BRISTOL — Demonstrations and hands-on activities showed visitors to Bonneyville Mill Heritage Day how things used to be done, which on Saturday, Sept. 14, included the running mill.
In the mid 1830s, Edward Bonney established the mill, harnessing the power of water to grind grain. In the 1930s, the horsepower generated from the mill supplied hydroelectric power to about 45 customers. Today, visitors to Bonneyville Mill Park can still buy fresh wheat, rye and buckwheat flour, and corn meal ground by the mill.
Brook, Paige and Nicole Simmons came to Bonneyville Mill Heritage Day with their Nana, Julie Bellows, and tried grinding corn with a mortar and pestle.
“We come mostly every year,” said Brooke. She and her sisters were looking forward to the greased pumpkin obstacle course and the barnyard pony pull.
The day offered a lot to see, including sawmill and antique agricultural equipment demonstrations, oxen in action and the one-room schoolhouse.
“We try to get here every year,” said Mark Schumaker. He and his wife, Juanita, brought their granddaughter, Kierstan Lane, 7. “Kierstan already got to go on a horse-drawn wagon ride, and now she wants to dip a candle.”
Among the activities children could participate in were a sack race, tug-o-war, egg race, corn-eating contest, skillet toss and stringing doughnuts.
“We have good weather, and a nice little crowd is starting to build up,” said Jerry Good, marketing coordinator for the Elkhart County Parks Department before the barnyard pony pull. “I’m having a good time, and I think others are too.”
Visitors could vote for their favorite scarecrow display, enjoy pancakes and sausage, pulled pork, ham and bean soup, and listen to musicians as they strolled through the park.
Among the many things to take home from the farmers market were fresh baked goods, tomatoes, apples, pumpkins and gourds.