53373 County Road 131
Bristol, IN 46507
Latitude & Longitude: N41 43.065 W85 45.953
The Bonneyville Mill site was first owned by George Roudebush in 1832, then by Lewis M. Alverson in 1837. Edward Bonney bought a tract of land, 800 acres, for $600. Bonney employed local men to build a 40’ by 40’, 2 ½ story grist mill, sawmill and rock dam across the Little Elkhart River. The Bonneyville Mill opened in 1837 but the historic name painted on the mill states that it was established in 1832.
Bonney installed a large horizontal turbine which was supplied by the waters of Little Elkhart River. The horizontal turbine was a rare power source in 1837. Bonney sold the mill and its property in 1842 for $10,000.
The Bonneyville Mill had numerous owners until 1898. Cornelius Daily and his wife Lillie purchased the mill in 1898. The Daily’s improved and updated the condition of the mill. One of their improvements was a dam constructed with ground limestone / handmade cement. Their restoration projects were rewarded handsomely. Their production alone increased up to 5,500 bushels a year. Their quality of ground buckwheat was renown by the “Famous Buckwheat Flour.”
Cornelius Daily worked his mill for 20 years. In 1918 Robert A. Blood, Cornelius’s son-in-law, purchased the mill. Cornelius’s other family members Michael Blood and Frank Mauck assisted in managing the mill.
Robert A. Blood and his family continued to update their mill by installing a water wheel in 1931 that operated a generator that created power for electricity. Their excess of electricity provided 30 farms in the vicinity. In 1935 they increased their grain storage capacity and ultimately increased their product line. They continued grinding their popular cornmeal and flour. They also ground livestock feed, sold fertilizer and sold electricity. Eventually their electricity was supplied by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company. The mill had to pay $4,500 for the public electricity to be available for their mill.
Robert Blood died in 1943. Michael Blood, Robert’s son and Frank Mauck continued running the mill. In 1962, Frank Mauch purchased Michael Blood’s half-share of the mill. Frank carried on the mill’s name and reputation.
The Bonneyville Mill was bought in 1968 by the Elkhart County Chapter of Michiana Watershed, Inc. The mill and the surrounding 155-acres were presented to the Elkhart County Park and Recreation Board in 1969. As of October, 1976, Bonneyville Mill was place on the National Register of Historic Places. Elkhart County has created a spectacular park with the Bonneyville Mill being the focal point.