Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Gaston's Mill was built in 1837 by Samuel Conkle. The mill assumed its name from Philander Gaston, who owned and operated the mill longer than anyone else.
The mill is 2 1/2 stories tall with a full basement built with cut sandstone. The grain was delivered on the first floor and taken down to the basement to be ground. The milled grain was then elevated to the third floor for sifting. A large exterior wooden waterwheel, about 10' wide and 6' in diameter, powered a log shaft which enabled the elevators and equipment to work on all three floors. Buhrstones ground corn, oats and wheat. It operated until World War I.
"Restoration work was begun in January, 1964, by the Columbiana County Forests and Park Council under an agreement with the Columbiana County Historical Association. The building was straightened and beams replaced in the basement; part of the stone wall and chimney were rebuilt; siding and part of the floors have been replaced and a new shingle roof installed. The shingles for the roof were made locally in 1964 by an old shingle machine built in 1857 in Salem, Ohio. Most of the timbers and posts are original. Some new gears and wood teeth have been installed and a new log shaft for the water wheel was installed. More work is yet to be done, including rebuilding the ramp to the second floor, chutes, elevators and screen equipment to be installed. Every effort has been made to exactly duplicate the original structure and machinery." ("Gaston's Mill,").
The Sandy and Beaver Canal was built from 1834-1846. Lock #36 is preserved at the mill site. The lock is 130' long, 15' wide and 14' high. It is constructed with huge, cut sandstones. The canal had the potential of transporting goods from the mill to other trade centers but, with the advent of the railroad, the demand for canal transportation died.
There is a large millpond created by a millrace that accepts water from Beaver Creek, which is the same creek that supplied and monitored the water for the canal. In addition to the old mill, millpond, canal and lock, there is also an authentic covered bridge at the mill site. Gaston's Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Maintained and operated by the State of Ohio, Gaston's Mill is a pleasure to visit. ("Gaston's Mill").