sugar and malt flavoring. Then Will Kellogg referred to his as the "original." W. Kellogg, and C.W. Post (a former patient at the sanitarium) also made millions selling carp that tastes good. See the movie, "Road to Wellsville," with Anthony Hopkins as Doctor John Harvy Kellogg, to learn who may have been the biggest flake in Battle Creek. This goes back to the idea of making it white-like, refined and keep able.

(47) An example of an event that could have happen but would not have made it into the history books or added to the local folklore is the following example:

At one of the mills that I worked in and i have had a long association with is F. A. Drake's Mills, Drakes Mills, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. My father worked on rebuilding the mill dam back in the 1930's. The late Harry N. Moffatt the former owner and miller in the mill for 55 years, told me about the carriage house or wheelwright shop that was built over the mill race. Harry said the carriage house had a large trap door in the floor so they could drop in wagon wheels so they could heat shrink on a new iron tire.

Harry never said that they ever lost or dropped a wheel off of the chain that they used to lower and raise it back up into the building. A drama could be made up about this event. The mill would have to close the head gates and drain the mill race which would effect the mill's operation. Another possibility would be the mill race needs to be cleaned out, besides the miller's helpers who are put to work cleaning the mill race, the mill owner may feel that some one from the carriage house should also help out. The carriage house after all cools their metal parts in the mill race or draws buckets of water from it to fill their slack tubs. If it is not a carriage house perhaps it is a blacksmith shop located near the mill that uses its water, and because they provide a service for the mill, the blacksmith feel they should not be charged for the use of the mill water.

Another occurrence that commonly happens with some mills it to create or develop a sister mill or a partnership between two mills in a local area that are located close to each other. Why work against each other for in business. Drake's Mills was about 4 miles away from Zortman's Flour & Feed Mill, that was located in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. The owners of both mills agreed work together. The unwritten agreement worked like this: If one mills operation was broken down, the mill moved its grain and material to the other mill, and that mill would then grind grain for both operations. The mills could work together and they could order larger quantities of grain from the suppliers. Some of the grain came by box car to the closest railroad siding in Cambridge Springs. Each mill would help the other if needed unload grain onto their trucks and haul it to the separate mills. The box car would sit on the siding for 3 days, and then afterward we would be charged a daily rate for keeping the car tied up and off the mainline. They also could order together, and one of them travel the distance to several grain dealers to pick up other grains and items needed by both mills. So what happens if this system begins to break down. A drama could be made up about this event. Perhaps the second mill breaks down as well, or it has gone on just too long at one of the mills, and the other is not getting fixed because of ordering parts.

In the area, was the 5-M Milling Company, the family owned 5 separate mills in nearby small towns, and their name was Murdock. We never had any dealing with them, perhaps because they had their own system of sister mills. They even for a time put out their own monthly newsletter to the local farmers who were their customers.

An event that Harry Moffatt and his son, Clarence "Red," talked about that really happened was when the bag dealer wrote them a letter, and said they were going out of business. In the letter they were told that the company would sell all of their plates used in printing the bags to another bag dealer. They were told that their new bag dealer would charge more than the current price. Do you wish to make an order from us at this time at the old price per bag the bag manufacturer asked. Generally when you buy a sack of flour or meal, the most expensive part of that sack is the price is the cost of the empty sack. The time and labor along with the price and cost of the grain, and turn it into the final product is much less than the cost of the sack. This happened when Harry's father-in-law was still the owner of the mill, Clarence Drake. When Clarence Drake saw the letter he ordered twice the amount of their normal order, and later when he brother Elias (other brother Andrew ran the farm) also came across the letter in the mill's office, he without knowledge of what his brother did, also ordered twice the order. Everyone was a bit surprised when 4 times the normal order of bags arrived one day. The Drake brothers operated two mills one in Drake's Mills, and a second Drake's Mill in Cambridge Springs that later became Turner's Mill. A drama could be made up about this event. So what would have happened if someone at Drake's Mill would have contacted their sister mill, which at that time was one of several mills, either Zortman's Mill or Keystone Mills both in Edinboro. They could have contacted the person running the other mill, and that person said order me too twice as much at my normal order but did not made it clear that this increase was for anther mill in the area and not for Drake's Mill again.

