We visited the historic Kawana flour mill near Matahiwi.  This mill was built in 1854 and is the last remaining flour mill on the Whanganui River.  Wheat was an important crop at this time, and with funds from Government, local Maori, and Governor George Grey, several of these water-driven mills were built in the 1850’s.  This mill was built by local Maori and millwright Peter McWilliam using Totara logs salvaged from the river by volunteers.  The millstones and cast-iron machinery were carried upstream by a fleet of 32 canoes.

Flour was ground here for over 50 years, but after this the building was gradually dismantled, only the machinery, wheel, and millstones surviving.  The two-room cottage belonging to the last miller also survived and was moved to its present site and restored in 1980.  The mill itself has been rebuilt.

Loved the reflections in the old cottage window…

8 thoughts on “GRINDING…

  1. Nice pictures of the place. The story makes me think about the transition from old fashion to mechanized version. How those old fashion millers transition to the new way of milling.

  2. Got to just love an old mill . . . Some years ago we stayed on an old Italian estate: our lodging was in a remodeled mill with the stream still running through and the millworks all intact . . . Fabulous!

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