- Standard View
The restored 1845 Baltic Mill located in Belvidere Municipal Park along the Kishwaukee River.GPS: 42D 15.39'N, 88D 51.48'W ele 768'/234 meters Belvidere North Quadrangle.
A large 3.5 story frame mill, lower story stone, with a large 2.5 story additionof which the lower story is also frame.
The Baltic Mill, in Belvidere Park off of Lincoln Avenue, has been renovated as a facility to provide a meeting room, public restrooms, an interpretive display of historical artifacts, and as a home for the Boone County Arts Council office. A stage area nearby provides a venue for community "Concerts in the Park". The mill structure can be rented to meet the needs of local organizations and businesses for meeting space.
A Fredonia, New York native, Deacon Nathanial Crosby, visited the settlement in 1835. He purchased an interest in some claims along the Kishwaukee River, and returned to the East; there, he to make plans and arrangements for the building of a sawmill and grist mill at Belvidere, starting the next year.
During the construction of the sawmill, timber was being sawed for the gristmill, so by the time the sawmill was finished, the grist mill was ready for sawed material for its completion. Rev. Dr. John S. King and Nathaniel Crosby jointly superintended the building of the grist mill.
As with many early mills on the frontier,settlers came from many miles distant with their corn or wheat to be ground. Up to as many as twenty to forty teams were often around the mill at one time period, each owner awaiting his turn. Many times, later comers would sometimes be compelled to wait a day or two for their grinding; but, as they had come prepared to "stay all night", they would camp around, visiting, telling stories and just,in general, keeping up with the news of the day.
The present Baltic Mill was built in 1845; the former Martyn's mill could not keep up with the grinding demands of an ever expanding population.
On March 9, 1920, the Mill Tract was purchased from Frank Taylor and became the first land purchase made by the Belvidere Park District, becoming the foundation of a new park system and the Belvidere Park District.
In mid-summer 1935, the first theatrical performance was held at the Baltic Mill. The second story of the mill was then adapted as a play loft, and the inaugural performance was conducted by the Old Baltic Mills Players Troupe.The Boone County Arts Council now hosts events on the old side of the mill to display its beauty and share its history.
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