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Ortonville Community Historical Society to host: Early Life of Old Mill

Ike Hamilton, son of past mill owners, to discuss working at operational mill in the 1940s

August 21, 2013 - Ike Hamilton recalls his father Jack, along with a co-worker, falling through the floor in the Old Mill.

"The floor gave way and day along with a man named Armstrong were loading sacks of corn and the floor gave way," recalls Ike.

"I remember they ended up in the basement down where the grinding stones were with bags of corn on top of them. Fortunately, they were unharmed. I really don't recall why the floor failed, but it was an old building back in he 1940s."

Ike, now 77 and a resident of Traverse City, will be at the Old Mill Museum from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sept. 7 as a guest of the Ortonville Community Historical Society.

Ike worked at the mill once owned by his parents, Jack and Emeline Hamilton, who purchased the gristmill in 1943. The couple operated the mill for their feed and seed business until about 1961. The mill was closed for eight years, and in 1968, the Hamiltons donated it to the Ortonville Community Historical Society to be used for a museum.

"We cracked and shelled corn at the mill along with all kinds of grain for the customers," said Ike, a 1953 Ortonville High School graduate.

"At some point in the 1940s Dad stopped using the water driven mill and changed to an electric hammer mill. It was a better set-up than the stone mill. But I have a lot of memories growing up at a functional mill."

The public is invited to join the historical society. Details: Mary Alice Seelbinder, 248-627-4429 or Judy Miracle, 248-884-8585.

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