Brookfield Craft Center // 1832

In 1832, William D. Meeker of Brookfield purchased a c.1780 gristmill on the banks of the Still River, which ran through the agricultural town. He immediately invested in it, rebuilding the structure upon the original foundations, but as a four-story building. Meeker must have hired engineers to create a system to transfer water power from the basement water wheel up four stories. The mill was later sold to a Gregory Knapp in town. Knapp died in 1868 and his properties (including the mill) went to his widow Angeline, who became a very wealthy, and eligible, bachelorette. She remarried not long after. Fast-forward to 1952, the grist mill was occupied by the Brookfield Craft Center, which is recognized as one of the finest professional schools for creative study in America, dedicated to teaching traditional and contemporary craft skills, and fostering the appreciation of fine craftsmanship. Gotta love adaptive reuse cases like this!

Hayward & Kibby Mill // c.1830

Historically, towns and cities were typically settled on rivers or another body of water for many reasons, one of which is for power. This unique grist mill was constructed around 1830 after the Cushman brickyard began providing bricks for new buildings in the town of Tunbridge. The mill stands on a site that has seen industrial activity since the 1780s, which was seen as advantageous due to the cascade created by a topographic constriction in the river flow at this point. The mill building has as its core a 1-1/2 story brick structure, built about 1820 as a gristmill, to which a larger wood-frame sawmill was added about 1870. The building is starting to deteriorate which is troubling as it may be one of a kind in Vermont, if not New England as a whole.