The Old Mill, which was built in 1746, had been sold twice before it was auctioned off in 1897 when the NHA paid $885 for it.
The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) recognized the Old Mill as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1992.
Nantucketers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries relied on cornmeal mush to complement their meals of mutton or chowder. It is thought to be the oldest American windmill still in continuous operation, and it still grinds grain into cornmeal today.
The mill has undergone some maintenance over the years, and after major renovations in 1930, 1936, and 1983, it can once again grind maize just as it did 250 years ago.
Corn is grown in such great quantity and economic importance on this island that there was five windmills to grind the crop.
The Anniversary Celebration
The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) would like to extend an invitation to the general public to attend a presentation about the history of harvest time on the island as well as one of the most notable historical monuments on Nantucket.
This event will take place in the Old Mill, 50 Prospect Street, on Saturday, October 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The program will also commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Old Mill’s acquisition by the organization in 1897. Everyone will have free access to the festivity.
Participants are invited to take part in activities that explore the working of the mill, such as demonstrations and an artifact table, as well as crafts that feature the mill and use maize byproducts.
During this ceremony, the NHA will be joined by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in order to discuss a wide variety of local harvest rites. The locally-owned Snick Snack truck will sell attendees special cornmeal-based nibbles.