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Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lower Town's Flour Mills

 
 
Lower Town's Flour Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, September 10, 2021
1. Lower Town's Flour Mills Marker
Inscription.  On the site in front of you in 1860, William Sinclair built the flour mill shown above and circled in the birdseye on right. Lower Town founder Anson Brown had erected the first mill here in 1833. Brown dammed the Huron River upstream to create a millpond and raise the level of the water, which flowed down a millrace high above the river's north bank. This provided power for the flour mill, a woolen mill, a paper mill, and other Lower Town industries.

Hydro power uses the energy of flowing water to do work. Water falling from a headrace creates enough force to turn the blades of the water wheels in the mill, before flowing out a tailrace to the river below. Main drive shafts transfer power from water wheels to a series of gears, shafts, pulleys, and belts that operate millstones, sifters, grist elevators, grain cleaners, and other equipment.

Sinclair's earlier mill on this site was reported to have ground 800 barrels of flour weekly. Following the 1841 harvest, it shipped a record 8,112 barrels to New York via the Erie Canal. Under subsequent owners, the mill retained Sinclair's name. In 1894 the Ann Arbor
Lower Town's Flour Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J.T. Lambrou, September 10, 2021
2. Lower Town's Flour Mills Marker
It is the marker on the right
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Milling Company renamed it Argo Mills.

Argo shared the fate of earlier mills and was consumed by fire in 1904 (top inset). The owners built a small hydroelectric powerhouse on the site (lower inset) and sold it to Edison in 1905. A railroad spur had serviced the mill as well as the Agricultural Works across Broadway. Edison built their new power station here in 1914.
 
Erected by DTE Energy.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1860.
 
Location. 42° 17.32′ N, 83° 44.425′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is on Broadway Street near Swift Street, on the right when traveling south. Located on the west side of the Broadway Street bridge over the Huron River. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 987 Broadway St, Ann Arbor MI 48105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Power and Transportation (a few steps from this marker); The Agricultural Works and Lower Town (a few steps from this marker); From Industry to Parks (a few steps from this marker); The Center of Power And Transportation (a few steps from this marker); Michigan Central Railroad Depot (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct
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line); Brown and Fuller's Addition—1832 (approx. ¼ mile away); Anson Brown and Early Lower Town (approx. ¼ mile away); Homes of Early Lower Town Settlers (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 8, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 8, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 21, 2023