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Mill History

Original Mill

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In 1847, Wisconsin was part of the Northwest Territory. The federal government issued a grant for the development of water power in what was to became the Village of Dundee in the southeast corner of FondduLac Co. Men from Europe and eastern United States roamed the area in search of locations on rivers and lakes suitable for a water-powered mill. As the area to the north of Dundee was fed by springs, a few of these men decided to build a mill in Dundee. 

  In 1855, E.M. McIntosh and Stephen Palmer built the dam, formed the berms, created the millrace and built a sawmill. The dam was built to raise the water level sufficiently to drive the water wheel, creating what we now know as Long Lake. A large causeway was cut through a limestone ledge to form a channel. The mill became a reality. Trees were plentiful but lumber for building was scarce. The sawmill operators looked forward to a successful business. But the population of the area did not increase as expected and the demand for lumber declined. The sawmill fell on hard times and discontinued operations.
  Pioneer farmers were growing wheat successfully  in the virgin soil of the area. The wheat needed to be milled to meet the increasing demand for flour. With a few refinements, the sawmill became a flourmill. Wheat was shipped into nearby Campbellsport by train and  carried into Dundee by horse and wagon. After the wheat was milled, the procedure was reversed and the flour was shipped to national markets.
  The early 1870s brought challenges. The soil became exhausted. Grain rust and smut plagued crops for several seasons. The cinch bug, a grayish black insect with a mosquito-like beak, made its appearance, drilling holes into the stalk of wheat and sucking the juice. By the 1880’s, wheat growing and milling were halted.
  In the 1880s Jacob Arimond took over the mill from Frank Hollister. The grandfather of the local Arimond family had settled in Dundee, purchasing the store and stock from A. Larsdt in May 1866. Three years later, he built a large two-story building in Dundee and moved his store to that location. The store also housed the local post office. Jacob and his son Leo Arimond started the Dundee Electric Company between 1898 and 1900. A large dynamo was installed in the mill and electric lines were strung to both Cascade and Campbellsport. In combination with the driving power of the water-driven turbine, the generator could not produce enough electric power to send direct current eight miles to Campbellsport and the business failed.
  After the failure of the Dundee Electric Co. and the death of Jacob Arimond, the family sold their property in Dundee including the mill. Dairy farming in the area was on the rise. Some farmers did not immediately build silos. They raised oats and winter wheat, which needed to be ground into grist to feed their cows over the long Wisconsin winters. The mill again turned to grinding grain.
  The 3-story mill building was destroyed by fire in 1925 and rebuilt in 1926 as a 2- story building. 20th century mill operators included John Schenk, Herman Molkenthein, Bill Little, Henry Kelling, Albert Koepke and Lloyd Murphy.

Memories from lifetime Dundee resident Leo Brown dent Leo Brown

This episode took place in approximately 1936 or 1937. Many years ago, my dad and I made a trip down to the mill to have oats ground into feed for the cows. I, of course, had to go along because wherever my dad went, I was not far behind. I had to be three or four years old. I was with Dad at the mill where we went every week. As my mother told it, I must have been looking down in the hopper where Dad had emptied bag of grain. He went out to the wagon for another bag of oats, and when he came to dump it in the hopper, I was down in the hopper, crying like the devil, which was a good thing or I would have been covered with oats from the next bag! No one would have known where I was because when the mill was running, it got pretty noisy in there.Between my dad and the miller--whose name I think was Kehling--they got me out and no harm was done to me. But I was awfully scared, and my dad was, too.  

1980 aerial view of Dundee
1980 Aerial View of Dundee with hwy 67 coming in from the right.
  Milling was discontinued in the 1950’s and the building fell into a state of disrepair. In 1990 the Town of Osceola purchased the mill property. The Partners of the Dundee Mill & Park was formed and the property started being restored.
 
Major Donor
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2009  Last Modified on Nov. 21, 2022 by Nancy Durn