EASTON, W.Va. — Hidden in a small wooded valley within the busy municipality of Morgantown, West Virginia, the historic steam-powered Easton Roller Mill roars to life on summer Sundays, attracting the attention of all who enjoy gears and pulleys.
The mill, which served as a grist mill and lumber mill, was restored by the Monongalia County Historical Society, which sponsors tours of the building on the last Sunday of June, July, August, and September.
Author S. Allen Chambers Jr. wrote in Buildings of West Virginia, part of the "Buildings of the United States" series sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians, that the mill beautifully recalls America's industrial past while baffling visitors with its complexity.
"Appearing like something Currier and Ives might have depicted, this late-nineteenth-century mill is clad in board-and-batten siding, painted red," Chambers wrote.
"Inside is a veritable maze of belts, pulleys, and other assorted mill equipment that defies logic for the neophyte but obviously made sense to the miller."
Free, half-hour tours are guided between 2 and 5 p.m. by an expert engineer who demonstrates the historic mill machinery during the tours, according to Dick Walters, president of the society, members of which worked to renovate the mill, last operated in 1970.
"You can now observe the mill engine turn wheels and connecting belts, which power the grist stone, corn crusher, roller mills, and elevators that carry the product from floor to floor during grinding and processing," Walters said. Construction on the mill began in 1864 and was completed in 1867.
The first floor of the mill is wheelchair accessible via a ramp. Though there is no elevator to the upper part of the mill, a guide will accommodate visitor mobility.
The tours are made possible by the society with support from the Monongalia County Commission.
Directions to Easton Roller Mill
The mill is located on the southwest side of West Run Road (Monongalia County 119/17), 0.1 mile southeast of its intersection with US-119 and one mile west of the intersection of 119 with Interstate 79 at Exit 7 northeast of Morgantown.
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