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Explore the nation’s first museum of milling. In a scenic location along the Sandusky River, the museum occupies a mill built in 1861 near the the site of two mills that were built in 1820 for the Wyandotte Indians. The miller’s office tells the story of milling from ancient times to the present. Average visit time: Allow 1+ hours
When the War of 1812 ended, members of the Wyandotte tribe settled near modern-day Upper Sandusky. Along with them was a group of African Americans—both free blacks and fugitives from slavery—who also settled nearby. The Wyandottes, who’d always been farmers, worked with the African Americans, and the African Americans in turn worked with them. Part of this intermingling led to some of the Wyandottes accepting Christianity and forsaking their customs. This in turn led to limited perks granted by the government, including federal 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 African Americans 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 who lived in the area surrounding the Wyandotte reservation, the federal government decided to permanently move the Wyandottes out of Ohio. Several years later, the last of the Wyandottes left the area.
The mills fell into disrepair and were abandoned. Some years later, the flour mill was rebuilt on the present site by Lewis Rummel, who used three water-powered turbines made by The James Leffel & Co. of Springfield, Ohio, in his new mill. The mill has been owned by various people over the years and was purchased by the Ohio History Connection in 1968.
Indian Mill is managed locally by the Wyandot County Archaeological & Historical Society.