Old grist mill marks location of Cotton

Dick's Mill in Cotton still stands after more than 140 years.

Dick's Mill in Cotton still stands after more than 140 years. Photo by David Wilson.

Anyone who stumbles across an old grist mill in the southern part of Cooper County has more than likely taken a wrong turn somewhere. But it wasn't always that way.

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The sign on the old mill is plain to see from the road.

Dick's Mill, which dates from 1869, was of major importance to the community of Cotton and the area in general.

Cotton Drive makes a swing around the historic mill. The facility, once powered by a steam engine salvaged from a Missouri River ferry, served as both a grist mill, which ground grain into flour, and a sawmill.

According to owners Jim Martin and Paul Bloch, the mill operated from 1869 to the mid 1940's.

"It is questionable whether the grist mill or the sawmill was operating last," Martin said.

For more of this story check out the Oct. 5 issue of the California Democrat.

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