When Indiana was a very young state, early settlers of the Cedar Creek Valley realized
that the rivers and forests could contribute significantly to their lives by providing
both a means for income, and supplies for building. The result was the construction of
35 water- powered mills from 1827 -1885. Many were located in the Huntertown - Cedarville
area and used as sawmills, or for grinding corn and flour.
First, a dam was erected some distance upstream from the mill. The dam resulted in a
“run” down from the dam. This “run” was the channel where the race water entered the
mill, just before the current flowed over or under the mill wheel. The round stone
that ground the grain and cracked the corn was called the “buhr.” The sawmill used an
upright or circular saw and a 6 foot turbine wheel.
Stoner's Mill (Huntertown Historical Society)
The longest continuously operating sawmill on Cedar Creek was Stoner's Mill, lasting
76 years (1834-1910). It was also the first water-powered mill, built in 1834 in Perry
Township, a little less than a mile south of Big Cedar Creek, near Old Coldwater Road
and near the confluence of Little Cedar and Big Cedar Creeks. In their time, these
mills served the community and their operators well. They were eventually forced to
close due to modern methods and equipment, to tile drainage regulating natural run-off,
and to settlers’ removal of the forested areas which had provided the natural, necessary
watersheds to replenish the streams.