Moment of Indiana History

Beck’s Mill

Located in Washington County on Mill Creek, Beck’s Mill was built in 1808 by George Beck, Sr. It’s the only surviving mill in a county that once boasted more than sixty mills. Using just a water wheel and a turbine to propel the grinding stones, this mill was in operation until 1914, when modern roller mill operations and the urbanization of flour mills made it obsolete.

The original mill, a log structure just 15 feet square, was replaced by a larger frame building in 1825, and in 1864 it was renovated to the two-story structure seen today.

During its heyday from 1864 to 1890, the grinding stones were said to have run 24 hours a day. Families came from around thirty miles and waited up to three days to grind their corn into cornmeal. Soon a settlement arose and became known as Beck’s Hill.

Beck’s Mill is one of twenty surviving gristmills throughout the state. But it’s also the only mill not to have given way to the technological advances of the milling process. Grindstone and turbine technology sustained Beck’s Mill for more than half a century.

Nestled amid towering maple and sycamore trees, a rocky ravine, and Mill Creek, the mill ranks as one of south-central Indiana’s “most picturesque and photographed” sites. Today, Beck’s Mill is owned by a sixth generation of the Beck family.

Presented with support from the Indiana Historical Society, presenting “The Faces of Lincoln,” a permanent exhibit featuring original materials from the newly acquired Lincoln Collections. More information at the Indiana Historical Society.

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