Old Mills in the United States
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Photographs 1989, 2012
Restoration Photos July, 2013

Shuster's Mill
History Written in 1989
by Brenda Krekeler

Shuster's Mill carries the name of Frederick Shuster, who owned the mill in 1883. This large stone and brick structure was built in 1843 by Edward Thompson. He employed Chinese labor to construct the 3 1/2 stories and to build the tunnels. One tunnel supplied the water to the mill from White Oak Creek and another tunnel carried the water from the waterwheel to the tailrace. Edward Thompson built his mill for $2,500.

Edward Thompson owned three gristmills in the area. They were called the upper, middle and lower mills. Shuster's Mill was the middle one and was also known as Tunnel Mill. A large waterwheel located in an exterior wheelpit powered the gristmill. Tunnel Mill had the capacity to grind fifty barrels of flour a day and the building had the storage capacity for twelve thousand bushels of grain. Edward Thompson gave each one of his sons, John, James, and William, a mill. In 1883 Frederick Shuster bought the mill and installed a steam engine as an alternative power supply. When the quantity of water was not sufficient to drive the mill stones, he would switch over to steam power.

The mill building has an unusual configuration. The mill has 4 1/2 stories. The two lowest levels are constructed with cut limestone. Two sides of the 1st level and 2nd level act as the foundation against the dirt hill. The 3rd, 4th level and the loft have an exterior covered with red brick. The roof is covered with tin. The mill still stands as an impressive structure. Its design is also unique because each of the three lowests levels have access for grain wagons. The 4th level has doors at the entrance and in the rear of the mill to hoist the grain to the upper levels. The photograph shows the mill from the rear. There is no longer any equipment inside the mill. It appears to be used for storage. Most of the 6 over 6 double-hung sash windows are gone. There is a large wooden waterwheel pit on the north side of the mill. The historical records indicate that there was a large waterwheel inside the building, the exterior wheel well indicates an exterior waterwheel was used.

This mill would be ideal for reconstruction. Although there are some severe cracks in the front of the building, it appears in good condition. The uniqueness of the water tunnels and the peculiar construction combining stone and brick would make this a fascinating reconstructed old mill. While touring the old mills of Ohio, don't miss Shuster's Mill (Garber; Seidel).

Update February 2012
Unfortunately, I revisited Shuster's Mill in February, 2012. The mill hasn't had any maintanience since I first saw it 23 years ago. The structure is still intact but all the windows are gone, the doors are mostly gone, the interior is damaged due to weather, insects and animals. The bricks are falling apart around the windows as well as significant damage to the large hand-cut block stone foundation. The wheelpit was constructed with creek/field stone and has over the last 23 years deteriorated significantly. I was pleased to recognize that the mill is still in existance, but drastically disappointed that it has not been maintained. It still has a very stong exterior. It could be a beautifully restored mill. Close to Georgetown, Ohio it would be a fabulous historical-functioning landmark. Maybe the town of Georgtown should start restoration plans for such an amazing structure.

Update July 1, 2013
I heard earlier last fall that Shuster's Mill had been purchased and that the new owners were contemplating restoration.
I visited Shuster's Mill earlier this week. The owners are Ken and Judy Klosterman. They own and operate Klosterman's Bakery, well known in the Cincinnati / Tri-State Region and beyond.


Upon my arrival the northern face of Shuster's Mill had been pulled off, new floors and columns installed and the wheel pit excavated and the rock tunnel that took tail the race water back to Oak Creek was identified. It is a beautiful artifact. I understand that the silt sedimented into the tunnel will be power-washed out and the spent water from a new wooden waterwheel will be functioning in the future. Fascinating.

If you would like to see more photographs of the restoration process, click here.

Additional work has already been completed which includes the restoration of the brick around the windows, stone foundation repaired and floor beams, columns and boards have been replaced. Ken Klosterman has invested significant amount of time to learn about the history of Shuster's Mill and he is using his research to make sure the Mill can be restored as it was in the late 1800s. Mr. Klosterman's team has also learned about the history of the Mill and the historical impact of their restoration project. Each individual working on the Mill project is highly informed of the history and the implications of their work with such artifacts.


Check in for future updates.

DIRECTIONS: Brown County. Lewis Township. From Georgetown, south on S.R. 221, 1 mile on the right. Address: 8029-8063 Georgetown, Ohio 45121. White Oak Creek.
Click here for Google map, picture and location.


1989 Photograph
February 2012 Photograph
Shuster's Mill. It really doesn't look much different than it did 23 years ago !
This perspective faces the rear of the mill. There is a field and the White Oak Creek is to the back of the field.

 

Shuster Mill Photographs 1989
Shuster's Mill, Brown County, Ohio
1989 Rear of Mill. 3 1/2 levels plus an attic. The lower two levels and foundation are cut-stone. The lowest level of the foundation are 3' thick.
The upper 2+ levels are laid in brick. In 1843, Chinese labor was employed to make and fire the brick and cut the stone.
Shuster's Mill, Brown County, Ohio.  Entry door and boarded up window. Brick exterior top half.
 
Shuster's Mill, Brown County, Ohio. Right side of building with windows and cracked walls and rock foundation.
 
Shuster's Mill, Brown County, Ohio.  Dark Picture.  Rock wheelhouse on right side of building.
Not a great photo but this is the water wheel pit.
The pit is found on the exterior of the mill's right side.
Photographed in 1989, it shows the a combination of cut-stone,
field stone and creek rock lining the pit.
If you look toward the center back, you can see that the stone is starting to crumble.
Photographs of the water wheel pit from February 2012 follow.


Shuster's Mill
Photographed February 2012

Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Front of Mill.
View from S.R. 221.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Entrance Door. Front of Mill.
Interior. Entrance Door. Front of Mill.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Diagram.
Diagram to interpret position of mill. Front of mill faces S.R. 221.
Rear of Mill faces the field and White Oak Creek
.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Left side of mill.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
From this perspective, it is amazing how the brick is set
squarely on top of the cut-stone.
Kindly remember, it was constructed in 1843.
The mill has numerous windows and a walk-in-door in every level.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Left side of mill further down the driveway.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill is a large mill. 3 1/2 stories, it is very impressive.
This perspective is from White Oak Creek taking the this photo.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Closeup on the rear of the mill.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Water Wheel Pit. Seriously deteriorating. It is sad to see it crumbling away.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Water wheel pit is located on the right side of the mill building.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County. Water Wheel Pit.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Obiously, all the windows are gone and the surrounding brick has fallen away.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.
Shuster's Mill.  Georgetown, Ohio. Brown County.


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