Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: The garden will open late April 10 at 1:00pm


Buildings

Springfield Mills at Bloomfield Farm


Springfield Mills and the Miller’s Cottage date back to 1761 and are the oldest architectural features at the Morris Arboretum. Springfield Mills contains the most complete inventory of original grist mill works and related machinery of any mill in the area. The mill, with its Oliver Evans mill works, provides a unique view of 19th and early 20th century agriculture and milling in the Wissahickon Valley. Volunteers and staff are actively engaged in restoring the mill with the goal of renewing its water-powered operation. Springfield Mills is a contributing structure in the Morris Arboretum’s National Register of Historic Places listing.

The connections between food consumption, food production and land use is hard to imagine in a society where supermarkets with have become our main link to food. The role of mills in communities is largely forgotten or taken for granted. Springfield Mills creates a visual narrative of the social, economic and technological role mills play in food production and how important land conservation and plant diversity are to assuring we have food on the table.


A Working Piece of History

You can now see the mill in completely unattended kernel to flour operation, converting plants to food in this 60 second video:


Schedule a Visit to Springfield Mills

Springfield Mills and Bloomfield Farm are closed to the public except for group tours and special events. Visit are permitted by pre-arranged group tour only. Current tours include History of Bloomfield Farm and the Historic 1761 Grist Mill. (60 mins.)

For more information or to schedule a tour contact: Lisa Bailey 215.247.5777 x157 or email: baileyl@exchange.upenn.edu.

Grist Mill Demonstration Days

3rd Sundays, (July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16) | 12:00 - 3:00pm
Free for members $5 for non-members or free with regular garden admission.

The Springfield Mills at Morris Arboretum has been carefully restored and made operational once again by a dedicated group of volunteers. Come visit this 18th century mill and see how corn was milled for meal and flour.



Mill Day

Springfield Mills History

Farmers came from many miles to have their grain ground into flour.The Flourtown Village was the great wheat market of the eastern counties of the state around and north of Philadelphia.

The mill used water power for an array of functions including sawing timber, grinding flour and animal feed, generating electricity, running agricultural machines and pumping water to irrigate the fields.


1761
1854
1890s
1907
1914
1932
1970s
2011

Volunteer at the Mill

The Run-of-the-Mill volunteers are restoring Springfield Mills to water-powered operation. The mill stones and water-powered machinery are over a century old. Volunteers work on the mill on the second Saturday of every month and operate the mill during public events at Bloomfield. Activities include carpentry, masonry, equipment restoration and general clean up. Research, documentation and education volunteers are welcome.

Contact: Bob Gutowski - gutowski@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.132


Mills of the Wissahickon Valley

The historic Wissahickon Valley was home to over sixty mills from colonial times to WWII. Springfield Mills is one of four remaining Mills of the Wissahickon you can tour or visit. Explore all the mills of the Wissahickon.


Questers Support Restoration of Springfield Mills

On May 5th, 2014 the Questers Fairwold Chapter with Pennsylvania State and International Questers presented a $7,000 grant to the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania for continued restoration of Springfield Mills. The Fairwold Questers have supported restoration of the Morris Arboretum’s grist mill since 2008. Previous grants restored the mill windows and the turbine pit bridge. Both were critical elements in re-opening the mill for tours. Most recently the historic, two-ton mill stones grinding surfaces were refinished by an expert millwright and are grinding corn meal after 60 years of inactivity. This new grant will help restore the wooden “blow-out” wall facing the Wissahickon Creek. The grant was presented by Vickie Sierchio, Fairwold Quester President.
Questers is an international organization with 101 chapters in PA and chapters in 41 states and Ontario.  Questers supports conservation and restoration of historical sites and objects. For information, go to www.PAQuesters.com and www.questers1944.org.

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