Scenic USA - Indiana

Bonneyville Mill

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Bonneyville Mill - Bonneyville Mill County Park, Indiana

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Here in the rich farmland of Elkhart County, history buffs Mill Machinery - Bonneyville Mill Park and photographers will appreciate Indiana's oldest operating grist mill. Now preserved as part of Bonneyville Mill County Park, the mill was first conceived by Edward Bonney in 1830. Envisioning a rapid growing area nearby the cities of Toledo and Chicago, Bonney counted on a navigable St. Joseph River to deliver his products. Featuring a modern style turbine rather than a traditional overshot vertical wheel, Bonney also added a sawmill to his grist mill operations in 1837. Edward Bonney failed to expand beyond his local community, and once the mill was bypassed by rail lines and a proposed canal system fizzled, Bonney's dream of quick success had ended. Unable to recognize the folly of easy money, Bonney was arrested on counterfeiting charges. Able to escape the grasp of the law, Bonney headed out of the state. Farm Building - Bonneyville Mill Park The mill was sold in 1842.
   Bonneyville Mill continued operations for the next hundred years, providing electrical power to nearby residents, specialty flours and cornmeal. The mill was purchased in 1968 by a local preservation group headed by Mrs. Chauncey E. Baldwin. The mill property was passed on to the Elkhart County Parks and Recreational Board the following year. The mill is now the centerpiece of a 223 acre park, surrounded by picturesque hills, open meadows, woodlands and the beautiful Little Elkhart River. The showy blooms of the redbud attract blueberry bees and many Elkhart County sightseers. Spring is a special time of year in Indiana, and this mill site is a big part of Elkhart’s heritage and nature’s marvels.

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