The same sort of above story scenario could moved back in time a hundred years or more, to involve the cooper who supplied flour barrels for a mill. The mill paid the cooper for a set number of barrels but before they are produced and delivered to the mill, the cooper up and dies. The copper spent a portion of the money to buy or contract enough materials from another craftsman who supplied the wood. The cooper may not have employed a qualified journeyman to finish the order, and the cooper's widow discovers that her aging husband was more in debt that he told anyone. Now the ships are tied up at the wharf waiting for barrels of flour, the mill has ground the flour and it has over filled the bins of the mill with freshly ground flour, but have no barrels to put it in. There can be more to first person mill interpretation than just a dishonest miller or someone getting hurt while working in the mill.

(48) Oakford Manor Home Page (United Kingdom) is found the following dialog: The Honest Miller

Martin: At the last manor court Floyd, Fulton, and James said you were taking more than a measure of grain from each sack.

Dane: Yes, they said that, but they couldn't prove it! I'm often accused of stealing from the villains. But I don't take more than what is my right. Many of the villains don't realize that flour takes up less room in a sack than does the grain. So the sack looks a lot smaller and they think I have cheated them. I always take my measure from the sack whey they come for their flour. I'm not cheating anyone.

Martin: Floyd and James also said that you are mixing barley or oat flour in with the wheat flour.

Dane: Look, I am an honest, hardworking miller. I only take what is mine by right. These complaints are because the villains are jealous.............

The mill, our land, and our wealth are ours because my family and I are hard workers, not because we cheat anyone...........

If anyone is cheating, it is the villains who grind their grain on small hand mills. By milling their own flour they are robbing Lord Geoffrey and myself of our due."

(49) From the Library of Congress: The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920. "The chimney sweep and the miller," American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Published by American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1902.

Summary of the film: Filming of a popular vaudeville gag. Opens on a stage with a painted backdrop of a lake and forest. From opposite sides of the stage enter a chimney sweep, covered from head to toe with black soot and carrying a folding broom and black sack of soot on his back, and a miller, dressed completely in white and carrying a white sack of flour. The two men bump into each other center stage, with some of the sweep's soot dirtying the miller's uniform. They exchange angry words, and then begin hitting each other with their sacks. As expected, black soot from the chimney sweep's bag spots the miller's whites, and white flour from the miller's sack lands on the sweep's dark clothing. The brawl culminates with a large cloud of black and white in which the men seem to disappear. A chimney sweep and a miller become involved in a street fight. The fight causes a lively mixup of black and white, with most amusing effects.

This is sort of a takeoff on why the English walk, ride or drive on the left side of the road so two men passing won't cross swords, and be obligated to fight a duel.

(50) "The Great Wagon Road, From Philadelphia to the South" by Park Rouse, Jr., McGraw-Hill, 1973, reprint Dietz Press, New York, 1995, page 188. This page deals with milling. He mentioned it takes one hour to grind a bushel of corn. One hour required he must mean the time it takes for the miller to get around to grind his "turn." A sharpened pair of millstones can grind a bushel of corn in ten minutes or less. There is not enough on this page to provide enough information about first person living history mill interpretation alone.

(51) The folklore about French millstones says that they came to American as ship's ballast, taken out of ships holds and then made into millstones. The reality is that they were shipped to America with a "ballast" rate of shipping. Another folklore about the French millstones is that because of the pours they could really grind grain without out being dressed, this may or not be true. Where I come from in northwestern Pennsylvania, if a mill has French millstones, we would say that they have "froggies in the mill." Because we associated the French with eating frog legs. Others would say that "you have a Frenchman in the mill." When dressing the millstones the hardness of the French burr would often cause small flakes of metal to break away from the point of the mill pick, some of these would become embedded in the backs of millstone hands and fore arms. If it was not removed it cause a bluish discoloration of the skin much like a tattoo. It was possible to tell from an examination of his hands, just how much experience the millstone dresser had of dressing millstones, but at lease he had done it before. Hence the phrase "show us your metal, mettle! Are you worth your mettle?

