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Wye Mills in Talbot County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

So, How Does a Mill Work?

 
 
So, How Does a Mill Work? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
1. So, How Does a Mill Work? Marker
Inscription. It starts with the grain ... Grist mills grind a variety of grains, such as barley, wheat, rye and corn. Here at the Wye Mill, native grown corn and wheat were the most common "grist for the mill." In years gone bye, the corn was husked and then dried for 6 to 8 months in a "corn crib."

After the corn was dried it was then shelled for milling. Wheat was similarly dried and then threshed. When needed, the grain was then poured into a hopper - a receptacle that sits above the grinding stones. Grinding stones are usually granite, and often weigh more than a ton apiece. Two stones are used - the "bed stone" or "nether stone" is on the bottom. Another stone, called the "runner" stone, sits just above the bed stone. The grinding surface of the runner stones are concave and carved in spoke patterns, which creates a scissors effect, grinding the grain. As the top stone rotates, the grain first gets cracked in the middle of the two stones; then is pushed to the outside by the spoke-like pattern. The finest grinding occurs along the perimeter of the stones. The millstones are rotated by water power.

To create the power necessary to turn the mill stones, the adjacent stream was dammed so there would be a steady and reliable source of water, stored in the mill pond. A large mill wheel, called an "overshot" wheel was used, turned
Mill Components image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
2. Mill Components
by the force of the water that was sluiced from the pond. The water was caught in what looks like open pockets or trays on the wheel, the weight of the water pulling the wheel downward, thus turning the wheel. A system of gears connected to the wheel then turned the grindstones and all other equipment in the mill.
 
Erected by Friends of Wye Mill.
 
Location. 38° 56.5′ N, 76° 4.875′ W. Marker is in Wye Mills, Maryland, in Talbot County. Marker is on Wye Mills Road (County Route 662). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wye Mills MD 21679, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Brief History of the Mill (here, next to this marker); Wye Grist Mill (here, next to this marker); Wye Grist Mill and Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Wye Oak House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wye Oak * National Champion White Oak (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Wye Oak (approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Old Wye Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chesapeake College (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Wye Mills.
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceScience & Medicine
 
Early Owners of the Mill image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
3. Early Owners of the Mill
Marker location, Wye Mill is just off camera to the left. image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, August 2, 2013
4. Marker location, Wye Mill is just off camera to the left.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. This page has been viewed 239 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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