post). Wye Mills in Maryland is having three talks on mills and grains. Upcoming talks on London mills, Oliver Evans, 17th cen. water engineering for water gardens & fountains and ... Tide Mills! Several taped talks.
In 1774, Joseph Ellicott (1732-1780) designed a TEN foot fountain, which ran continuously, in his fish pond by his state-of-the-art mill and large home called Fountainvale near their new (1772-) town of Ellicott mills (now Ellicott City, Md). Years before he designed and made a phenominal four faced musical tall clock (now in the Smithsonian) and was elected into the selective American Philosophical Society in 1770. His eldest son is known for surveying DC and many states, two other sons became land agents and laid out towns and cities in western NY, and he was the great uncle of cookbook author Elizabeth Ellicott Lea (1845, first of 3 editions).
"Oliver Evans, who procured this patent from the Legislature of Maryland,  had, previously to this event, been in the habit every year of passing several weeks with the hospitable proprietors of Ellicott’s Mills, and as their inventions were open to the inspection of every one, he made use of his opportunities to become fully acquainted with their operations. So soon as Ellicott & Co. became aware of what had taken place, they demanded an interview with Oliver Evans, charged him with treachery and concluded all intercourse with him. Averse to litigation from their pacific principles, [Quakers] they suffered his aggressions to pass without further notice, not supposing he would exact from any manufacturer the fine which the Legislature had granted on his behalf."
25 years later, after all the Ellicott founders had died -
"In this however they were deceived, for in 1812 or 1813, he actually sued them for using his inventions contrary to law, in the mills on the Patapsco, and those more recently erected by them on Gwynn’s Falls. As a means of defence they engaged the most able counsel. Of this trial, Evan T. Ellicott writes: “Oliver Evans was defeated in the courts, and was forced to rest his claim to a patent on the plea of combining the improvements of the Ellicotts, and receiving a patent on this ground, it became a source of great emolument to him.
The Ellicotts clearly demonstrated the claim of their fathers, to the inventions taken up by Oliver Evans as his own. Pinckney [Evan's lawyer] endeavored to prove that the right which the Ellicotts had possessed, and which he and his coadjutor could not deny had been fully established, had expired by the limitation given to such property; that their client [Evans] had combined these old inventions, and was justly entitled to payment for his exertions, a plea which strange as it may appear was admitted by the Court.
The Ellicott's lawyers countered that "it to have been the desire of the inventors of this now contested machinery, and also the wish of their sons and representatives, that their inventions should continue to be, as they in
the first instance had designed they should be, a gratuity to the millers of their country."
The conduct of the jurors in this case was greatly censured by all
except a few partisans. The verdict as before written was given in favor of
Oliver Evans, who pursued with the utmost rigor of the law those who used the inventions, and became a large capitalist thereby."
Tyson, Martha Ellicott. A Brief Account of the Settlement of Ellicott's Mills. Baltimore, 1865
A recent detailed talk on the early Ellicott mills of Maryland (now Ellicott City) and auxiliary trades (ie blacksmith, cooper, saw mill): Pioneering Innovations in the Patapsco Valley. Dr. Henry K. Sharp, author of The Patapsco River Valley: Cradle of the Industrial Revolution in Maryland and America’s First Factory Town: The Industrial Revolution in Maryland’s Patapsco River Valley. Charles L Wagandt II Memorial Lecture. Patapsco Heritage Greenway TAPE HERE
Old Wye Mill museum is hosting three talks. Wye Mill was started c1682 and is considered the oldest continuously operating grist mill in the US.
Wye Mills, a small village on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, also has the Wye Oak, the largest White Oak tree in the US, which was next to Orrell’s Beaten Biscuits (now closed). In 2006 I spent the morning at Orrell's and here is a picture of the ladies rolling the biscuits (they did not roll out and use biscuit cutter - the more typical fashion).
