OCTOBER 27, 2012

We walked on rural asphalt roads with gentle rise and fall, curving through pastoral and forested areas along Cedar Creek. Midpoint was a short out and back on a steep hill to the historic Cedar Creek Grist Mill and charming covered wooden bridge. We enjoyed colorful autumn foliage along the route.

The Friends of Cedar Creek were at the mill from 1-4 with working demonstrations, historical anecdotes, and we learned about the wheat and corn milled on-site using only the power from Cedar Creek.

    The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is the only grain grinding mill in Washington state that has maintained its original structural integrity. The mill uses large, heavy stones for grinding and is powered by water. The mill grinds a variety of whole-grain flours and cornmeal, and has been known to grind about 8,000 pounds of apples at its annual Apple Press, scenting the air with cider. 

    The mill was built in 1876 by George Woodham and his two sons. In the 1950's, the State Fisheries Department bought the property and built a fish ladder. In 1961 the Fort Vancouver Historical Society leased the mill and placed it on the National Register of Historic Places. A group of local residents formed "The Friends of Cedar Creek Grist Mill" in 1980 and authentically restored the mill in 1989 as a project to celebrate the Washington State Centennial. 

    The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is now a working museum, where tours are given to show the inside workings of the mill during its heyday. The adjacent covered wooden bridge was constructed in 1995. This charming rural setting draws visitors from all over the United States.

annotated photos by Louise Baltes
other photos by Starr McKee

Tom putting up one of the trail markers. Note the rain on his jacket.


Tom & Joe Kelley putting up signs in the dark


Typical scene on our walk along the countryside


Aqueduct above with fish ladder below adjacent to the river


Grist mill established in 1876


Woodland grist mill and covered bridge


Aqueduct for the grist mill