Old Stone Mill, Delta, Ontario

Let's Get Grinding - The Equipment Arrives

A long time goal of The Delta Mill Society is to have the mill in operation (grinding grain) by 2010, the 200th anniversary of the mill. The first part of that vision was started in 2007 with the installation of an operating water wheel in the mill. In 2008, the directors made a significant financial decision to purchase period milling equipment. This equipment comes from a mill in Saint-Sylvère, Quebec and includes mill stones, a smutter and a bolter (the original mill is no more, this equipment was operating until recently in an outbuilding of the owner). The mill pieces date to the late 1700s (so they actually pre-date the Delta Mill by a few years but are very close to what was originally installed in the Old Stone Mill). The equipment was put up for sale a couple of years ago.

The Delta Mill Society has been searching for suitable equipment (none of the original mill equipment survived) to install inside the mill to show how the mill would have operated in the early 1800s. After looking at several options, it was decided, in summer 2008, to proceed with the purchase of the Saint-Sylvère equipment.

The equipment was delivered to the (very large) storage shed of Art Cowan (President of The Delta Mill Society). A forklift and skilled forklift driver from Tackaberry Construction were used to unload big (and heavy) milling equipment from the truck.

The following are the photos of the unloading of the equipment. We'll be very busy in 2009, both fundraising for this purchase and figuring out how exactly to install this equipment inside the mill.

Click on any photo to see a larger version

The truck arrived from Saint-Sylvère with the late 1700s mill equipment carefully packed

The three millstones were well secured

Paul George, our curator, works up a sweat by carrying off a heavy piece

More of the load is revealed

Natalie Wood, our assistant curator and Wade Ranford help unpack the load.

The first big piece of equipment is gently positioned on the forks of the Tackaberry fork lift.

Gently lowered off the truck

Paul George and Moel Benoit position the piece

Paul and Moel put the piece in place

Art Shaw helps to stabilize the smutter on the fork lift

That's one big piece of equipment - the 14 foot long bolter is uncovered

How much do I really weigh?  Wade Ranford makes sure the scale is working properly

The first mill stone is gently eased off the truck

The mill stone is laid down on support boards

Art Shaw helps to position the mill stone

Art positions supports for the mill stone

Whoa - that's perfect!

Art Shaw admires the pre-1800 craftsmanship of the bolter.

Dann Michols and Paul George position forklift supports for the bolter

Paul George prays that the bolter doesn't tip over as it is being lifted off the truck

The bolter is gently lowered to the ground

Even the truck driver (right) is impressed at how expertly the bolter was moved.

The real trick was yet to come - how to get the bolter into the barn

The bolter was gently positioned over a pair of dollys

The bolter is gently lowered onto the dollys

The forklift is repositioned at the other end of the bolter

In it goes

Paul checks the clearances as the bolter is moved in

The bolter is moved into position

Support boards are put under the bolter

A happy crew after the bolter was moved without incident

Moel Benoit admires the workings of the bolter

The last bit of equipment is moved off the flatbed

The empty flatbed - the move is complete!

The flatbed heads back to Quebec.

Paul and Natalie move a piece into the mill

Natalie and Paul Robertson moved a piece of equipment

Coming into the mill

Paul and Natalie carry it through the mill

Moving it into storage in the mill

That's it (for now)

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