UPCOMING MILL, GRAIN AND WATER TALKS
Mar 24 Thu 6:30 The Rise and Fall of Tide Mills in York, Maine: Exploring Colonial-Era Technology and the Future of Renewable Energy. 4 speakers. Old York Historical Society ME Donation. Info and TAPE HERE Fascinating systems, well done talks; 2d half on York mills
Tide Mill Institute website HERE
Mr 24 Thu 7:30 Lloyd/Bennett/Hemsley family who owned Old Wye Mill during the 18th century, as well as owning many important historic plantations nearby. Sherri Marsh Johns. Spring Speakers Series. Old Wye Mill Md. HERE TAPE may be HERE
Mr 31 Thu 7:30 Local grain agriculture. John Draper. Spring Speakers Series. Old Wye Mill, Md. HERE TAPE may be HERE
Ap 7 Thu 7-8:30 Growing Heritage Grains. Panel. Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security HERE
Ap 7 Thu 7:30 Oliver Evans. “the pioneering inventor and engineer.” Steve Childers. Spring Speakers Series. Old Wye Mill, Md. HERE TAPE may be HERE
Ap 19 Tue 2-4:30 The Art and Engineering of Water in the 17th Century or 'How did they do that?’ from “Moghul water gardens and underlying them is a maze of pipes and a great deal of subtle and sometimes heroic engineering” to Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte to two in UK by Capability Brown. Steve Temple. Birkbeck Garden History Group £6 tape for week. HERE Excellent talk. Engineering processes clearly explained.
Ap 24 Sun 3 London Windmills and Watermills. Rob Smith. Footprints of London £8 HERE
Aug 11 Thu 7 Turning Water to Power: How Water Systems Work. "structures and devices needed to run a water-powered mill and dissect the “machine on the landscape” using examples from different mills." Tony Shahan. Newlin Grist Mill HERE. TAPE may be HERE
This post was quickly written tonight to replace the one on foraging, since I just found out about the Wye Mill series. I will have longer posts on the Ellicotts on my EC blog, and add more taped talks from the last two years on this post.
Milling from the Ancient World to 19th cen. Tony Shahan of Newlin Grist Mill museum PA. Bread to bake: Maslin bread late 1700s (wheat/rye). Seminar and baking with author William Rubel. Au 20 2020. Join Rubel's Facebook page Bread History and Practice for future topics and details HERE TAPE HERE
MA Hydro and Steam Power for Mills from 1840 to 1920 textile mills. by professional engineer Robert Timmerman. Charles River Museum. Oc 22, 2019 TAPE HERE
MD Ellicott mills. Pioneering Innovations in the Patapsco Valley. (now Ellicott City) and auxiliary trades (ie blacksmith, cooper, saw mill). Dr. Henry K. Sharp, author of The Patapsco River Valley: Cradle of the Industrial Revolution in Maryland and America’s First Factory Town: The Industrial Revolution in Maryland’s Patapsco River Valley. Charles L Wagandt II Memorial Lecture. Patapsco Heritage Greenway TAPE HERE
MD Wye Mill. Oldest Grist Mill in America. Wye Mills, Md. TAPE HERE
MD Wye Mill. Several past talks go to 'playlists' TAPES HERE
MD Union Mills 1797 Grist Mill in Carroll County Maryland. Au 22, 2021 20 min TAPE HERE
ME The History of Midcoast Maine Mills. Donovan Bowley. Camden Public Library Oc 2020 TAPE HERE
NH The Mills of Exeter. Various mills including flour and potato starch. Barbara Rimkunas. Exeter Historical Society July 21 2020 TAPE HERE
PA Christmas Unfolds at Anselma Mill. “The Mill retains its original Colonial-Era power train, as well as multiple layers of industrial equipment ranging from the late 1700s to the mid 1900s.” Chester County Historic Preservation Network Dec 2020 HERE TAPE HERE
