Mills

IMG_0113_edited.jpg
Glen Avon Mills Flour Bag- This white canvas bag was used to hold pastry flour ground at the Glen Avon gristmill.  A gristmill was on the site as early as 1810, though the early one burned in 1878.  Emme Light built the current building in 1879 and it still exists, repurposed as a home.  This mill was best known for “Sweet Violet” and “Daisy” pastry flours, produced around 1950.  Geneseo Mills Sign -Farmers brought grain to the mills where it was processed into flour, bagged, and shipped to markets in large cities in the eastern United States.  In 1920 the Geneseo Mill, or Big Tree Mills, was destroyed by fire at a loss of $100,000 and much grain and flour.  It was operated by Tomkinson, Kenyon, and Tomkinson Co. around this time.  

Glen Avon Mills Flour Bag- This white canvas bag was used to hold pastry flour ground at the Glen Avon gristmill.  A gristmill was on the site as early as 1810, though the early one burned in 1878.  Emme Light built the current building in 1879 and it still exists, repurposed as a home.  This mill was best known for “Sweet Violet” and “Daisy” pastry flours, produced around 1950. 

Geneseo Mills Sign -Farmers brought grain to the mills where it was processed into flour, bagged, and shipped to markets in large cities in the eastern United States.  In 1920 the Geneseo Mill, or Big Tree Mills, was destroyed by fire at a loss of $100,000 and much grain and flour.  It was operated by Tomkinson, Kenyon, and Tomkinson Co. around this time.

 

West’s Flouring Mill (Charles Harry Eaton), 1881- To paint this oil on canvas painting of West’s Flouring Mill, the artist used a style of painting known as tonalism in which landscapes are depicted in soft light, with shadows.  Erastus West (1794-1865), after whom this mill was named, came to Lakeville in 1815 from Pennsylvania. He was a prominent man in the town of Livonia and an inventor by trade.  West was the first to introduce steam to power several of the mills he constructed, including this flour mill on the East side of the Conesus Lake outlet. 

West’s Flouring Mill (Charles Harry Eaton), 1881- To paint this oil on canvas painting of West’s Flouring Mill, the artist used a style of painting known as tonalism in which landscapes are depicted in soft light, with shadows.  Erastus West (1794-1865), after whom this mill was named, came to Lakeville in 1815 from Pennsylvania. He was a prominent man in the town of Livonia and an inventor by trade.  West was the first to introduce steam to power several of the mills he constructed, including this flour mill on the East side of the Conesus Lake outlet. 


Rivers and streams were important power sources for early settlers of western New York, and gristmills sprang up in many local towns and villages.  Gristmills used water as its power source to grind flour grown in the Genesee Valley.  However, as electric power became more common and affordable in the 20th century, water-powered mills gradually disappeared.  Many have been torn down or converted to other uses, such as the Glen Avon Mills, which is today a private residence.  Use of hydroelectric power continues today while at the same time, many dams across the nation are being removed to restore natural habitats.   How do we interact with local rivers and streams today?