Vails Gate in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Ellison Gristmill
The mill itself was probably three stories high, containing two sets of millstones for grinding grains, such as wheat and corn, into flour or meal. Power to turn the stones was transmitted from the waterwheel through shafts and gears within the mill.
A miller and one or more assistants regulated the entire process. The rumble of the mill and the sound of cascading water filled the Silver Stream gorge whenever the mill was in operation.
Erected by Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site.
Location. 41° 27.259′ N, 74° 3.009′ W. Marker is in Vails Gate, New York, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Forge Hill Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located on a trail in Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Vails Gate NY 12584, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. The King’s Highway (within shouting distance of this marker); Knox Headquarters (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vails Gate, N.Y. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Edmonston House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Forge (approx. 0.7 miles away); Brewster Forge Site (approx. 0.7 miles away); Camps of 1782-83 (approx. 1.2 miles away); Freedom Road (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vails Gate.
More about this marker. The marker contains two pictures of the gristmill with the caption "Although no original illustration of the Ellison gristmill is known to exist, water from the raceway may have reached the wheel via a flume in this manner. An artist’s conception from an original black and white drawing by Edward Clancy." A caption below the second picture is "The waterwheel and gearing of the Ellison gristmill probably fit into the stone ruins below in this manner. An artists conception based on practices followed in other 18th-century gristmills, from an original black and white drawing by Edward Clancy."
The upper right of the marker features a map of the area, with the caption "The topography bordering the Silver Stream was ideal for the Ellison gristmill and its raceway from an upstream millpond.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 846 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.