As a Mill
The Pickwick Mill was built from 1856 to 1858 by Thomas Grant and Wilson Davis and is one of the oldest flour mills found in southeast Minnesota. The mill was a water powered gristmill constructed first as a sawmill, and later converted to a flour mill, on the banks of Big Trout Creek located in Pickwick, Minnesota. It is the first commercial flour mill west of the Mississippi river. The mill ran 24 hours a day during the Civil War and produced 100 barrels daily for the Union Army. After the war, the mill became a flour-milling center for most of southern Minnesota and portions of Iowa and Wisconsin.
The mill was built from locally quarried limestone, with a timber frame that was so closely fit, that nails were not used (outside of the floor). The six story building was severely damaged in 1907 when a tornado took off the roof and top storage room. The mill was then retrofitted with a flat plank roof. The mill has been restored to a gable roof that is reminiscent of the original design. Today, you may view and experience milling history through the years with antique original and restored equipment fully functional, powered by a 20 foot overshot water wheel.
As a Museum
In the early 1980s, the Mill was saved from destruction by Opal Fitch, a community member who purchased the mill before it was destroyed to widen County Road 7. Through her and other community members’ efforts, the Mill was registered as a National Historic Landmark and had its mechanical facility restored.
Today the mill is administered as a historic site and museum by Pickwick Mill Inc., a member owned, non-profit organization maintained by a board that meets publicly on the first Monday of each Month at 6:00pm at the Pickwick Lodge at 39238 Mill St. Winona, MN 55987. In addition, each year in April is an annual membership meeting to elect the Board of Directors and vote for major initiatives.
Pickwick Mill, Incorporated Board
|Vice President||Tony Blumentritt|
|Membership Co-chair/Daily Grind Editor||Mary Lu Frey|
|Membership Co-chair/Daily Grind Editor||Robin Devinney|