Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

19 May 2018: Rogers History where you least expect it. May 19, 2018

My mother and I had a yard sale yesterday. When it slowed down a little, I picked up this book off a pile of books we were selling and started to peruse its pages.

Geography of the Americas

It’s an old grammar school textbook that was published in 1945. It had belonged to my father, though I don’t think it was his in school.  It’s actually an interesting book, but I immediately stopped skimming at page 68 when I spotted this picture:

Take a close look because that’s the old town mill in New London, Connecticut that was originally worked by John Rogers back in the 1600’s.  Here’s an old postcard of the mill from about the same angle.

Old Town Mill in New London

I have a little collection of images of the mill but I didn’t have the one in this book. It’s nice to see our heritage in a textbook!

-Jennifer

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18 Oct 2017: The Wheel on the Mill goes Round and Round … annoying the groundhog October 18, 2017

You’ll have to pardon my first attempts at video. I’m more of a photographer than a videographer.  Anyway, although the Old Town Mill  in New London is closed, I was able to get the city to open it up for me.  I’d never been inside, but wasn’t expecting much, but when Judy from City Hall met me, I got the grand tour!  She even turned on the wheel for me! Pretty awesome! The Old Town mill was originally operated by my Rogers family ancestor, John Rogers.

The inside is super cool! It has a two grind stones for grinding corn.  I visited two other grist mills on my trip but they were only single grinding operations.

Me in front of the Old Town Mill in New London.

As soon as you come in the front door, off the left is a platform.  Up top are the two grinding stones.  Down below are the gears and the big thing I can only describe as long and barrel-shaped that is the lever the wheel turns on the inside of the building.  (see video of that below)

Just inside the front door of the Old Town Mill

Grindstone #1 is in its housing.

Grindstone #2, not in housing

Judy showing me where they stored the corn that was to be ground in the mill.

Gears below the grind stones. Not operational yet. They’re waiting on a grant to raise the money to fix it next.

Most of the original mill burned down when Benedict Arnold burned New London, but some pieces of the structure they believe are original. If you look at the beam that runs along the ceiling, you can see how originally, it was post and beam construction, but when it was rebuilt, they didn’t use the notches, but laid new beams on top of the beams.

The exterior of the building and the flume have already been rebuilt by grant money.

The Flume

And now for the video.  First is of the wheel where it enters the building below the grind stones.

The mill … on.

Side view of the wheel.

The wheel and my little furry friend. I think he was annoyed we turned it on.

Want to see the mill operating for yourself? Check it out this Saturday. Sure with I was still in town to go.  Looks like a lot of fun.  If you go, let me know how it was.

-Jennifer