Scenic USA - Ohio

Ye Olde Mill

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Ye Olde Mill - Utica, Ohio

Photos by Gregory S. Hamilton
Greg Hamilton Photography

   Tickling the taste buds of Americans for nearly a century, Joseph Dager's Velvet Ice Cream was born out of a desire to achieve the American dream. At age 15, Joseph Dager arrived in America in 1903. Unable to speak English, in just a few years Dager began to produce hand-cranked ice cream in a basement of a confectionary. By the 1930s, Dager's Velvet Ice Cream started showing up in nearby Columbus grocery stores and restaurants. With the help of his sons, business expanded Ye Olde Mill Wheel rapidly, outgrowing his space in Utica.
   With Joseph Dager's son as company president, an old grist mill site was located on the outskirts of Utica. The old historic McNaughton Mill became their headquarters as well as their iconic trademark. Since 1817 four different mills have stood on the original foundation. As with any wooden building, fire always poses a serious risk. After fire destroyed the Dager's McNaughton Mill, the family opted for a Swiss building design. Although the building doesn't follow the look of the old McNaughton Mill, the Ye Olde Mill Museum continues its display historic milling equipment.
   Beginning in the month of May every year, Ye Olde Mill opens its doors for another season of the freshest ice cream in Ohio. Visitors, totaling 150,000 annually, are treated to free factory tours, weekend entertainment, a 19th century ice cream parlor, and over 500 flavors of delectable ice cream. Surrounded by a 20 acre park of rolling hills and woodlands, Ye Olde Mill provides the perfect setting for reunions, family outings and weddings.

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