Homestead Gristmill

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This historic gristmill was originally built circa 1760 in northern New Jersey, and last operated as a mill in 1918. After over 80 years of idleness, the mill was dismantled, restored and reerected in Texas as our Homestead Gristmill. The restored gristmill again grinds fresh, whole wheat flour, corn meal, and other grains.

 

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"Beginning at a large white oak marked for a corner standing near a small swamp on the south west side of the brook below the mill…"

This excerpt from a 1768 land deed is the first known written record of our Homestead Gristmill along the Hollow Brook or Mill Creek in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, when a German immigrant named Asher Mott decided to sell his share of the family property to his older brothers, John and Gershom, for £1,000. The property stayed in the family until 1800 when Robert Emley purchased the mill and 30 acres for $213.30.

In 1814 John Teeter, another German immigrant and local resident for over 30 years, acquired the mill and property. By then, the mill was the business and social center of a village that included six residences and a sawmill located downstream. This hamlet was referred to as Teetertown. Six years later the mill was extensively remodeled and turned over to Mr. Teeter’s son-in-law, Samuel Dorland. The Dorland family operated and maintained the mill until 1881.

In 1908, following several ownerships, Philip Sliker purchased the mill, constructed a new miller’s residence, and began to process flour under the brand name of “Teetertown Buckwheat Flour.” But in 1918, after 10 years of operation, Mr. Sliker retired and closed the mill.

After it last ground grain in 1918, the Teeter mill went through a series of owners, most looking for a quaint country getaway from the bustle of New York City. Left neglected for decades, by the turn of the 21st century the aged mill was in need of either demolition or restoration.

In 2000, the craftsmen of Homestead Heritage carefully documented and dismantled the Teeter mill and restored it in its new location at Homestead Heritage in central Texas.

Thank you to Doug Kiovsky, historian of the Hunterdon County, NJ Department of Parks and Recreation, for all his research in tracing the history of the mill.



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