By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

The old water grist mill in Cardington, circa 1822.

Courtesy Photo

I have been asked for information on the old water “grist” mill that was located near the mill race where it was constructed in 1822 in the early days of Cardington’s settling.

It was constructed after a brush dam was built across the Whetstone-Olentangy River and near the iron bridge which today is U.S. Highway 42. A sawmill was erected west of the dam and a grist mill below with water from the short race supplying it.

The buhr stones for the mill were cut from larger “stones” on a Peru farm and measured some three feet long and ten inches in diameter. Cutters were Henry James and Slocum Bunker — completing weeks of work. This mill did its first grinding in the fall of 1822 and was a thriving business serving the village and the surrounding area.

The buhr stone grinding discontinued when a new grinding was introduced called the “roller process.” This process made whiter and lighter flour, which made breads and cakes lighter in texture.

Remember, this was 1822!

The old timers claimed the buhr stone flour was more nourishing.

This mill continued its grinding service until more woods were cleared causing the short race to dry up enough that there was not enough power to turn the wheel for power.

The mill was converted to a chop and feed mill and eventually closed as Cardington’s growth progressed. For years it stood as a monument to the early days of Cardington and was razed after 1949.

The mill was located behind what is today Ohio Health’s office on East Main Street. I remember the old mill building; it stood almost three stories high and had a small porch entrance on the west side.

(A portion of this history was contributed by Joanne Mathews).

Looking back

80 years ago, October, 1940: Allen Walters of Cardington enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

70 years ago, October, 1950: U S Senator Robert Taft spoke before a large audience including many high school students at the Cardington High School Auditorium; The Cardington Methodist Church was packed one Sunday evening for a screening of the anti-communist film. “The Sickle or the Cross.” The movie was shown by former Cardington resident Harley McClenathan.

60 years ago, October, 1960: Mrs. Walter McClenathan of State Route 61 near Fulton, picked the second crop of strawberries for the season on her farm.

The old water grist mill in Cardington, circa 1822. old water grist mill in Cardington, circa 1822. Courtesy Photo

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist