Visit Plimoth Plantation's newest exhibit
The Plimoth Grist Mill!
Nestled alongside bucolic Town Brook, and just a short walk from the waterfront and Mayflower II, The Plimoth Grist Mill tells the story of the grist (corn grinding) mill built by the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony. After more than a decade of laboriously grinding corn by hand in wooden mortars, the colony authorized the construction of a water-powered corn grinding mill on Town Brook in 1636. Colonist John Jenney was given permission to run the mill and to take a portion of the corn that was brought for grinding as a payment or “toll.” After his death in 1644 John Jenney left the mill to his wife Sarah. Sarah, and later their son Samuel, ran the mill until 1683.
Our mill is a reproduction of the 1636 mill, and was completed in 1970. Many of the parts (the stones, spindle, and stone furniture) are from the early 1800s and were salvaged from a mill near Philadelphia, PA.
The Plimoth Mill is a working grist mill. We use water power to mill organic corn into delicious, freshly ground cornmeal on our 200 year old French Buhr millstones. We usually mill on Saturdays and Wednesdays, from noon to 3pm.
On milling days, watch as the miller orchestrates the water wheel, gears, and stones to turn out delicious, fragrant cornmeal. Hear the corn cracking and feel the rumble as the waterwheel and gears work together to turn the 2500 pound runner stone.
On non-milling days, guides lead you through the mill, explaining the importance of mills in the 1600s, the process of grinding corn, and the ecology of the Town Brook area, including the annual herring run. Outside the mill you’ll see how water diverted from Town Brook provides power for the 14 foot diameter waterwheel. Inside, on the grinding floor, you’ll see the 54 inch diameter bed and runner stones, and see how they work together to mill or cut the corn into finer and finer pieces. Downstairs, you’ll come face to face with the mill’s gears, including the massive face gear and the smaller wallower or lantern gear. Working together, these gears translate the vertical power of the water wheel to the horizontal power needed to turn the runner stone.
The Plimoth Mill has a lot of stories to tell! Make sure to visit our exhibit gallery, where you can grind corn in a mortar and pestle, sift corn to make cornmeal, try a water wheel and learn how to tie a miller’s knot!
Finish up your mill experience with a trip to our mill museum shop where you can buy our freshly ground, organic cornmeal and sampe and other culinary treats, as well as books, and other souvenirs. If you can't visit the Plimoth Mill, or want to replenish your cornmeal supply, you can order online.
Keep in Touch
If you'd like to keep in touch or want to learn more about our experiences running the Plimoth Grist Mill, visit The Miller's Tale blog.
It's easy to become a member of Plimoth Plantation! Members enjoy a 10% discount on all food purchases at our cafe.Join Now!
Check us out on Facebook and become a fan!Become a Fan
Book your next corporate event at Plimoth Plantation.Click Here