SIGN FOR MILL STONE, currently in the garden on the front lawn.
by Bill Drew
Due to an unusually high tide a few years ago, a fragment of a broken mill stone used in the operation of a grist/gunpowder/lumber?? mill appeared on the property of the New Castle Historical Society.
Apparently, its original resting place was in the mud nest to a shed, that does not exist anymore, located next to the dam. The dam. with the beautiful stone wall. is adjacent to Mill Island on which "Jump'in Rock" is located.
This fragment came from the stone of a two stone horizontal mill. It is called the runner stone. Seen is a squarish cutout near the center for a key and a large diameter hole. This stone was affixed to a large diameter shaft. perhaps 8-10" in diameter, where its rotation was achieved by a connection to a water wheel driven from the head of water in the Mill Pond. The bottom stone beneath it. but not touching, is called appropriately the bed stone. It sits in a stationary fixed position.
Into the facing surfaces of each stone, grooves are cut. The patterns on the stones working together, runner and bed, act like a pair of scissors cutting the grain as the runner stone rotates. Raw grain is fed through the center of the runner stone, and drops down onto the bed stone. then the grooves of the surfaces of each stone force the grain to be ground up and move to the outside circumference of the stones where it is manually collected.