Greenfield Mills Inc. near Howe had its annual festival June 17 to benefit the Huntington's Disease Society of America. The festival organizers didn't do much publicity for this event, which featured a pancake breakfast as its centerpiece.
I heard about the festival at the last minute from DeKalb County Horsemen's Association president Myron Stackhouse. Horsemen's association member Neil Sutton and his mules, Amos and Andy, gave wagon rides to visitors, along with several teams of draft horses. The club also brought a display of horse-drawn farm equipment, some dating back to the early 1800s.
The mill is the oldest water-powered commercial flour mill in Indiana and is nestled in the wilds of LaGrange County, a stone's throw from the Indiana Toll Road. It was built in 1846 on the site of an 1832 sawmill and has been owned by the Rinkel family since 1904. The mill once ground wheat into the flour that breaded Kentucky Fried Chicken. The business has branched out into organic flours and flavored pancake mixes.
The millpond provides the falling water that first turned the mill's water wheels, and now turn the turbines that generate enough electricity to serve two mills and 11 homes. Greenfield Mills Inc. is the smallest electric utility company in the state, according to the company's brochure, and is open for tours and fundraisers for schools and organizations.
The mules proved popular with visitors, who ask about their distinctive long ears and whether they can pet the animals. Neil and other association members use their appearances at festivals and parades as an opportunity to educate the public on the important role draft animals played in the history and development of agriculture and industry in our nation.
Amos and Andy just like the attention!