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Mill Street

Barely had the Mormon settlers arrived when they began plowing and planting a huge grain field. They selected thirteen hundred acres between Little Mountain and the base of the San Bernardino range. When this grain was harvested, the need for a gristmill to grind it and produce flour was pressing.

Mormon Gristmill, 1895

The Mormon settlement millwright was George W. Sirrine. He and elders Lyman and Rich had been looking for quite a while for a suitable site for a mill. They finally selected Warm Creek, at the intersection of what is now Mill and Allen Streets.

On the fifth of July 1852, the entire colony gathered to hear a "short but patriotic appeal by the orator of the day"1 - a postponed Fourth of July celebration - and then they all spent the day harvesting the wheat. Two weeks later the entire group turned out to build a dam on Warm Creek for the new gristmill. After a few hours' work the entire stream was running through the mill race, and on August 7, 1852, the Mormon clerk wrote, "Our mill now does good work making flour".2

The mill had been built for two runs of stones, but only one side was used to grind flour. The other side was first set up for a circular saw to cut up trees brought into the Valley from the surrounding mountains.

1 Beattie, op. cit., p. 210.
2 Ibid., p. 202.

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