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Wapsipinicon Mill Museum

upl_wapsipinicon-museumToday, visitors can step back into time and see how the milling operation was accomplished at the Wapsipinicon Mill over 100 years ago.  The Wapsipinicon Mill Museum is an Affiliate Site of Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area and is located on the Wapsipinicon River in Independence.  The six-story Mill Museum is filled with hands-on and visual exhibits providing information on early agriculture practices and the changes in farming methods and lifestyles.

The Wapsipinicon Mill first opened as a merchant flouring mill, buying wheat from grain dealers and producing and selling white flour for retail purchasing.  After the wheat crop failed, farmers were forced to change their agricultural methods by planting corn, oats, barley, and flaxseed.  The Wapsipinicon Mill then adjusted to this change and added custom grinding to its operation.  In the early 1930’s, the mill ceased making flour and focused operation on processing grain for bagged livestock and poultry feed.  After decades of icy winters and floods, the Wapsi Mill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still stands today to tell their story of early American agriculture.

The Wapsipinicon Mill received a grant from Silos & Smokestacks in 2001 and today, visitors can see first hand how the milling operation was completed.  Original milling machines, millstone area, a unique view through the floor of a water gate in the penstock area, and agricultural artifacts are all on display.  Also there are several hands-on exhibits including a grinding exhibit, a grain scale exhibit, and a grain delivery exhibit.

The newest DVD exhibit will be unveiled at the Mill’s Open House, “All Roads Lead To the Mill” on June 5th & 6th.  For more information, contact the Buchanan County Historical Society (319) 334-4616.

Topics: Spotlight Site

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