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J. C. Barron's Mill / Oakesdale Flour Mill
Whitman Co. | Washington | USA | 1890
Township: Oakesdale Twp. | Watersource: Steam powered,then electricity.



J. C. Barron's Mill / Oakesdale Flour Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 08/1989

The old wooden mill was built in 1890 by J.G. Porter and sold to Harvey Gray, then to Joseph C. Barron Sr. in 1907 for $11,500. The 117 year old mill is the last of 19 that once operated in Whitman County, Wa. Joseph Jr. was born in a part of the flour mill in 1909, and by 1927, was working in the Old Mill for his father.

J. C. Barron's Mill / Oakesdale Flour Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 08/1989

The mill was built as a steam roller mill, since nearby McCoy Creek didn't have sufficient year around stream flow to consistantly power the mill. The steam plant is attached to the mill as are sections desidned for warehouse storage.

J. C. Barron's Mill / Oakesdale Flour Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 08/1989

Mr. Barron used slab end, waste products form lumber mills in the area, as fuel to produce the steam. The roller equipment is intact and in great condition. The mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

J. C. Barron's Mill / Oakesdale Flour Mill
Picture: Norman Reed 2006

Joseph Barron Jr. ran the mill until 1960, at which time he put in a modern mechanical mill, across the creek, developed at Washington State University a few miles to the south. He ran the new mill, producing 500 pounds of flour/hour, until 1997, when , at age 88, he decided he was too old to heft 50 lb. sacks of flour all day. In December 1997, both mills were sold to Mary Jane Butters who is an organic and heirloom grain marketer and owner of Paradise Farm Organics, Inc. a mail-order company in Moscow, Idaho. The milling operation has been moved to Moscow; but, the old mill will be maintained and be open reiodically for tours.

"The Lord is great and deserves our greatest Praise! He is the only God worthy of our worship."
(Psalm 96:4 CEV)
Directions: Located In Oakesdale, 45 miles south of Spokane via US 395 to Donahue, then southeast on Sh 271. The mill is at First St/Sh 271 & Jackson St. in Oakesdale.
 
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