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Historic Geography

The Falls of the Ohio was a natural place to settle in the late 1700s because of the natural obstruction to river traffic. Harvesting timber and agriculture were two of the primary occupations of many settlers following the first hunters and adventurers to this area.  Many settlers harvested timber and grew crops for their own use, but as surplus commodities were produced they needed to be processed and marketed.  Another natural resource, flowing water, was used to power mills to process these commodities.

Page two identifies some of the oldest mill sites in the southern Indiana area surrounding the falls.  All the listed mills are within 50 miles of the Falls of the Ohio.

The first mills built in the region were used to grind grain and saw lumber to be sold in Louisville and often on to New Orleans.  Because of the need for  water power to turn these mills, the location of the mills were not often easily accessible.  Generally the locations referenced here are not particularly close to modern day urban areas. When the railroad was routed through nearby communities with level terrain away from the rivers and streams many of the mills were abandoned.

THE FIRST GRIST MILLS
Of Southern Indiana | About the Mills | Location of the Mills

To contact us:

Jesse Nice
Email: jesse@blueriver.net

Ohio's Old Mills Today