Kister Mill

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About
Name
  • Kister Mill
Manufacturing
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Textile Mills
  • Wood Product Manufacturing
  • Burr Mills
Facts
Founded
  • 1816
  • Date unknown
Related
Key Persons
Founders
Location
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    • 3596 Kister Rd., Wooster, Ohio, United States

KisterMill-1976-Img.jpg

Kister Mill
KisterMill-1976-Img.jpg
General information
Town or city Millbrook
Country United States
Designations Wayne County Historical Landmark

The Kister Mill was built in 1816 by John Nimmon. It is located in Millbrook, Ohio just a mile east of State Route 3 south of Wooster on County Road 34 (Kister Rd.) where it intersects with Route 83, in Plain Township. The mill utilized water power from springs, coming from as far away as Springville.

Originally a woolen mill, John Kister added a milling burr to the operation, and in 1882 the mill started to grind corn. The mill also acquired a cider press as well as metal and woodworking lathes, saws, and other wood milling and working tools. By 1976 the Mill was still performing all of this duties except weaving. In 1894 the old mill was torn down and a new structure built, which has lasted to the present[1]. In the late 1960s, owner Guy Kister "built a new wooden 18-foot water wheel with eight spokes, 56 buckets and a 4 foot face to replace the aging 1925 wheel because he felt no one would have the skills to do so in future years"[2].

The Kister Mill was named a National Historical Landmark in 1974. While its work has diminished over the years, the mill was the oldest industry in Wayne County still in operation as it approached its bicentennial in 2016, and it was "the last overhead water driven wheel remaining in Ohio"[3]. When Rich and Cindi Boyer bought the mill in 1997, "the 30-year-old water wheel was in such poor shape that Rich, a tool and die maker by trade, and his carpenter father Arden built a new wheel using patterns and guide boards Guy Kister had saved," and plans for full restoration of the mill and its development as a working museum were underway in the 2010s[4]. In 2018, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy purchased the property and planned to partner with others to restore and improve the Kister Mill and to open it to the public.

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Quick Facts

Newspaper articles

Newspaper full-text articles

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  1. "Old Mill Stream," Wayne County Topics, July 1966, p.6
  2. "Preserving Kister Mill," Farm and Dairy, 1 October 2014
  3. "Old Mill Stream," Wayne County Topics, July 1966, p.6
  4. "Preserving Kister Mill," Farm and Dairy, 1 October 2014

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