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Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Morris Co. | New Jersey | USA | 1750-51
Township: Washington Twp. | Watersource: South Branch Raritan River.



Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

The large 2.5 story frame mill on a 1-plus story stone foundation has a 2.5 story wing off the left side. Built in 1850-51 by Philip Weise, it ground grist into flour, being powered by two water wheels.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

Later in the 1850's, Obadiah LaTourette built the left portion of the mill and in the 1870's, converted the mill to turbine power and made some major renovations. 8Update: Thanks to Caryl Brackenridge for some changes to mills dates of construction and the loaned sifter in picture #6 01/25/2010*

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

A couple of French buhrstones from the mill. This mill was instrumental in the agricultural and economic prosperity of the German Valley in this westernmost part of Morris County.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

The gears that transferred power from the wheel and/or turbines to the stones that were encased above this huge framework, called a hurst frame. The frame absorbed much of the vibration caused by the wheel turning, the stones grinding, & the massive gears meshing together.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

This arched opening led into the wheel pit and/or turbine pit, carrying water from the South Branch of the Raritan River to turn the mechanisms.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

A flour sifter made by the Stratford Co., Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The mill was the most prominent business in Long (German) Valley, producing both flour and animal feeds.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

This toll house just a house or two NE of the mill was built in 1810 as a toll structure on the Old Washington Turnpike.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

Another view of the inlet to the mill. A custom saw mill was located in the rear of the mill for many years. Farmers would bring timber cut from their land in the fall and winter to be cut into posts, beams, and boards; paying a toll, perhaps 1/10th of the amount of that sawed, same as for grain.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

The twin arch outlets for the mill powered waters return to the South Branch of the Raritan River. The mill operated up to WW II and sat idle after 1967. The mill pond area is now a wetlands park, Mill Pond Park, containing the Helen Andrews Memorial Garden.

Obadiah LaTourette Grist & Saw Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

An old house across the street from the mill. The mill (abandoned, collapsing, and condemned) along with 11 acres of river frontage was purchased in 1991 by the Washington Township Land Trust. The Trust is currently undergoing a long, intensive period of stablizing and restoring the mill, utilizing volunteers, grants and donations. Bravo!

"You have always been God--long before the birth of the mountains, even before you created the earth and the world."
(Psalm 90:2 CEV)
Directions: Take Sh 24 West/W. Main St. west from Chester. It becomes Washington Turnpike, then E. Mill Road, all the while still being Sh 24. Go about 4.5 miles to the mill on the right, on a slight corner to the left, at 12 E. Mill Road in Long Valley.
 
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