Resting an experienced hand on the smooth metal wheel, Tom Henrick explains the simple but ingenious mechanics that power the grist mill.
“The throttle wheel is right here. Just by taking this wheel and turning it a little bit I allow water to enter the turbine and run through, producing the energy that drives the mill.”
This action causes heavy fabric belts to stir and to begin to rotate around squeaking pulleys.
“This turbine will provide about 16 horsepower at maximum water flow, which is about 50 gallons of water per second. When we’re actually milling grain, we do not need that much power. We only need about four horsepower when milling grain.”
The Cedar Creek Grist Mill was built more than 100 years during the Ulysses S. Grant presidency, the same year General George Custer met his maker at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Today, after extensive refurbishment, it is a living museum echoing life in Southwest Washington in the time when Washington was only a territory.
Click the podcast link above to listen to the story and enjoy the sounds of 1876.
Photos edited by Miles Burnett
Audio and voice over by Evan Newman
If you want to visit:
Cedar Creek Grist Mill
43907 NE Grist Mill Road
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