(52) Miller's Disputes: "Millers often encountered resentment and opposition from other millers concerning water rights and from farmers over pollution of streams and flooding of their pastures. There was also an adverse effect from the damming of streams on the livelihood of freshwater fishermen............," from Priamo, Carol, "Mills of Canada," McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, Canada, 1976, page 103.

Also read the tale of three mill dams in Yonkers that they were declared "nuisances
detrimental to health and dangerous to life."

1. THE STATESMAN, December 2, 1892, DAMS DOWN! Three Nuisances Removed, A GRAND NIGHT'S WORK.

2. THE HERALD, December 2, 1892, DOWN! Three of the Nepperhan Dams Destroyed, A PUBLIC NUISANCE, So Declared by the Board of Health of This City on Wednesday.


Some years ago this college professor told me the story of this mill that he lives in near State College, Pennsylvania. The story was that this man came back from World War Two, and in this town was this prosperous miller operating this flour mill. To make matters worse, the miller received an exemption from military service because he was making flour for the war effort. Generally brown flour was used at home and the white flour shipped off to the troops. This man was so upset because in coming back from the war, he had to start his own life completely over again. So he started a one man campaign to destroy this miller's livelihood, to convince everyone that the products of this mill were harmful to the public welfare. The man started a letter writing campaign to the newspapers, every political office that he could find in the local and state levels. He finally convinced the town fathers that the products of this mill were such a danger to public heath that this man be given the contract to haul all of the flour making machinery out of this mill, smash it to bits, and haul it to the trash dump. The the mill could never be used again to make flour. The college professor never said that happened to the poor miller and his family, but the mill stood there for many years as a black stain on the community, until it was forgotten about and later turned into a home. As for the man who started the trouble, he developed a business in hauling junk out of his revenge.

The same sort of thing may have happened in other wars. A relative of a friend was told when the Civil War ended that it was time to go home. The Union Army did not provide means of transportation to return to Pennsylvania, so he would walk some, find a job for while and work there for a time. It would repeat itself over again, until he gradually in 11 years made it all the way home. I have also heard of similar instances which the same thing also happened.

(53) There are three sources for research information, the first being primary or original, the second being secondary sources and finally there is third source material.

Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to the truth of what actually happened during an historical event or time period. Primary sources are the
evidence left behind by participants or observers. The following are generally considered primary sources: 1. Diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters, memos, manuscripts and other papers in which individuals describe events in which they were participants or observers.

2. Memoirs and autobiographies. These are generally less reliable since they are usually written long after events occurred and may be distorted by bias, dimming memory or the revised perspective that may come with hindsight. On the other hand, they are sometimes the only source for certain information.

3. Records of organizations and agencies of government. The minutes, reports, correspondence, etc. of an organization or agency serve as an ongoing record of the activity and thinking of that organization or agency. Many kinds of records (births, deaths, marriages; permits and licenses issued; census data; etc.) document conditions in the society.

4. Published materials (books, magazine and journal articles, newspaper articles) written at the time about a particular event. While these are sometimes accounts by participants, in most cases they are written by journalists or other observers. The important thing is to distinguish between material written at the time of an event as a kind of report, and material written much later, as historical analysis.

5. Photographs, audio recordings and moving pictures or video recordings, documenting what happened.

6. Artifacts of all kinds: physical objects, buildings, furniture, tools, appliances and household items, clothing, toys.
Secondary sources are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after they happened. A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event. Secondary sources are histories or records compiled by someone who has reviewed the primary sources. The value of such histories depends on the quality and number of sources examined by their authors. They must be scholarly in nature to be considered secondary source material. A book may include some primary sources, such as direct quotes from people living in the past or excerpts from historical documents.

When is information that is not primary or secondary source material? When it is a third source material or told second hand. This material is often passed on within oral family histories, or stories told within a community. The original facts and truths get lost, or mixed up with additions, or embellishments made in the retelling of the stories. This borders on traditional folklore. However, stories told by current living members of an actual historical figure or event in their ancestry often make the most interesting pieces of history in telling of a story. The big problem is that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to prove or separate the real facts from family legends. The material may not contain carefully researched documented facts because truths are lost in the retelling of the stories from one generation to another. The material gathered often becomes a problem in where and how to use this information. On one hand the people believe this information to be true and accurate, you cannot present it as so in academic works, or to the public. This material however interesting is not a primary or original source material (even if it told by descents of the actual historical figure in question), they must remain in the realm of "hear-say." If this material is included in secondary source works, it must be identified as coming from oral family traditions and interviews. This type of material may give an interpreter an edge over another interpreter also doing the same interpretation at a site, and can be used in third person interpretation when you stop before hand, and state according to the family dependents they tell a different story. This sort of source material has no place in first person interpretation.

