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"Sweet Sixteen (decades)"
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After remaining silent since its closing in 1964, the year 2002 saw a rebirth of the spirit of the Stockdale Mill and the Roann community. To step inside the Stockdale Mill is to begin to understand an earlier time. Gone are the employees who took special care to provide the surrounding area with flour, corn meal and animal feed. Remaining are the pulleys, the elevators and the turbines that allow the water of Eel River to provide the necessary power. Gone are the farmers hauling their grain, remaining are the machines, the sifters, and the chutes that brought their crops from the top floor to be bagged and sold on the main floor. Here is the opportunity to view and experience the ingenuity and forsight that allowed for the intricate workings of a thriving mill. We welcome you to experience the preservation of history at the Stockdale Mill.
The Stockdale Mill Foundation purchased the mill site from the Krom family in 2002. Owned by the Deck/Krom families for over 100 years, this mill was built between 1855 and 1857 and contained buhr stones to grind local grain. The later part of the 1880's saw the grinding buhrs converted to four "breaks", machines with rollers that crushed wheat into flour, hence the name "Roller Mill". In 1909 and 1910 turbines were purchased to replace the water wheel as a power source. The "weigh shed" was added on the north side in 1904, and the concrete dam was built up against the original timber dam in 1915. The mill continued to operate until 1964, and all of the equipment present then is still in the building. The mill sat idle until 2002.
The picture above is from a post card printed in 1957. Over the years, the Stockdale Mill has been pictured often on post cards, in magazine and newspaper articles, in books, and in photographs, paintings and drawings.
Title: An Eel River Landmark
Artist: Frederick Polley
Appeared in the Indianapolis Star, July 13, 1941, Sunday feature section, and presented by the artist to James H. Deck.
Water power from Indiana's rivers and streams once operated over 2000 grist mills. There were 13 on Eel River alone, one about every six or seven miles. The Stockdale Mill always used water power. It is one of the very few remaining that was never converted to steam power or electricity.