Tide Mill Institute

Conference description appears below along with a few photos -- see newsletter for a more detailed report


Quick Summary:

TIDE MILL INSTITUTE had a great conference this weekend.  58 people showed up.  The topic was “The Tide Mill: A Once and Future Thing.” About 15 historical societies were represented.  In the near future, we will post a report of the proceedings.

Speakers included Roger Charlier from the University of Brussels, whose broad-brush presentation emphasized the internationality of tide mills through the years. Bud Warren, who has documented 223 tide mill sites in Maine, talked about Maine’s Salt Water Mills. Todd Griset spoke about legal issues of tide mills, past and present.  Archaeologist Peter Morrison and Grist Mill Project director Steve Simcock talked about the 1749 James Perkins mill in Kennebunkport. 

We made a field trip to the site of that mill to see archaeological work being done before Kennebunkport Conservation Trust starts to build a recreation of the mill and grinding grain for real.

Exploring & Interpreting Maine’s Salt Water Mills

A Conference for Historical Societies
And Those Seeking to Utilize Sustainable Energy

Tide Mills, once a major part of Maine’s coastal environment, are all gone. Most of our water front towns boasted one or two salt-water saw mills or grist mills.

This conference/workshop offers a chance from historical societies and others to discover the heritage of a lost technology that played an important role in Maine’s coastal economy and to learn how your historic society can can research and interpret tide mills that were once in your own back yard.

Hear from historians studying tide mills in Maine and around the world and from those involved in preserving and restoring these historic mills. Visit an active archaeological site at the 1740’s James Perkins Grist Mill. Learn about historic and contemporary tide mill legal issues. Share your own mill stores and collaborate with others in planning to tell the story of Maine’s salt water mills!

FRI, Nov. 18, 6-8 pm and SAT, Nov. 19, 2011 8:30-4.00
At Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, 57 Gravelly Brook Road, Kennebunkport, ME


Friday 6-8 pm Information Reception


8:15 Registration
9:00 Welcome & Introductions
9:15 “Will the Tide Mill do a Phoenix?” – Roger Charlier, University of Brussels
10:15 History & Archaeology of Tide Mills
11:00 Field Trip to view Archaeology at the Perkins Grist Mill site
1:15 Maine’s Many Tide Mills
2:15 Tide Mill Legal Issues: Then & Now
3:15 Open Forum – Historical Society others explore the future
4:00 Adjourn

This conference was a collaboration between Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and Tide Mill Institute. A grant from the Maine Humanities Council supported the event.

Questions? Bud Warren 207-373-1209 o
r budw@myfairpoint.net 

Keynote speaker Roger Charlier squinting into the sun - apologies for photography

HABS elevaton drawing of Perkins Mill

Conference guests lounging in reception area of our venue in Kennebunkport