“The Land Trust’s reactivation of the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill honors the Mill’s past while continuing its remarkable ability to bring community together,” said Preserve RI in an announcement of the Rhody Award winners. “This rare survivor of a bygone agricultural era attracted supporters from all over the community. Volunteers provided labor and contributed materials to restore the mill building and water course, making the historic grist mill functional once again.”
In 2012, South Kingstown Land Trust took ownership of the historic Samuel Perry Grist Mill and adjoining three acres on its Mill Pond. It is a very rare–perhaps unique–example of a mill in continuous use from the early eighteenth century.
Serving as a focal point of the agrarian community for three hundred years, it ekes out enough power from as little as eight feet of hydraulic head to turn half-ton hand-chiseled five-foot-diameter granite millstones. The corn that is used is as traditional as the mill itself—a closely guarded strain of white flint corn traded down ever since the first decades of Indian contact.
Although we are not experts in the art of milling, SKLT highly values this tradition and will act as custodian for the mill and assist the current millers to teach their skills to younger generations.