(54) The skill of the miller. The old saying goes something like this, "What is the difference between a water miller and a wind miller? Why any gorilla can run a mill. All he has to be able to do pull a leaver, or turn a control wheel, and you can operate a water mill by turning it off or on. It takes the real art in the skill of the miller to be able to run and operate a wind mill. You have to know more than just how to grind grain into flour, you have to know about the clouds and the weather. You have to know how to study the signs in the sky. The wind miller also has to know what to do if that rain storm suddenly turns to sleet, and then all of a sudden, all of your canvas turns to ice. You have to know how to get your sails down quickly so that the sudden added weight does not cause your sail arms to abruptly come crashing down. Being in a wind mill and operating a wind mill is a lot like operating a sailing ship, it moves with every slight change in the wind.

The one book that tells you the most about how to build and operate a wind mill is: "Windmills and Millwrighting," by Stanley Freese, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, England, 1957, reprint Great Albion Books, 1971, reprint A.S. Barnes & Co., Cranbury, New Jersey, 1972, reprint Newton Abbot, David & Charles, 1971, 1974.

The best book that has been published that documents an American wind mill is, "The Fischer Windmill," by Paul E. Vierling, Illinois Outdoors, Elmhurst, Illinois., 1994.

(55) The following are some of the primary first person character information that needs to be established in the role of the miller: (This is only a beginning, a starting point. The more you can add and define the better the character of the miller can become) 1. The miller's name. How is he known to others. This is determined by the time period, example, he may be simply known as John the miller, Mr. Miller, John Thomas, the miller, etc.
2. Where is the miller's home? Does the miller live in the miller's house?
3. What is the current status of the miller's occupation: Is the miller a master miller? A journeyman miller? Does he own the mill or does he work for the mill owner? If he works for a mill owner what is his relationship and agreement with that person?
3-A. How does the miller feel about being a miller? Does he like what he does, or would the miller rather have become something else?
4. What type of mill is it? Is it a custom or a merchant mill?
5. Does the mill have millstones or have a roller system? How many pairs of millstones does the mill have? Who dresses the millstones and tempers the mill picks? Where do they come from and what are ground on each pair of millstones. If the mill has a roller system is it a long or a short roller system? If the mill uses roller mills where is the machine shop that regrooves the rollers about every 3 years? What is they type of water wheel does the mill have? Who maintains it and how often has it been replaced.
6. If the mill is a custom mill what does the miller use to collect his toll? That is the miller's toll? The standard tolls for different grains differed. The standard for corn was one eighth and for wheat it was one sixth. What does the miller do with the tolls that he has collected? Does he barter or trade grain, feed, flour or meal for other products he or his family needs.
6-A. What is the miller's character and how is he view by others in his local community? Is he a dishonest or an honest miller? How did his master instruct him on how to deal with is customers, and how does he feel about that today?
7. Where is the birthplace of the miller? What is the miller's accent or certain word that he uses in in speech that perhaps is different that those of the local community. Is English the miller's second language?
8. What is the miller's education? How did he learn to be a miller? Was the miller an apprentice or is it a family trade passed on through the family? If the miller learned his trade in perhaps England or another country, he may continue to use the terminology associated with mills and his trade in America. For example, a he may call a grist mill a water mill, while the locals call it a grist mill, or it may be parts of the mill like the millstones cover being called a vat, tun, casting or hoop? Does the miller use only these works or has others in the community adopted them or argue with what they should be called?
9. Where is the location of the place that he learned his trade and who were the people that he knew there?
10. What is the age of the miller? (Does it changes with your current age? Always do the math) At what age did he begin working in mills?
11. What are the number of miller's helpers, and apprentices? What is there relationship or agreements with the miller? Where do they live? What is the miller's responsibilities to them in their agreement? How does the miller live up to or not live up to this agreement? What problems do these workers create for the miller and the operation of the mill.
No. of servants: 23
12. What is the miller's father's name and where was he born? Did his father emigrate to the Colonies or America as a young man? Where did his father meet his mother, and when where they married?
13. What is the miller's mother's name and where was she born? Did his mother emigrate to the Colonies or America as young girl with her family?
14. Does the miller have any brothers or sisters? What is their occupation and does any of them work in the milling trade or own a mill of their own?
15. What is the marital status of the miller? If the miller has any children, how old are they and what do they do? What is the miller's interest level when it comes to sex?
