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First Flour Mill, American Fork

Location: 49 East 200 North, American Fork, UT, on the same block where the second Arza Adams mill was located next to the millstream.


Arza Adams (1804-1889), pioneer millwright from Canada, came to Utah Valley with other pioneers to settle this area in 1850, soon after the first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Arza built a waterpowered “grist” mill on the adjacent creek to turn a pair of mill stones to grind wheat into flour. The mill stone atop this monument was used in Arza’s first mill located at 3rd South Center St. (See Adams history plaque at A.F. Cemetery Pioneer Mon.)

In 1853, Brigham Young directed pioneer settlers to build forts to avoid conflict with Native Americans. Arza relocated his flour mill upstream just north of the Lake City Fort (American Fork), located about 450 feet south of this monument. New machinery and other improvements were added to that flour mill pictured here (photo drawing by Gail Gibson). In the 1880’s Arza built another mill about a mile north of American Fork on this same creek.

The history of grinding seeds with stones is very ancient. The Native Americans here in Utah Valley, known as Timpanogos Utes, used grinding stones like the ones shown below this monument. These stones came from the Doyle Smith farm near Utah Lake. The basin stone is called a metate, and the hand-held stone is called a mano. The Native Americans shared their locally adapted seeds, such as beans, corn, squash, etc., with pioneer settlers. This exchange helped build peaceful relations.

This monument was erected with cobble stones from the mill creek by the Timpanogos Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. Dedicated July 28, 2012. SUP Mon. No. 171.

See other historic markers in the series on this page for SUP Markers.

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