Keremeos Grist Mill - Keremeos, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 12.862 W 119° 48.420
11U E 295583 N 5455079
This water powered grist mill, built in 1877, continues to grind wheat into flour today. The mill uses an overshot water wheel and water taken from a stream which flows by the mill.
Waymark Code: WMN8EJ
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 01/18/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
Views: 3

Truthfully, it lay idle for the majority of its life, and was recently restored to its original condition, the machinery reinstalled and put back into operation.

When built in 1877 it used rudimentary machinery which was capable of producing only whole wheat flour. In 1881 new machinery was installed, allowing the production of white flour, a real innovation at that time.

The building of the railroad caused local trade routes to fall into disuse, and with them a demand for locally ground flour. The mill soon stopped production of flour entirely. It stood unused until the 1940s, when it was used as a chicken coop and all the machinery simply tossed into the lower floor.

Very recently its heritage value became clear and the mill was totally restored and brought back into flour production, if only as a novelty and a tourist draw.

In recognition of its heritage value it was formally recognized as a British Columbia Heritage Site on November 19, 1974.

It is one of 23 heritage properties owned by the Province of BC.
Keremeos Grist Mill

The Grist Mill at Keremeos, located in the Similkameen River Valley, is a cultural landscape comprised of the grist mill building with its historic milling machinery, the general store and residence, and an apple house/root cellar. The surrounding landscape includes Keremeos Creek, which runs through the site.

Constructed by Barrington Price in 1877, this historic mill and store are valuable indicators of pioneer entrepreneurship in the British Columbia interior. This site reflects one man's capitalization on the economic opportunities which arose in British Columbia during the gold rush era.

The geographical landscape of this site is significant, as it presented the ideal location for the establishment of Price's place of business. The construction of a state-of-the-art mill in this once-remote part of the province, and the proximity of the mill and general store to the historic Dewdney Trail are significant to the history of the local area because the presence of these modern amenities - which predate the advent of centralized industrial milling and distribution of goods by rail transport - created the impetus for settlement and agricultural productivity in this part of the Similkameen Valley, and facilitated travel to the gold fields in southeastern BC for thousands of miners in the late nineteenth century.

The buildings of the Grist Mill at Keremeos are valuable examples of utilitarian frontier architecture. The mill is an excellent representation of a purpose-built wood industrial structure, and is a notable illustration of the highly-skilled craftsmanship of early mill construction, which was custom-built to suit the machinery contained within. The Grist Mill remains as the last surviving pioneer flour mill in British Columbia with its historic machinery still in working condition. The general store and apple house are significant structures built from hand shaped wooden components using vernacular construction methods.

Source: BC Heritage Branch Properties files

The character defining elements of the Grist Mill at Keremeos include: • the interior and exterior of the mill, including unique construction features related to its use as a flour mill
• the historic mill machinery, such as the Barford & Perkins steel grinder, and the James Jones stone roller
• the relationship of built structures with the geographical elements of the land, such as Keremeos Creek and its surrounding topography, the slope and volume of which provide the source of power for the mill, and which create the need for a connecting footbridge to allow access from the store to the mill
• the relationship between the mill and the general store/ residence, and the spatial relationships between the buildings, the creek, and the road
• historic exterior features of the general store/residence building, including its gable-roof form and one-story massing, dating to the time of Barrington Price
• historic interior features of the general store/residence, including historic wallpaper, and evidence of construction and wear (as seen in traffic patterns on floorboards)
• the manual construction of the mill, general store/residence, and apple house, and the evidence of this in markings of the broad axe, adze, and pit saw on the wooden structural elements
From Historic Places Canada
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Parking lot on site.

What Agency placed the marker?: Province of BC

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