16. Does the miller have any interest or speak of politics?
17. Does the miller drink alcohol? And what is his favorite drink? Does the miller use tobacco products? Does the miller use tobacco products while working in the mill or allow others to use them in the mill?
18. Has the miller ever been hurt while working in a mill? If so, how did it happen? Does the miller know anyone else who was hurt or died while working in a mill?
19. Who are the miller's friends about the community? Who does the miller have no associations with or greatly dislike?
20. What other craftsman in the community does the miller have to deal with to operate his mill?
21. Where does the products of the mill go? What type of container are the products of the mill packaged in? Who produces these package items for the mill and how do they come to the mill?
21-A. How does the mill dispose of its waste products (offals)? For example, do they throw them into the mill stream, trade them with a local Indian tribe, or are they used for animal feeds?
21-B. What are the grades of flour and meals that the mill produces. What are the grades of flour produced from different bolters or sifters?
21-C. Does the miller temper or condition the wheat that it grinds and how and where does this happen?
21-D. Where are the raw grains stored in the mill? Where are the finished flour and meal bins?
21-E. What is the operation of the mill from the beginning of the raw product to the finished product. Where does the grains go into the system and where does the final products and offals come out? Does the mill have a flow chart, or can the miller draw it out on paper?
22. Who are the customers of the mill? If it is a custom mill, then it would be a list of the members of the community. Then the miller has to know where they live, what is their occupation and how often to they come to the mill? Is the miller happy to see them when they come? Who comes to the mill with the best stories or jokes? Who comes around the mill but never seems to have anything to grind?
23. What is the agreement with the miller and the local community to use the water around the mill for swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, ice skating, or ice fishing? What is the miller's feelings or responsibility of someone is hurt, drowned or killed?
24. If the mill is a merchant mill, were and how are the products shipped out of the mill? Does the mill have someone who works as a teamster to haul grain to the mill and the products to market? Where are the sources of grain and how often are they transported to the mill?
25. If the mill is operated seasonally what does the miller do the rest of the year? Does he have another trade or occupation during this time?
26. Who built the mill and when was it constructed? Did a millwright build the mill and perhaps others in the area? Or did the miller build the mill with the help of others? What is the miller's relationship to the millwright? What does he think of the millwright or do they get along, and how often does he see them? If this is not the first mill, what was the first mill built here? What changes have been made to the internal machinery of the mill, and what additions have been made to the building? Has the mill ever had a fire?
27. What is the housekeeping of the mill? Who does it and how often does it happen?
28. What is the mill's form of rodent control? Does the mill have a rat catcher? A mill cat? Do people in the community drop off kittens at the mill and does the miller give farmers a cat for their barn's when they need them. Does the miller feed the cats? What are the cats names and how those the miller tell them apart. What is the cat's family structure? Does the miller use black snakes to catch rodents?
29. How often does the mill flood? What sort of damage or mess does it create. What are the high water marks from different floods in the mill? How often does the mill break down, or have periods of non-operation, like from low water during summer months, or from freezing on the wheel in the winter?
30. What are the other mills in the area? What is the relationship of the miller to the owners and workers in these mills? What products and grains to they grind?
31. Where does the gear teeth, cogs, rungs (staves), belting, lacing, bolting screen, lubricants, and other replacement parts come from. Example what type of lacing used in the mill for that time period? What forms of lighting if any are used in the mill?
32. What is the normal work day for the miller? Has the miller or his helpers ever spent the night sleeping the the mill after a long hard day? Does the mill have any warning bells to tell when the millstones hoppers are running low?
33. What stories does the miller know that goes along with his trade or the mill?
34. What is the miller's clothing or costume while operating the mill?
35. What books has the miller looked at, read or does he have that are related to his trade? Does the mill have any trade publications, trade catalogs, or milling text books? Has the miller had any formation education in his trade beside being an apprentice?
36. What does the miller do in his leisure time? Does he have any leisure time and now does he have an interest in mills when he is not working at the mill?
37. Does the miller know any ghost stories or is his mill haunted?
38. Does the miller believe in or practice any superstitions related to his trade or in working the mill?
39. How does the miller keep his records of his customers, what he grinds, the grain he purchases, package containers, and materials needed to run and operate the mill?
40. Where does the miller eat his lunch, and how does it come to the mill? How often does the miller and the helpers take breaks?

