Nebraska March 24, 2017
A Trip To This Charming Historic Mill In Nebraska Is Unforgettable
Grist mills once dotted the shores of water bodies throughout the state, using water power to grind grain into flour. Not many of them still exist, but the mill in Neligh (Antelope County) has been beautifully preserved.
The mill was built on the banks of the Elkhorn River in 1873.
It used a horizontal waterwheel to harness the power of the dammed river and turn the gear in the mill's basement.
In its heyday, the mill ground corn, wheat, and buckwheat to create a variety of fresh, delicious meals and flours.
It operated for nearly a century before closing in 1969.
The mill turned out countless amounts of high-quality grain products that originated from the fields in the surrounding countryside.
The mill bridge which stands on the site today is not the original.
This one was built in 1910 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
But inside the mill, all of the original equipment from the 1800s is still in place.
This is the original grindstone from the mill's early existence. It (and the other 19th century equipment) was not in use through the mill's entire lifetime, but it has been preserved exceptionally well and is now on display.
This is a roller mill from 1888.
The Neligh Mill Site Administrator explains how the apparatus worked.
The mill is a lovely and informative museum today, displaying not only the mill's original equipment but also other memorabilia from the time.
These bags display other types of products which were made by the mill at various times.
Several festivals are held at the mill every year to celebrate its integral part in the town's - and the region's - history.
Old Mill Days is on July 4th and the Bread and Jam Festival is held on the first Saturday after Labor Day.
The site is now managed by the Nebraska State Historical Society as a branch museum.
The historical marker on site reads:
With the establishment of the Neligh Mill and the platting of the town of Neligh, a crossing of the Elkhorn River here aided farm-to-market commerce. This bridge, built in 1910, replaced an earlier span at this location. It is a pin-connected Pratt through truss, a mainstay of early Nebraska wagon bridges. It serves as a reminder of bridges' importance to the development of Nebraska towns, commerce, and industry. The bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Group tours of the facility are available year-round with reservations. The mill’s regular hours are:
Memorial Day – Labor Day:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 AM – Noon and 1 PM – 5 PM
Sunday: 1 PM – 5 PM
September – May:
Monday – Friday: 10 AM – Noon and 1 PM – 5 PM
You can find the mill at N Street & Wylie Drive in Neligh. Learn more at the
NE Historical Society’s site.