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Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park History Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Dr. Edward Bale built a grist mill at this site in 1846. The mill was used for grinding grain (grist) into wheat flour. Water from Mill Creek was diverted into Mill Pond and delivered by redwood flumes to the top of the waterwheel. The weight of the water turned the 20-foot wheel, which turned the millstones, which ground the grist. The water-powered mill was used until 1905. The mill has since been restored with a larger 36-foot diameter wheel. It is one of only two surviving water-driven mills west of the Mississippi River. Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park is adjacent to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The parks are connected by Highway 29 and the 1.2-mile History Trail. This hike begins from the east end of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and leads to Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. The trail passes an old pioneer cemetery with marked graves dating back to the mid-1800s. The hike climbs a ridge under a forest canopy, then descends into the Mill Creek drainage and the mill."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes Around Sonoma County (Day Hike Books).
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