Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Little Canada in Ramsey County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Gervais Grist Mill

 
 
Gervais Grist Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
1. Gervais Grist Mill Marker
Inscription. Just across the road and creek from this marker was the site of the first commercial grist mill built in the region now named Minnesota. Constructed in 1844 – five years before the birth of Minnesota Territory – the water-powered, flour and meal mill was operating when present day Little Canada was an unmapped wilderness on the western frontier of Wisconsin Territory. Its builder was St. Paul's first carpenter, Charles Bazille (1812-78), a Montreal native who was remembered as a short, "honest man, full of kindness." Its owner was another short, honest French Canadian, Benjamin Gervais (1786-1876) – the founder of Little Canada, and one of the pioneers of St. Paul. A former voyaguer born in Riviere du Loup, Quebec, Gervais came to this site in 1844 on the recommendation of his Dakota Indian friends. Aided by his wife Genevieve and eight children, Gervais carved out a large farm along this creek and adjoining lake now named for him. After their first harvest, the Gervais family used the mill to make cornmeal and flour for the lumber camps of the St. Croix Valley. In 1847 Gervais replaced his original pair of seven inch diameter granite mill stones for a better set from St. Louis.

The Mill was razed in the 1880's.

Erected in 1987 by the Little Canada Historical Society
Gervais Grist Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
2. Gervais Grist Mill Marker

 
Erected 1987 by the Little Canada Historical Society.
 
Location. 45° 1.337′ N, 93° 4.746′ W. Marker is in Little Canada, Minnesota, in Ramsey County. Marker is on Noel Drive 0.1 miles north of Little Canada Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at Gervais Mill Park. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Paul MN 55117, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Leif Erikson (approx. 4.8 miles away); Hubert H. Humphrey (approx. 4.9 miles away); Charles A. Lindbergh (approx. 4.9 miles away); "Spiral for Justice" Roy Wilkins Memorial (approx. 5 miles away); Northern Pacific Railway Warehouse (approx. 5.1 miles away); Church of Saint Louis, King of France (approx. 5.1 miles away); Saint Paul Rubber Company (approx. 5.1 miles away); Central Presbyterian Church (approx. 5.1 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Little Canada's History. (Submitted on August 4, 2011.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Gervais Grist Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
3. Gervais Grist Mill Marker
The site of the grist mill is in the distance.
Granite Mill Stones image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
4. Granite Mill Stones
Gervais Mill Park image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
5. Gervais Mill Park
City of Little Canada
Little Canada Water Tower image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, July 23, 2011
6. Little Canada Water Tower
The marker is northeast (left) of the water tower.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 672 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 4, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Paid Advertisement