History

Why is this site important?

In a scenic location along the Sandusky River, Indian Mill, built in 1861, is the nation's first educational museum of milling in its original structure.

The restored three-story structure replaces the original one-story building that the U. S. government built in 1820 to reward the loyalty of local Wyandot Indians during the War of 1812. Many exhibits are placed around the original mill machinery. The restored miller's office displays the history of milling from prehistoric times to the present.

When the War of 1812 came to an end, the Wyandotte Indians settled down and concentrated their nation near modern-day Upper Sandusky. Along with them was a group of African-Americans—both free blacks and escaped slaves—who also settled nearby. Together they lived in a somewhat harmonious manner. The Wyandottes, who had always been farmers, worked with the blacks, and the blacks in turn worked with them. Part of this intermingling led to some of the Wyandottes accepting Christianity and forsaking their Native customs. This in turn led to limited perks granted by the federal government. One of those perks was some money to build a mill.

In 1820, a flour mill and sawmill were both constructed on the banks of the Sandusky River. These mills provided important services for the Wyandotte farmers as well as the blacks living in the area. They were able to process their harvests and turn logs into timber to build their homes.

However, under pressure from many white settlers that lived in the area surrounding the Wyandotte reservation, the federal government finally decided to permanently remove the Wyandottes out of Ohio.

Several years later, the last of the Wyandottes left the area. The settlers destroyed most of their culture, including their houses and churches. They even destroyed the headstones in the cemeteries.

The mill fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Some years later, the flour mill was re-built on the present site by Lewis Rummel. He used 3 Leffel turbines in his new mill. The mill has been owned my various people over the years and was purchased by the Ohio History Connection in 1968.