(56) A traditional English song that was written in 1780 by Isaac Bickerstaff (1735-1787). Originally published in "The Convivial Songster," 1782. There was a jolly miller once liv'd on the river Dee;
He danc'd and he sang from morn till night, no lark so blithe as he.
And this the burden of his song for ever us'd to be
I care for nobody, no, not I, if nobody cares for me.

2. I live by my mill, God bless her! she's kindred, child, and wife;
I would not change my station for any other in life.
No lawyer, surgeon, or doctor, e'er had a groat from me
I care for nobody, no, not I, if nobody cares for me.

3. When Spring begins its merry career, oh! how his heart grows gay;
No summer drought alarms his fears, nor winter's sad decay;
No foresight mars the miller's joy, who's wont to sing and say
Let others toil from year to year, I live from day to day.

4. Thus like the miller, bold and free, let us rejoice and sing;
The days of youth are made for glee, and time is on the wing.
This song shall pass from me to thee, along this jovial ring
Let heart and voice and all agree to say, "Long live the King."

(57) I will take you one step further with another example of a type of first person living history program done from the spiritual plane. For example, lets say that the mill is of the circa 1810 period. Everything in the mill is restored to that period, the miller and his helpers are all correctly costumed and everything is correct. Now the visitors are greeted at the door of the mill by a ghost. Because he or she is a ghost they can travel to the present where they encounter these strange individuals. The ghosts asks, "Are you all recently deceased?" Now the first person interpreters working in the mill cannot see the ghost or the visitors they go on with their daily activities as it is a day in their lives in 1810. Now the ghost has the power to move objects in the mill in 1810 and to make himself visible to the living people of that time period, but does not have the powers to the strange individuals visible to the living people of 1810. The ghost only in habits the mill so they know nothing about god, heaven or hell, so any of such talk (different religious view points) cannot upset anyone in the audience. The ghost can go through walls, floors, ceilings and of move in time. Now the ghost has not the powers to make the strange individuals visible to the people living in 1810, but if the ghost concentrates they can help a "child" move a real object in the mill back in 1810, and they can all enjoy watching those living people react to seeing an object move, or have laid something down and now it is somewhere else. The ghost can talk about how much they miss food, and such things of that time period, but like all ghost the mind had be come fuzzing in remembering everything about being a living person. This way you can leave out the dark sides of live or issues that you do not with to have discussed, like drinking, and carousing. The ghost may have also forgotten about home and family since they are have been just associated with the mill. The ghost can't remember how they die or else they may stop being a ghost. This way you can't get into the gory details of the ghost's death. The ghost simply says, "I don't recall," or "All I remember about things is that I have always been here." Some individuals have religious objections to the existence of ghost, to them if you are not in heaven or hell when you die you are either an evil spirit or a troubled soul. You you may wish to first try this sort of program at Halloween. I have seen a number of ghost in my life including Civil War ghosts so who is to say that you cannot present first person interpretation from their point of view.

(58) What are the "10 rules of Recreation" in regards to historical accuracy during demonstrations and living history events? 1. If you can't document it, don't do it. At the same time remember that it is only a recreation, and hobby to some. Remember we are living in the real world and real life comes first.

