The Waynesville Mill ~ The "Upper Mill"
The Grist Mill at Waynesville ~ ca. 1900 ~ The "Upper Mill"
Dam on the Little Miami River (still extant)
Charles M. Robitzer's team of iron grey horses
and his delivery wagon.
Men cutting ice on the mill pond and storing in mill.
"Old Mill Stream" and then "Three Centuries Park".
shortly before its demolition.
Gift Shop ~ "H. B. & Me"
From working mill to recreational park to tourist shops
- 1806 ~ Quaker John Haines of Virginia moves to Ohio and builds a grist mill on the Little Miami River at Waynesville. He also builds a dam which overflows onto the land of Abel Satterthwaite. Mr. Satterthwaite begins a law suit and the dam is destroyed. Shortly thereafter the mill itself is destroyed by fire. John Haines built his home on North Main Street (see photograph below).
- 1810 ~ John Jennings buys the Haines mill property.
- 1825 ~ John Jennings builds a three story brick mill on the mill race.
- 1832 ~ The Jennings mill is sold to Stephen Cook and Jason Evans.
- 1835 ~ A log dam is replaced by a stone dam.
- 1840 ~ Jason Evans, now the sole owner, sells all his mill property to William Oliphant. Jason Evans and family moves to Cincinnati and persues a successful career in pork packing.
- 1850 ~ The mill is sold to Oscar J. Wright.
- 1888 ~ John S. Wright buys mill from O. J. Wright's daughters.
- 1904 ~ The mill is bought by Charles M. Robitzer who does major repairs and names the mill, the "Waynesville Flouring Mills". The mill is run by natural gas from a well that was drilled along the mill race. The mill is noted for his fine Albino flour. Robitzer's mill also grinds graham and buckwheat flour, white and yellow meal, chops, feed chops, and has a separate mill for hog feed and four different grades of crushed corn. His splendid team of iron grey horses is seen all the time making deliveries in the Waynesville area (see above).
- 1911 ~ The mill stops operating as a mill. It housed an ice plant until the 1950s.
- 1931 ~ Charles M. Robitzer builds "Wayne Park" around the old mill which includes a swiming pool and picnic grounds.
- 1942 ~ The property is bought by Henry Geiger and renamed "Old Mill Stream".
- 1951 ~ L. D. Baker and Tom Norris open a mill race fishing concession, a live fish hauling service and develop other amusements. For more information see, Waynesville in 1957.
- 1969 ~ A country store is incorporated into the main level of the mill.
- 1973 ~ An Olympic size pool, children pool and buildings are added. It is renamed "Three Centuries Park".
- 1974 ~ The old mill is demolished and the "1776 Inn" opens.
- Today the Der Dutchman Restaurant and Carlisle Gifts stand where once the mill stood.
The Little Miami River and local creeks were potent sources of water power and Waynesville was blessed with many mills ~ grist, saw and oil. Waynesville had a number of mills along the river, the "upper mills" (the Jennings mill property discussed above on the north end of town) and the "lower mills" (Elliott mill property on the south). Both the "upper" and "lower mills" consisted of a saw mill and a flour mill. Just a few miles further south of town were "Telegraph Mills" run by G. Hinchmann. Many more mills and factories could be found in all the villages and hamlets along the Little Miami River and its tributaries.