In 1855 this valley was discovered by Isaac Riddle an Indian Missionary, while searching for a lost cow. The first sawmill south of the rim of the Great Basin was built on this site in 1855-1856 by Robert Richey, Jehu Blackburn and Isaac Riddle.
The first homes in the valley were erected around the mill. Pine Valley became the source of much of the lumber used in early towns of souther Utah and Nevada.
The Old Mill
On this site, in 1876, the Cedar Co-operative Mercantile and Manufacturing Institution constructed the Cedar Co-op Mill. It was a large, three-story wooden building. The original two sets of four foot grinding stones were turned by water which was brought in a ditch from Coal Creek to the South and East. This mill ground the flour, cereal and livestock food for much of Iron County. In 1900 the grinding stones were replaced by a set of rollers. The Mill was changed to a plaster mill in 1914 and operated until 1945. In 1952 the building was torn down and the property sold to Cedar City. For many years this mill was a hub of activity in this valley.
During the winter of 1850-51, Arza and Sabina Adams moved their family of seven children here from Mill Creek, Salt Lake Valley. They built a log cabin across the street east of where you stand. Journals tell that Arza built a Grist Mill near his log cabin. Arza learned how to build and operate flour mills from his father, Capt. Joshua Adams, in Ontario, Canada. The Adams Flour Mill was the first to produce baking flour for American Fork families. In 1833 Arza moved the water wheel, mill stones and other workings 4½ blocks north of here and built a larger mill near the Lake City Fort. During his lifetime, Arza also built and operated a third flour mill one mile north of town.
No photographs exist of the original 1851 mill. The log cabin and water wheel in front of you is a replication of that grist mill. Arza Adams built this log cabin at 234 North 100 East, American Fork in 1880. It became the home of his daughter, Bets Adams Robinson. The cabin was taken down log by log in 2012 and reassembled on this site in 2014. The water wheel is a replica of a wheel built in the mid 1800s. This park property originally belonged to Stephen Chipman who was Arza’s maternal uncle.
This Log Cabin Grist Mill stands as a Historical Monument of American Fork City and a tribute to Arza Adams, pioneer miller and one of the co-founders of this city.
SUP Monument dedicated July 11, 2015 by Daniel K. Adams, Arza’s Great-Grandson.
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.
EARLY FLOUR MILLING
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.
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Gardner’s Saw Mill was erected by Robert Gardner and his sons Archibald, Robert and William, on warm springs stream, in Salt Lake City, Oct. 1847 where three boards were sawed. The mill was moved to this site in 1848 producing the first commercial lumber in Utah on the first formal grant of water for industrial use. Later, a flour mill was erected a few rods upstream, these plants giving the name, Millcreek, to the stream and canyon. Gardner’s Fort, domicile of the Gardner families, was located a short distance northeast, the Gardners receiving the first permit to leave the pioneer fort.
Heritage Park, one of Springville’s Parks.
Heritage Park Flagpole – Dedicated 1976 in honor of Margaret Bird Conover.
Memorial Bench for George Schmidt (1926-2009)
Friend and mentor to thousands of Eagle Scouts.
Springville Heritage Park
Dedicated to the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the United States of America and sponsored by the Utah American revolution Bicentennial Commission and Springville Federated Women’s Clubs.
An official Bicentennial project of the sponsors, this park is on property acquired by Jacob Houtz in 1851. In 1915 it became a federal fish hatchery and was abandoned in 1922. Until deeded to Springville City in 1976 for exclusive park use, the site was neglected and unkempt.
Mills is an unincorporated community located in Juab County, Utah, United States. The cemetery and few building remnants remain.
Settled as a railroad town, it was also known as Wellington in the mid to late 1800’s. Many residents lived in dugouts or cabins. There was a local general store owned by John Williams, who lived nearby. John Williams Canyon was named after Williams.
Richville was located between Lake Point and Tooele near the former site of E. T. City. Saw, woolen, and flour mills were built nearby and subsequently names were developed: Mills, Milton, Millvale, and Milltown. For a short period of time Richville was the county seat. After the county seat was moved to Tooele and the mills shut down, the community was abandoned. Today it is Mills Junction.
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445 feet west at this monument is the site of the pioneer flour mill erected in the spring of 1848 by John Neff, 1847 Pioneer. The burrs were bought by him at Winter Quarters from Brigham Young at whose request they were brought to Utah. The granite block in the monument is part of one of the mill stones. The mill began operations in March, 1848, and was the first in the valley to produce refined flour. The builder, noted for his humanitarianism, refused $1.00 a pound for flour from emigrants to California, selling it to the needy poor at 6 cents a pound and frequently giving it to those unable to buy.
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