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Rensselaerville Library Online Collections

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The Rensselaerville Grist Mill

The first mill on this site was built in 1789 by Samuel Jenkins of West Stockbridge, MA. It was powered by an overshot wheel. After the mill burned down in 1879, the present mill was built in 1880 with a turbine to power it. Water from the Ten Mile Creek is channeled through a flume (pipe), down a 40-foot drop to the turbine. The force of the falling water spins the turbine. This power is transferred by a series of shafts, pulleys and belts, running all the different machinery throughout the mill. The mill ceased regular operations in 1945, ending 156 years of mill history on this spot.

In 1975 the Rensselaerville Historical Society purchased the Grist Mill, its present headquarters, and embarked on the task of preserving the turbine-driven mill for use as a "living museum" of the community’s agricultural and early industrial past. The Louise Keppie Research Room at the Mill preserves a growing town archive and genealogy collection, available to the public at regular hours during the summer season, and by appointment at other times.

Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 1964, the Rensselaerville Historical Society collects materials that illustrate and explain the history of Rensselaerville and its environs, as well as the lives of its people. The Society also preserves such materials, making them accessible for scholarly use, and presents public programs and exhibits that interpret Rensselaerville’s history. Historical Society members publish a quarterly newsletter, conduct mill tours, prepare exhibits, offer educational programs, answer genealogical inquiries, and publish a number of historical books and pamphlets. Write to POB 8, Rensselaerville, NY 12147.

Rensselaerville Gristmill Ledger, 1908-1911 Part of business records of the Rensselaerville Gristmill held by the Rensselaerville Historical Society.

This ledger book is a record of the gristmill’s business activity 1908-1911. The book includes an alphabetical name index of townspeople who had accounts with the mill. The account book records, for each individual; the date, the type and quantity of agricultural product processed by the mill, the price charged for that service, and the dates the accounts were paid. As accounts were paid in full a large "check mark" was drawn on the ledger page.

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Rensselaerville Grist Mill Ledger Book Index

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Rensselaerville Grist Mill Ledger Book


Grist Mill Diagram

History of the Rensselaerville Grist Mill


History of the Town and Village

The Rensselaerville Historical Society Research Collection


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1999 Upper Hudson Library System

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