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Old 09-18-2011, 09:18 AM
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,008,980 times
Reputation: 379


I had a chance to spend some time at the Wildcat Den State Park in Muscatine County, visiting the beautiful Pine Creek Grist Mill. Eastern Iowa is so rich with history in comparison to the rest of the state and this is a small little piece of the State of Iowa I would recommend visiting at least once. A very peaceful setting to take in some fall foilage too. This park is located about 20 minutes south of downtown Davenport and about 15 minutes north of Muscatine, off of Highway 22.

Website link:
Pine Creek Grist Mill" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

History of the mill from the website:

Pine Creek Grist Mill, built in 1848, was actually the second grist mill built by Benjamin Nye. Nye is recognized as the first permanent settler of Muscatine County in southeast Iowa.
The mill was built of native lumber sawn at Nye's sawmill located nearby. Some hand-hewn timbers as large as 14"x14"x35' long were used in the post and beam construction. The flooring was native oak and original weather-boards were walnut. The mill was constructed at a cost of $10,000.

Coarse wheat flour was ground, packed in barrels and then shipped down the Mississippi River by steamboat (docked at the mouth of Pine Creek, one mile away) to St. Louis where it was sold to southern planters as rations for slaves. This trade stopped at the onset of the Civil War. However, many settlers from miles around continued to use the mill for their flour supplies.

Various families operated the mill until 1923. Over the years numerous improvements were made, including a large addition of flour storage. Power sources and machinery used in the mill included a large inside water wheel, power turbine, steam boiler, steam engine (originally believed to be from river boat), grist mill, and roller mill. Most of this machinery was left intact when the state of Iowa purchased the mill in 1927 for $8,750.
Pine Creek Schoolhouse:

Pine Creek Grist Mill:

The bridge on the right dated back to the 1860's.

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Old 09-18-2011, 11:14 AM
221 posts, read 1,082,738 times
Reputation: 375
Thank you for letting us know about this lovely site!

I'm sure that this time of year is an especially good time to visit. I try to travel through Eastern Iowa along the Mississippi every Fall. So beautiful!

I did want to note, though, that EVERY part of the state of Iowa is "rich with history" - just depends on what sort of history you're interested in!
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:27 AM
1,114 posts, read 2,163,317 times
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That's a great place, and don't forget to go explore the trails leading out across the road from the mill! I've got a couple fun pictures of the mill and the trails that I'll post if I think of it when I'm at that computer again.
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