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The Old Mill: 1899

The Old Mill: 1899

Green Lake, Wisconsin, circa 1899. "Old mill at railway station." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Mystery of the Two Mills

The Brooklyn flour mill, owned by John B. Vliet, was in business before 1865. Sometime in the 1870s it was damaged by fire. In order to get the mill running again as soon as possible, Vliet borrowed more money from the original lender, Washington Libby. Libby eventually gained ownership through default, although Vliet continued to operate it. It was out-of-business by 1925—the date of the photo below (note the 12-over-12 double-hung windows). It was torn down in the early 1950s to salvage the wood inside. The second photo is a water side view of the building.

mill 1

mill 2

The Brooklyn Mill is often misidentified as the Sherwood Mill, which was built by Anson Dart and John C. Sherwood in nearby Dartford (now Green Lake) in 1849. However, the Sherwood Mill (also know as the Dartford Mill) burned down before 1875 and was never rebuilt. The mistaken identification is made because the Brooklyn Mill sat near the Green Lake Station depot on the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Railroad (later the Chicago & Northwestern) line, which is out-of-sight of the mill in the main photo at top (location A on the map below). In 1975 the depot was relocated to downtown Green Lake and opened as a museum for the Dartford Historical Society (location B). The depot's new location just happens to be directly across the street from the site of the old Sherwood Mill, so it is easy to look at a modern map and see an old mill site and a railroad depot, and assume that they are the subjects mentioned in the original caption.

mill 3

The Dartford Historical Society has a great bunch of folks who helped untangle the mystery.

Still around?

My first thought was that this building would make a great and imposing post industrial loft style home. A shoreside property, too.

Is it still around? Couldn't find it on Google Streetview.

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