The Plimoth Grist Mill
The Mill is a reconstruction of the original grist mill that once stood on the same site. In the 17th century, grist mills were very important because corn was the major crop for the early colonists. To be useful for baking, corn had to be ground into flour.
The history of the grist mill dates back to 1636 when John and Sarah Jenney were granted permission from the Town to build a mill for “grinding of corn upon the brook of Plymouth.” John Jenney came to America from Leiden, Holland in 1623 on the Little James. The Mill was run by John Jenney until his death in 1644. After his death, his wife Sarah and son Samuel continued to run the Mill until Charles Stockbridge took over the mill for legal reasons. The Mill burned down in 1837, and was rebuilt on its original site in 1970.
The fully functional mill replica uses water power from Town Brook to engage two grooved mill stones which grind corn. Visitors to the Mill will see the water wheel turning, then step inside and watch the miller grinding grain. Organic stone-ground cornmeal will be sold in a Museum Shop in the lower part of the Mill. Museum staff will offer hands-on educational and interactive experiences, as Plimoth Plantation develops relevant new programming through its operation of the Plimoth Grist Mill. In addition to sharing the story of the Mill and the historic site, the Museum will add a science and technology exhibit that focuses on water power and the ecology of Town Brook. In the spring, visitors can witness the spectacle of thousands of endangered alewife (herring) that travel from the sea to spawn.
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