Tide Mill Institute


Committed to Sustainable Industrial Heritage

Tide Mill Times

August, 2011



Last year our conference was held in Arlington, rather than in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to take advantage of the opportunity to see the workings of a mill (even it is a fresh-water mill). This year our conference will be held in Maine!For a number of reasons we will gather this year in Kennebunkport, Maine, at the site of the 1794 James Perkins tidal grist mill. TMI’s goal is to broaden awareness of tide mill heritage to the Maine coast, which can boast a history of over 200 such mills.We are hoping to see many new faces and numerous “regulars,” whose attendance will allow them to view the exciting archaeological work being done on the old mill site and hear about even more exciting restoration plans.More details and directions to the site will be distributed later.

Here’s a preliminary list of conference topics scheduled so far.  Let us know if you have a topic to share!

Keynote Presentation: Will the Tide Mill Do a “Phoenix” and Live Again? – Roger Charlier

History and Archaeology of the James Perkins Grist Mill

Tide Mill Legal Issues: Historic and Current

The History of Tide Mill History

Why So Many? A Revew of Maine's Many Tide Mills


Fulfilling their responsibility as stewards of a site on    the National Register of Historic Places, the  Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is carrying out a detailed archaeological study of the Perkins Grist Mill.  This early July photo (left) shows Peter Morrison scratching his head as his fellow archaeologist Pamela Crane  and project manager Steve Simcock study an emerging cast iron turbine.  This 1794 mill was active until the early 1930s, when it was turned into a tea house (above).  It burned in 1994.Conference participants will be able to see this site first hand at low tide on November 19th.

ACQUIRING A VALUED NAME – For many years, John Goff carried on a focused battle to preserve the Souther Tide Mill in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Other than his own unbridled enthusiasm, his chief tool was “The TIDE MILL TIMES.” This upbeat newsletter highlighted the Souther Mill and other such mills around the world.  His efforts rallying support and educating the public about the heritage of tide mills and their important role in early industrial America rippled across the international molinological fraternity.  John was a key impetus for forming TIDE MILL INSTITUTE in 2005.  Recently, he graciously proposed that our newsletter use the title “Tide Mill Times.”  We’re honored to be able to have that respected title as our header.   THANK YOU, John !

 “TIDE MILLS OF WESTERN EUROPE” EXHIBIT CONTINUES UNABATED -   This fine traveling exhibit, created in 2005, is still making the rounds around Europe.  It was initiated by an international collaborative of tide mill experts beginning in 2004.  It was developed with the organizational skill of Claudia Silveira, who spoke at TMI’s 2007 conference and included efforts by other TMI conference speakers David Plunkett of England’s Eling Mill and Tom McErlean, who led archaeology at the ancient tide mill at Nendrum in Northern Ireland.   

MILL ARCHIVES COMPETITION – AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TIDE MILL RESEARCHERS -   As part of its brief “to promote, encourage or undertake research and disseminate the useful results of such research,” the Mills Archive in Reading, England, is launching two research competitions with cash prizes and guarantees of publication.  The research must be on a topic connected with traditional milling, by wind, water or muscle power.  It must be original, previously unpublished and written in English.  Prizes of Ł500 and Ł50 will be awarded for research pieces of about 25.000 words and about 5000 words respectively.  Rules for the competition can be found at http://www.millsarchivetrust.org.  The Mills Archive has Europe’s largest collection of mill material.

TIDAL POWER FOR A MAINE ISLAND’S ELECTRICITY The energy company, Tideworks LLC has filed an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 5 kilowatt project to be sited in the Sasanoa River, off the east side of Barenbeck  Island  Georgetown near Bath, Maine. This small project was proposed to provide power to a single-family dwelling on the15-acre island. Check this internet link for a description of this project :  http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/2011/07/july-14-2011-tidal-power.html


  a.  advance appreciation of the American and international heritage of tide mill technology;
  b.  encourage research into the location and history of tide mill sites;

  c.  serve as a repository for tide mill data for students, scholars, engineers and the general public  and to support and expand the community of these tide mill stakeholders;
  d.  promote appropriate re-uses of old tide-mill sites and the development of the use
 of tides as an energy source.

Contact TMI

Earl Taylor ERMMWWT@aol.com

Bud Warren BudW@myfairpoint.net

John Goff jgoff@salempreservation.org

Tide Mill Institute         www.tidemillinstitute