Red MIlls Historic Park is a small but interesting former site of two mills: a grist mill and a ‘carding mill’. I’d never heard of one of these, but Wikipedia describes carding as: “… a mechanical process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibers to produce a continuous web or sliver suitable for subsequent processing This is achieved by passing the fibers between differentially moving surfaces covered with card clothing. It breaks up locks and unorganised clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibres to be parallel with each other.” The mill must have automated this process.

A New York Times article from 1991 states:

One of the first areas in Mahopac to be developed was what is now the corner of Route 6N and Myrtle Avenue, where there was a fast-flowing stream powerful enough to turn large mill stones. In the 1700’s, a grist mill — the largest building in Putnam County — was built there. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers guarded the mill so grain could be ground to supply food for the army. One of the original mill stones now forms part of the front steps of the Red Mills branch of the Mahopac National Bank.

For those interested in the technology used in the old mills a large sign provides a description. Other signs cover the economic importance of mills at that time and provide the history of two local churches.

The stone waterways are impressive. Made of local stone from a nearby quarry the are not connected to the mills and were not built until later. They meader through the park and are crossed by a number of wooden footbridges.

There’s a large gazebo on the site. One of the information signs points out that the top of the gazebo mimics that of one of the old churches, formerly on the site but long since moved.

The park is along the route of Sybil Ludington’s ride as a nearby historical marker points out.

Statue in the park. I’ve no idea what, if anything, it represents.

One of the watercourses

Gazebo and water course

Icicles on the adjoining Bank.

Leave a Reply