One Man's Ruminations About Faith, Family, and Livin' The Good Life
New Hope Mills
Half way through 9th grade, my family moved from suburbia to the rural countryside here in the Finger Lakes region of upstate new York. The old farmhouse we bought was about 1/4 mile down the road from New Hope Mills, which is pictured above.
Shortly after moving into the neighborhood, David Weed, son of Lee Weed, owner of the mill, stopped in to welcome us and he gave us a bag of the mill’s famous buckwheat pancake mix. He also invited us to visit the little church he and his family attended. The church was in an old one room schoolhouse and I’ve written about it here.
When I was 17, my father worked at the mill half days. One day he came home with his fingers bleeding. He had accidentally run his hand through a machine that was used to sew a lock stitch into the folded-over top of the bags of pancake mix. He was not seriously injured but it was the end of packing pancake mix for him and I got his job. I worked there much of one summer, then every day after school, and on Saturdays.
In the years since then, Lee Weed passed away, his son David died of cancer, and the mill is now owned by another son, Dale, who happens to be the pastor of the church my family attends. New Hope Mills has also outgrown it’s wonderful old building. It has moved it’s operation to a much more modern location on the outskirts of Auburn, NY. The mill sets idle. But once a year they have a little festival of sorts. They have a pancake breakfast and vendors and games and open the mill up for tours.
Marlene was there today under her canopy selling her homemade soaps. Here is a picture of Marlene.
And here is a close-up of soap bars in the holders I designed.
James was disappointed that he had nothing to sell. So, this morning, I outfitted him with some of my books and a basket of stiffneck garlic. Then he harvested some big round onions from his garden bed and put them in a basket to sell. I did not realize he had grown such beautiful onions and I wish I had taken a close-up photo of them to show you here. We priced the onions at $1.00 each and the garlic bulbs were $1.50 each or 4 for $5.00. Here’s a picture of James interacting with customers—something he is particularly good at. The man is looking at my chicken plucker book. I wonder if he has ever plucked a chicken?
here is a shot of my son Robert. Behind him is a covered bridge. In front of him is the muddy mill pond.
One of the neat things at the event was a dunking booth. For a buck, you could get three small bags of flour that you threw at a dunking mechanism. Here it is...
The picture below is of a fellow on the dunking platform out in the mill pond.
And here is what happens when the bag of flour connects with the arm of the dunker mechanism...
Even though I worked at the mill many years ago, I decided to take a tour today. Pastor Dale told a group of us “tourists” about how the mill was built in 1823 by a man named Charles Kellogg. It turns out that Mr. Kellogg was a relation to the Kelloggs of cereal fame in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Back in the 1850’s, there were 15 water powered industries along one mile of the stream the mill sets on. The water comes out of Bear Swamp and flows into Skaneateles Lake, which is cold and clear and clean and beautiful.
Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the U.S. was born in Summer Hill, a few miles from the little crossroads town of New Hope. But when he was a boy his family moved to New Hope and, according to local lore, he worked in a carding mill not far from Kellogg’s mill.
The water wheel on the outside of the mill is a 26 foot overshot. It looks like it has always been there, but Lee Weed installed it in the 1970’s. Power to run the mill comes from a water turbine way down in the bottom of the structure. The turbine delivers 70 horsepower and runs an assortment of shafts and pulleys that convey grain to old grinders (shown in the next photo), and sifters, way up on the top floor. When the mill is working, and I remember it working when I was younger, the whole building creaked and rocked. But the framework of massive hand-hewn beams, held together with wood pegs, will accommodate the movement just fine.
The Weed family has cared for New Hope Mills for over half a century. Even though their business has outgrown the old mill, they still cherish it and are taking steps to preserve this wonderful relic of the past. You can learn more of the history of the mill and the Mill’s many products by going to The New Hope Mills web site.
I (Herrick KImball) have been blogging here about Faith, Family & Livin' The Good Life since 2005. Browse down this column and you will discover a rich resource of contra-industrial thought, down-to-earth inspiration & useful how-to information.
CLICK HEREto view the archive of links to past Deliberate Agrarian monthly "blogazines."
My New York Times Op-Ed Article
The Jeffersonian Solution (click the man and read the article)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 1
It's A Biblical Imperative (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 2
We Are Not Called To Be Slaves (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 3
Profile of a Free Man (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 4
Sage Advice For Would-Be Farmers (click the picture)
Farming 1.5 Acres...
…And Making A Good Living. (click the picture)
Goodness, Beauty & Loving The Earth
A Christian-Agrarian Missive on God's Creation
Delmar Ain't So Stupid...
Click on Delmar and read why I think he's the smartest of the three characters in the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" movie
This Man, Now Deceased, Predicted The Economic Decline of America Back in The 1950's.
Click the picture to read about Professor Walter Prescott Webb's Boom Hypothesis of Modern History, and where we are headed from here
Agrarian-Style Economic Self Defense...
I posted this to the internet in early 2008. It is still the most practical advice you'll get for dealing with the harsh economic realities that we face now and will face even more in the years ahead. (click the picture to read the essay)
How To Get Through The Coming Hyperinflation
click the picture to read the 6-part series
The Christian Doctrine of Work
Something's Missing in The 10 Commandmants as it is commonly known. (click the picture)
Have You Seen My Whizbang Gardening Book?
5 stars at Amazon. Click the cover to learn more.
Take A Short Tour Of My Garden...
Strawberries From My Garden!
Grown the "E.P. Roe Way" (click the picture to learn more)
NEW… This Book is a Must-Read for Those Who Want to Understand What Christian Agrarianism is...
…Now available in Kindle format for only $2.99. Click the picture (and read the reviews)
I Make Classic American Clothespins
click the clothespin and learn all about them.
