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History of Iola Mills

Iola Mills property Includes three buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  With its origins dating to 1853, the property has been a vital part of Iola ever since.  The mill ceased operations in 1961 and in 1963 was turned into a museum of local history and mill operations.

iola mills c1860aloading grain c1890 for webdeck under porch revealed

The photo on the left shows the sawmill, which was built first on the property, and the 'grist mill', which was first constructed around 1860.  In the second photo in the middle, the 'grist mill' is shown on or about 1888.  By this time the original grist mill had additions to the left, right and up.  The top floor, which still contains a 'double bolter' for sifting flour, was added to accomodate the flouring operation.  During demolition (and subsequent rebuilding) the porch on the front was found to have been built over a deck which was built sometime between 1860 and 1888. (see photo to the right) This original deck was not constructed with square nails found on more recent additions, but was 'pegged' together.  The original deck without the covered porch answers the question why a door was found on the second floor.  The door was probably used to raise and lower equipment and supplies to the upper floors of the mill.  During the renovation of the front porch, 28 cents in coins were found: 1920 and 1926 Mercury dimes, a 1916 nickel, and three pennies, 1905, 1907, and 1934.