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Mill Stone

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This stone was the first used in Deerfield, Massachusetts, at the mill erected on the Mill River between 1689 and 1692. The mill operated until 1699. The stone was quarried at Mt. Tom, to the south of Deerfield, and sold to the town in 1693 by Major John Pynchon of Springfield. This stone was an unusual choice for a millstone. Most often millstones were made from hard, smooth stones. This millstone was made of an aggregate stone (stone containing other stones compressed into it). Invisible in this photograph and barely detectable even up close, this stone had grooves chiseled into it, although they are almost entirely worn down from decades of wear. The stone was suspended just above another smooth, flat stone. Grain was poured into the round hole in its center and ground as the stone was kept constantly turning by a water powered wheel attached to it.


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