Water Wheel and Pumping System for the
Like everything else in life, Millbrook changes. The erection of the new grist mill in the Village was a big step in re-creating the feel of the village. However, we have a building and some machinery, but the machinery is static - there was no wheel to turn the machinery to illustrate the dynamics of the mill - until now! For visitors in 2003 will see the newly erected wheel! Fabricated in parts based on old designs for wheels, the 15-ft diameter wheel was put together in pieces by our volunteers.
The picture at the top of this page shows our plan for
powering the overshot water wheel, which would eventually turn the
millstones. We've been able to find a great set of stones, but water
power is the big problem. The dam that previously provided the drop
in water from the creek is no longer in existence, and damming the
creek is not a viable option according to the environmentalists that
we've talked to. Ergo, we'd like to simulate water flow over the
wheel with a system of pumps that would recycle the water used. It's
not as nice as having a dam and mill race, but it would be a system
that would provide power to move the millstones. The big snag has
been how to store the water in a bonafide wetland without introducing
additional environmental impact. Turns out the potential solution had
been stuck in the basement. For years we'd thought about placing the
water storage tanks underground. Our NPS Architect said "how
about in the basement? Then you wouldn't have to dig at all!"
So, we're charging on with an acceptable plan.
Anyway, one of the major projects in the village (now that we have the wheel) will be building the sluice to take water over the wheel and to build the main drive shaft for the mill. Check with the "This week in Millbrook Page" for updates and information on how YOU can help this project!