Fowler's Mill was constructed in 1833 by brothers, Hiram and Milo Fowler. The mill building was built with timber from the Fowler's land. The water to power the mill came from the Chagrin River and was channeled into a center-discharging, turbine wheel that turned the French buhrstones and supplied the power to run the mill's operation.
C. S. Johnson replaced the turbine with a huge wooden waterwheel in 1879. The overshot wheel measured 13 feet in diameter, 11 feet wide, and was built with two sets of buckets. The French buhrstones were replaced in 1894 after 61 years of grinding. In 1906, steam-power was introduced in the mill but was not successful and waterpower was quickly reinstated.
The mill ceased operating from July 17 through October 17, 1907, to install $2,600 worth of modern equipment. An overshot, steel waterwheel was installed in 1911, replacing the wooden wheel. With the steel waterwheel, the mill produced 35 bushels a day. In 1947, George Denniston installed an electric hammer mill to grind animal feed.
Fowler's Mill ceased operation in January 1966 and sat unoccupied until 1986. The new owners Billie and Rick Erickson restored and reopened the mill in 1989. They are grinding with two electric-powered stone grinders purchased from an old mill in Georgia. The Fowler's Mill can produce 700 pounds of ground grain per hour and currently supplies a local market as well as a national mail order market.
Self-guided tours are available on Saturday and Sunday. The mill store is open Wednesday through Sunday all year. Stone ground corn, wheat and rye are ground to produce pancake, muffin, cookie, shortcake, and cobbler mixes. Over 300 gourmet food stores carry the Fowler's Mill premium baking mixes, flours, and corn meal.
Fowler's Mill is a wonderful experience. You will find, "a preserved historic mill, antique milling equipment, and stone grinding." Today Fowler's Mill is a 2 1/2-story frame structure supported by a full cut stone basement and foundation. The front and side windows are 6 over 6 double-hung. The rear windows are single panes, double-hung. The wood frame structure is covered with lap siding painted dark red with white trim. The back of the building is white.
"Through actively producing stone-ground products....the tradition of milling continues," Billie Erickson comments. Fowler's Mill is one of a few remaining old mills in Ohio that has been restored and placed into production. Everyone who admires and respects old historic structures appreciates the efforts of Billie and Rick Erickson and the restoration of Fowler's Mill. ("Couple's Old World Method Gives Fowler's Mill New Life."; Erickson, Billie; "Fowler's Mill"; Johannesen; "Old Mill at Fowler's Mill.).
OWNERS OF FOWLER'S MILL
Hiram and Milo Fowler
Walter and Henry Stannard
C.J. and Spencer Coleman
Ferdinand Kobliha and Klement Buchta
Lillian K. and George Denniston
1887 Gardener Stickney rented the mill
1890 Everett Manley rented the mill
1900 Milo Aiken rented the mill