TX Barton Springs Mill. James Brown, miller. Barton Springs Mill is “bringing heritage grains back to Texas...Our mill is a Osttiroler from Austria, and it currently runs 10 hours a day, 7 days a week - 4 days for culinary and baking, and 3 for distilling and brewing.” Austin Organic Gardeners Oc 12 2020. Speaker after 26 min. TAPE HERE
VA Colonial Milling & Brewing by traditional miller, Steve Bashore and 18th-century baker, Justin Cherry at Stratford Hall, VA Au 19 2020 HERE TAPE bottom of page HERE
CANADA Flow and Fall: The Lost Mills of Mississauga, Canada. Youtube live Mar 20 2021 TAPE HERE
UK A Miller and his Mill, The story of John Else and Warney Mill. (Darley Dale). Using the miller John Else’s papers to describe work “of the mill and its farm but also of the craftspeople and specialists who helped rebuild the mill , and those who bought flour and other products from the mill.” Judy Cooper. Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust Jun 8 2021 TAPE HERE
UK John O' Groats Mill. Rebuilt 1901 watermill. Historic Environment Scotland Se 2020 TAPE HERE Images HERE
Tide Mill Institute website HERE
Tide mills database. Click various graphs, map at top HERE
The Rise and Fall of Tide Mills in York, Maine: Exploring Colonial-Era Technology and the Future of Renewable Energy. 4 speakers. Old York Historical Society ME Donation. Mar 24 2022. Info and TAPE HERE Fascinating systems, well done talks; 2d half on York mills
The World’s Earliest Dated Tide Mill. Ireland. “The mill was constructed in the years AD 619-621 to service the Early Medieval monastery at Nendrum located on a tidal island in Strangford Lough in Ireland.” Thomas McErlean. Brown University. Medievalists.net 2015 TAPE HERE
Tide Mills: Green Energy from the Colonial Era. NYC “From Spuyten Duyvil to Marine Park, Wallabout Bay to Flushing Bay, settlers turned many tidal marshes across New York’s vast estuary into millponds to run machinery as the water ebbed. “ Brad Vogel. Turnstile Tours. Au 31 2021 TAPE HERE
National Wind Mills Weekend May 2020 UK TAPE HERE
REMOVING OLD MILL DAMS
The Nation's Founding Fish [Shad] Returns to America's Historic Small Watershed [Brandywine River]. Mill dams on the river. Dr. Gerald Kauffman. Athenaeum of Philadelphia Dec 8 2020HERE TAPE HERE
The Americas. Fish Passage Conference 2021 “fish passage engineering, fishway research and telemetry studies, river restoration measures like dam removal, mapping migratory routes of fish, legislation.” (Africa, Europe, Oceania June 22-24) World Fish Migration Foundation Je 21 2021 HERE TAPE HERE World Fish Migration Foundation HERE
History of the Conestoga (Part II) Dammit! The effects of dams in the 18th and 19th century. Lancaster Conservancy PA Je 8 2021 HERE TAPE HERE
Restoring our Rivers – Removing Barriers to Fish Migration. “how these weirs, locks and other infrastructure affect fish migration along the River Severn - and what could happen if they were removed.” Barbel fish. Dr Catherine Gutmann Roberts. Bournemouth University UK Mar 2 2021HERE TAPES HERE
Hidden Journeys within our Rivers “fascinating biology behind migration and the challenges” such as mid 18th century weirs disrupt twaite shad from going upstream to spawn in the River Severn. Dr. Catherine Gutmann Roberts, Pete Davies. Unlocking the Severn series UK Mar 18 2021 HERE website HERE TAPE HERE
MILL BLOG POSTS
Mill stones - sharpening HERE
Floating mill in America HERE
Mill and bakery on ships HERE
Bakery on ship HERE
Mills in 1607 Italy. Water and animal powered HERE
Mills – Ellicott City and others. EC blog HERE
Lea's Brandywine flour mills DE. EC blog HERE
THIS WEEK'S TALKS deleted
CALENDAR OF VIRTUAL FOOD HISTORY TALKS HERE
©2022 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME