The Old Mill

The old mill in Bellona, New York, that is. I hadn’t been in western New York since 2006, but had to go there in September (2012) due to the event described in A Full Circle. Whenever I’m in that area of the country, I usually try to make a side trip to see the mill.

The mill was a central component of the small community when so many of my Scottish ancestors settled around Bellona, in the township of Benton, Yates County, New York, and took up farming when the area was first being settled by Europeans. On September 27, brother Tom, old friend Dan Bohle, and I traveled to Bellona to see it. 

The Grain Mill, Farmall tractor, and pumpkins in Bellona, NY. Nikon N90s with Kodak Ektar 100 film.

Western New York had been experiencing a drought. I could see the effects of the long dry period in the parched look of the ubiquitous corn fields throughout the countryside. The stream that once turned the mill’s waterwheel was nearly nonexistent. We walked across the stream on the shelf of shale stone that forms the upper section of the short falls, and only the soles of our boots got wet.

The dessicated stream that formerly powered the grain mill. Yashica Mat 124 with Kodak Portra 160 film.

The best view of the mill is typically from the stream side, like the photo shown here, which was made with a Kodak DC 3400, but being summer (and despite the drought), the foliage was so thick and obscured so much of the mill that I didn’t bother to make any photos from that viewpoint.