Why were mills often built along rivers?
The Wagaman Mill in Lynnville was built in a very strategic place to take advantage of the power of a nearby river.
Can you hear that? That's the sound of energy being created, and this historic building behind me knows just how to use that energy. Wagaman Mill in Lynnville was built to use hydropower, which means the equipment used the movement of water to work. Falling water nearby helped the paddle wheel to turn. Inside the mill building, the gears and shafts attached to the wheel would move, making the equipment able to do its job, like grinding or sawing. Wagaman Mill, or the old mill as some people call it, was built the same year that Iowa became a state. So it's seen how people use energy and how those uses have changed over time. In the old days people would come here to have flour or corn milled, which means ground up. Throughout history, the old mill was used to saw lumber, prepare wool for spinning, and even for electricity. Some of the equipment has been updated or changed over the lifetime of the old the old mill, but what's really cool is that it's still here and it's still running. People can take a step back in time and visit Wagaman Mill. They can use their imaginations and picture what it would have been like to wait in line to have wheat ground into flour so very long ago. Wagaman Mill stands as a symbol of our ancestors engineering talents and the importance of energy in our lives.
Every County in Iowa has an electric story to tell. Thanks for exploring Jasper County with me.