2. Hyperauthenticity can be fun, if that is your thing. Some people take it too seriously. You should have a lot of fun doing it.  Unless you are specifically required to do hyperauthenticity, don't encourage it in others, and never be mean or rude to someone because they don't share in your delight to be as accurate as humanly possible.

3. About anachronistic elements, some thing out of its proper time. If someone is trying to recreate a time period, what they are really doing is trying to learn more about that time period, a few inaccuracies, and modern items aren't all that bad, wrong or a evil sin.

4. You always hear, "If you're going to do it, do it properly ! You can't pick and choose, either do it completely or not at all. Why? Because going at it half heatedly is an insult to the actual people that are portrayed. If you want to view it as something out of a bad movie, you are welcome to do so, but don't associate it with me." Remember that this is only an interpretation of actual people and events, and unless you can prove that they (the people you protray in the past) really know what we are doing, and care if it is not completely accurate, don't act as if you are their conscience.

5. Non-period elements may be unobtrusive. You have to be loose on visual anachronisms, because after all the audience is not in period clothing. The important thing is the sense of history that is being played out here.

6. If you are doing recreation, you should try to improve your accuracy of portrayal in at least one area during each season, each year or in each evaluation period that it is presented.

7. If you believe that interpreters should seek to obtain accuracy. Then anachronistic or "made up" elements are a disservice to the actual people, places and events by not giving an accurate portrayal. Don't take it too serious, because to some people, no matter what we do they will think of you as a weirdo. This sometimes includes people that we work with, and not just the public.

8. There is no one true way. If someone claims to be "historically accurate," this is then only a statement of what should be. If the program is "entertainment oriented" rather than "educationally oriented," then it is a fantasy, and others should not have a problem with that.

9. This is important because we are the teachers and the public are the pupils. We should never develop the attitude that the pupils will never become more than just pupils because it maintains the idea that we are superior in our knowledge and understanding of our particular time period. We should strive to be authentic as possible with our knowledge and understanding in our present place in time. 

10. What is the ten foot rule as a minimum standard? If a person who knows the period well, then everything in a program should appear to be accurate when viewed from a range of ten feet.  Generally the public should stand at least 10 feet away from the interpreter or allow them personal space to present their program. Everything should appear to be period on close inspection. This means no visible machine stitching, etc. Where to you draw the line or separate fantasy elements and disapprove of them? It depends upon the program and how it is presented to the public. My experience if you have two separate audiences, one that has paid for an event or program and the other who has viewed it for free. The ones who usually complain the most about not getting the biggest bang for their buck, are not the ones who paid the price of an admission ticket, but are the ones who saw it for "free," because they claim the rights of citizenship and that of a taxpayer.
How do you do it? What makes a good first person interpreter? Some would tell you that it is interpreter training, others will say it is degrees in history, while others would say that acting skills make the best first person interpreter. First of all, you must love what you do, have a love of people and each visitor who comes your way. Some times the best interpreters have never seen a day of college, but began as soon as they were old enough to allow them to volunteer at an historical site. Sometimes I think being a good interpreter is a skill you are born with, like the skill of being an artist. At times I think it is not something that you can teach, only improve upon and increase the ability of those who have the ability. I have observed that to some being an interpreter does not come naturally to them and is at times painful. The interpreter is the closest thing to an artist because he makes others see and understand the way upon which he views, reads, interpreters, understands the events of time in the world and people's lives known as history. A good first person interpreter must be an historian, a teacher, a psychologist, an artisan of forgotten skills, be a person who is unafraid of physical labor of the most strenuous kind, willing to work with dangerous tools and equipment while always keeping the public safety foremost in your mind, and willing to endure extremes of hot and cold weather.

However, the formal training program is only the beginning of the training of a good first person interpreter. They must begin to work with visitors on site. Then in time they must over come the frightening realization of how little one really knows about what one is doing. The research should include, information appropriate for the site, subjects as varied as national and international history of the time period, the history of the community, the surrounding towns and cities, the county and state in which the site is located, gender roles and skills, how to properly wear period and personal attire, role-playing, and how to engage visitors in first person dialog. Much of this information should be contained in a carefully researched training manual and staff handbook that contain assigned readings lists and workshops for practice within the historic area will complete the formal process.

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Copyright 2001 by T. R. Hazen