The original Wyandot Indian Mill was constructed about 300' upstream from the present Indian Mill structure.
The original mill was built in 1821. This mill was built for the Wyandot Indians by the United States Government. It was a reward for the loyalty the Wyandots gave the U.S. Government during the War of 1812. In conjunction with the gristmill, the government also built a sawmill. The gristmill operated with an undershot waterwheel and functioned actively around harvest time. The sawmill had an overshot waterwheel and functioned all year.
The present mill building was built in 1861 by Lewis Rummel. The same man who built Rummel Mill in Richland County. The construction of this mill is unique in that the framework of the building is similar to that of a covered bridge. The interior of the mill exhibits huge oak timbers that were cut with an up-and-down saw. The present mill building has a few of the old walnut timbers from the original Indian Mill that was dismantled when the new mill was built. By 1885, records indicate that the sawmill was also gone.
In 1862 three Leffel Turbines were installed. The Sandusky River provided ample waterpower to turn the turbines that ground flour and cornmeal until around 1885. During the last 50 years of Indian Mill's operation, it functioned primarily as a gristmill grinding cornmeal. The water level in the Sandusky River dropped significantly during the latter part of the 1800's, which prevented the mill from processing flour. This location just did not have a dependable water supply.
Indian Mill had many owners prior to 1885, when John Finkle purchased the mill and two acres for $2,000. The Finkle Family operated the mill until 1943 when it was purchased by Ward Walton. It then became the property of the State of Ohio. On July 14, 1968, Indian Mill was dedicated as the first mill museum in the United States by the Ohio Historical Society.
The Indian Mill Museum is open to the public June through October, Thursday 1-5, Friday and Saturday 9:30-5, and Sunday 1-6. There is a nominal admission charged for the tour. (Coirtad, "Indian Mill," "Indian Mill State Memorial").