Mar 082014
 

This historic water-powered Bale Grist Mill, built in 1846, was once the center of social activity as Napa Valley settlers gathered to have their corn and wheat ground into meal or flour. The owner of the mill was Dr. Edward Turner Bale, who received the property in a land grant from the Mexican government and lived near the site until his death in 1849. Farmers brought grain to the mill where it was placed into the boot of an elevator to be mechanically transported upstairs where it was cleaned by various types of equipment. The slow turning of the old grind stones and the dampness of the mill’s site gave the meal a special quality for making cornbread, yellowbread, shortening bread and spoon bread. The mill remained in use until the early 1900s. The mill and its 36-foot water wheel are protected as a state historic landmark and have been partially restored. Another site of interest is the site of the first church in the Napa Valley as well as the Pioneer Cemetery. You can either park at the Grist Mill or hike to the Mill from Bothe-Napa Valley State Park (about 2 miles round trip).The historic park is three miles north of St. Helena (3369 N St.) on Highway 29.Lat/Long: 38.5052 / -122.4691. •parks.ca.gov/?page_id=482

 

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