Now located at the Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, this mill had originally been built in 1800 and spent its grinding years in Orleans. Like many mills, it was owned by a group of owners, and also like many mills, it was sold several times over the years to different owners. By 1819, the mill had been bought again and relocated to the Meetinghouse Pond area of Orleans. During all this time, Isaac Snow had been the miller working in the mill which made corn meal and also ground barley, rye, and salt. During the mid 1800's, Isaac Sparrow and then Jospeh Taylor owned and operated the mill. The mill was in used until 1893 when it no longer ground grain due to competition from factory-ground grain products.
While there was some restoration of the mill in the early 1900's by the owner at that time, the famous Hurricane of 1938 severely damaged the structure. In 1957, the mill was moved to Pleasant Bay in Orleans by a new owner, Charles Campbell, who did substantial repair and renovation of the mill. Eventually, in 1968, he sold the mill to Heritage Plantation, where it is still located. The move up Route 6 from Orleans to Sandwich required the mill to be disassembled, but the move still took 10 days.
The location at Heritage is a beautiful one with the mill surrounded by beautiful lawns and specimen trees, and English perennial gardens. The mill itself is no longer functioning, and is no longer open to visitors, but you can see the mill on the grounds along with other displays there.
The Dexter Grist Mill was built about 1654, although other mills had been operated by Thomas Dexter here in Sandwich as early as 1637. In the early 1800's, there was also a wool mill here, using the same water flow; it was located adjacent and to the east of the Dexter Mill. In 1856, a marble manufacturing plant was located at that same location, followed over the years by several other businesses. The Dexter Mill itself was in operation grinding grain until about 1881. From about 1920 to 1950, the mills were used as a teahouse and gathering spot. In 1961, the Dexter Mill was fully restored by the Town of Sandwich to working condition, and is still open to the public.
The beautiful grounds include views of the mill pond (Shawme Pond), the millrace that is lined with stone, and the picturesque mill building itself with its undershoot wooden wheel. There is a small charge to go inside the mill where a tour is provided. You can also buy corn meal at the site. Just a short distance away, across Shawme Pond, is the Hoxie House, a 17th century saltbox house that is also fascinating to see. Right near the mill is also the Sandwich artesian well that is a popular place to get free and refreshing water (bring your own container!). And the beautiful Sandwich Glass Museum is just around the corner, too!
The Joseph Jefferson windmill can be seen right at the Entrance to the Aptucxet Trading Post in Bourne. Joseph Jefferson was an actor and artist who had this replica windmill built in the late 1800's for use as his art studio at his summer home in Buzzards Bay. Jefferson may have been the earliest born actor to do acting in a film. In theater, he had performed for many years in Washington D.C. as well as in Chicago and New York. In 1859, he appeared as Rip Van Winkle in Washington, D.C. For some years he lived in Australia, returning to the U.S. in 1866 to continue for many years playing Rip Van winkle in theaters across the nation.
The mill itself was never used to grind grain, and did not have internal mill machinery. It was also built in the style of Dutch wind mills, rather than that of local Cape mills. In recent years, the mill has served as the an art studio and as a giftshop for the Aptucxet Trading Post. The museum itself is a fascinating place to visit, with guided tours provided of the 1600's trading area used by the Pilgrims, now right on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal.
There are several windmills in the Red Brook area of Cataumet. These are on private property, though, so they cannot be viewed except by driving by. The first is Arey's Windmill, shown above. This mill was built in Chatham and then moved to Orleans. Later, in 1900, J.J. Rothery purchased the mill and moved it to Cataumet. Now part of a private residence, it is in good shape, but has none of the original internal machinery or vanes, so it is not working as a mill. Just around the corner on County Road is another mill, also used as part of a private residence, and in excellent condition, but with no original internal machinery.
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