Thursday, August 31, 2023

Neligh Mill Historical Park Stop #  40 pg # 47

We last visited this park a long time ago, maybe around 30 years ago.  We're not sure if any changes have happened.  I read that an old wooden elevator that used to be on the site has been removed but I'm not sure.  

I do know that the Elkhorn river channel has changed but not in 2019 like so many other flood changes that took place in Nebraska.  This one happened in 2010.  The river washed out the south embankment from the bridge.  The main channel now flows south of the old bridge instead of under it.  The bridge is still in use and has a pretty good weight limit.


Not a good photo.  The extension added on the far end is about 100' long.  You'll just have to check it out in person.

The mill itself is also getting some reconstruction.  Much of the old footings and original timbers under the mill are being replaced.  Inside, most of the old machinery is still in place right where it always was.

Here you see one of the grain rollers with the top removed so the rollers are visible.  All those wooden tubes behind it are belt elevators.  The grain usually had to go through the rollers multiple times.  For the really best flour it could have been as many as 14 times.

After milling, it went to the bagging station. The bags were filled by hand.  You may have noticed all the flat belts all over.  Everything was run by water power for the first few years, which turned a large shaft that then distributed power to other smaller shafts.  A dam on the river brought water to a turbine outside that turned the main shaft in the basement.

After two floods which broke the dam each time, they went to electricity to run the main shaft.  Surprisingly, during the whole operating time of the mill, no one was ever killed and only one serious injury occurred.  The mill operated from 1874 until 1969.

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