Some Thoughts on Christian-Agrarian Community (click the picture)
A Herod Nation
Is that What America Has Become? (click the picture)
Light in Our Dwellings...
Christianity + Agrarianism = Hope In the midst of a dying industrial culture (click the light)
Rural Americans: Cannon Fodder For The New World Order
Click on Sergeant York to read the story.
Freedom Isn't Free (And Other Propoganda)
(click the picture)
Esther Stermer Was A Conspiracy Theorist!
Obviously the woman was a little crazy.… Right? (click the picture for the story)
How Free Men Become Slaves...
A Contra-Industrial Parable From The Okefenokee Swamp (click the pigs)
Have You been to The Agrarian Foundation Article Archives?
(click the picture and go)
What Would an Agrarian Monetary System Look Like?
Well, for one thing, it would NOT be based on paper money. Click Andy Jackson for some details.
Thomas Jefferson's Warnings About Government Debt (Then and Now)
Read it and weep (click the president)
How Farmers Became Slaves To The Corporate Masters
Click on the mostly forgotton 1937 book by Professor Walter Prescott Webb and learn the sad story
A Missive On The Prosperity-Driven Life
"The desire to be rich, to have an abundance of possessions and money, is the keystone of our modern, neo-Babylonian culture." (click the picture for my perspective)
Prosperity Gospel/ Prosperity Idolatry
Click the picture to hear John Piper's powerful 2.5 minute condemnation of the modern prosperity gospel
Another of my online projects (click the picture)
Have You Been To Planet Whizbang?
It's my deliberate agrarian home business. Click the beet and check it out.
NEW…. Whizbang Notes
These delightful little notebooks are a great down-to-earth tool. Click the beet to learn more.
Have You Seen The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe I Invented?
Click The Picture For Details about the hoe and the inexpensive wheel hoe kits I sell
A Christian-Agrarian perspective (click the picture to read the essay)
I Invite You To Read My Online Gardening Essays
Click on that beautiful handful of sifted compost.
The Wife Of My Youth...
A Blessed Man's Reflections on Young Love (click the happy faces)
Eulogy For Evelyn
She was my mother-in-law. (click the picture)
Ken Badman's Good Example
Actions Speak Louder Than Words. (click the picture)
Have You Seen Leo Sprauer's Handcrafted Hop Hoe?
Click the picture to learn more.
Learn About Whizbang Bucket Irrigation...
(click the trickle valve)
Have You Read Roe?
E.P. Roe, that is. Click on his picture to read some excerpts from this remarkable Christian-agrarian author of the 1800s.
Spring Has Finally Sprung
David brought me crab apple tree blossoms and lilacs. Now that spring is
finally here, summer can't be too far away!
1 year ago
I Invented Granola Bars....
...And I Can Prove It (click on the bar)
Scott Nearing's "Horse Chow"
A Four Part Series (click on any of the raisins in the bowl)
Get The Peppermint Zing!
A sinus sauna how-to (click photo for details)
Yeoman Furniture & My New Wood Box
Yeomen don't buy furniture. They make their own. (click the picture)
Yeoman Furniture (Part 2)
Waste Not, Want Not (click the picture for the story)
My Amazing Whizbang Apple Grinder
You can make awesome apple mash, ready for pressing, in no time with this homemade device. Click on the picture to learn more
We Make Apple Cider
You can too (click on the picture to learn how)
Twelve Years Old Today
He's actually 19 now, but my prayer is the same
This is William Kimball (Him An Me Is Kin)
Click on the picture for William's Story
Click on the picture and I'll show you how to butcher a chicken
This Book Presents a Biblical Vision For God-Glorifying Agriculture. I Highly Recommend it!
The Lovely Marlene With A Homemade Whizbang Garden Cart
Anyone can make a Whizbang Garden Cart. Click on the picture to learn how.
My Whizbang Row Cover Hoop System
Finally Online as of 1/29/10 (click the pic)
Have You Seen Jax Hamlin's Chickens?
Click The Chicken!
This Blog Promotes Personal Responsibility And Traditional Concepts of American Liberty
"If a community, or a section, or a race, or an age, is groaning under industrialism, and well aware that it is an evil dispensation, it must find a way to throw it off. To think that this cannot be done is pusillanimous. And if the whole community, section, race, or age thinks it cannot be done, then... it has doomed itself to impotence."
Shooting Dad's Handgun
"I think it is important that boys learn gun safety and shooting skills when they are young. This could even be considered among the most important of agrarian skills." (click the gun)
The Christian-Agrarian Exodus of 1620
The Pligrims did NOT come to America for religious freedom. (click the picture)
Vacuum Bottle Thermos Cooking
Learn how to prepare and cook simple, inexpensive, wholesome meals (click the thermos bottle to read)
The Sermon I'll Never Forget
Pastor West was at Iwo Jima (click Mt. Suribachi)
Planting Potatoes With A Little Girl
"I must admit that four year old girls were once something like aliens to me." (click the pic)
Boys Will Be…. Warriors
Swinging homemade maces at each other can be great fun! (click the warriors)
Benny's Grandfather Was A Ditch Digger
And He Grew Tomatoes (click the Big Boy)
Backyard Poultry Processing With My 11-Year-Old Son
If he can do it, so can you. (click on the smiley face)
Another Summer Evening's Meal
This is the kind of food we dream about in the depths of winter. (click on the picture)
We make our own maple syrup. Click on the picture for complete how-to details.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Click on the silly boy's nose for a pickled scape tutorial
"Every Bean's A Blessing, Boys"
Dried beans present an opportunity to teach important things to my children (click the beans)
I bought my sons hay hooks, and they have gotten a lot of use since I wrote this essay