The Little Mill


| November/December 1993



The grinder solo

The grinder solo.

5801 E. 5th St. Tucscon, Arizona 85711

I found and bought this corn sheller in Julian, California, in September 1991, while attending the town's annual Apple Harvest Festival.

And by the way, during this event, the town's various shops are squeezing apple cider and some have bakeries where the most scrumptious of apple pies are made and sold. One in particular is 'Mom's Apple Pies.' You can stand outside on the sidewalk and look through picture windows and watch them inside preparing pies. Then if you want, you can go inside and order whole pies or have a slice with or without real French vanilla ice cream.

This store was also operating an old time hand crank apple peeler and corer at the time; I mean a peeler that you dump a whole bushel basket into at a time. And along the road leading into the town from the west, there were roadside stands by nearly every countryside house and church that were selling pies. Julian is an old gold mining town up in the mountains about 60 miles northeast of San Diego, California. There is an old gold mine guided tour that is very interesting, as there is an old horizontal, one-lunger underground, used as a hoist engine. The mine entrance where you pay to go in there is a five stamp mill. The owner of the mining property had five engines in his museum stuck off in a dusty, dark corner, where it was hard to see, and an old storage shed with all kinds of parts like mags, carbs, parts for old cars, etc. that had been given to him. In the yard are various old trucks, cars, even an old cement mixer powered by a one-lunger horizontal, but wouldn't you know it, he wouldn't part with any of those small parts in the shed or the engines. When I told him I was a fan of all those old things, then he opened up his storage shed and showed me all those nifty old parts.

Anyway, getting back to the sheller you would think I had to pay a whole lot for it if I told you I bought it from an antique shop, but I did buy it from an antique shop at less than a hundred dollars. All the wood and metal parts were in good to excellent condition; just needed restoring.

The sheller was pictured with an inquiry in GEM's Reflections section (January 1992 edition, page 2). I received several responses on it and they were all very helpful toward restoration. Three in particular helped me the most with making a stencil for the gold design and the green and red striping. I thank all those who wrote me and I particularly thank GEM and C. H. Wendel, because without them I would not have had the help necessary to restore it. GEM is the greatest magazine in my book! Keep up the good work, C. H. Wendel!