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Rock Mill at Stebelton Park

Updated: May 8


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park - Drive-by Bonus

Ohio History


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130
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"The wonderful thing about being a writer is that everything is grist to the mill." ~ Jane Green

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Lancaster, Ohio, lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Rock Mill is located within Stebelton Park at 1429 Rock Mill Place NW, Lancaster, OH 43130. It offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From its historic mill to its pristine natural surroundings, Rock Mill is a wonderful place for visitors to relax.




A Journey Through Time: The History of Rock Mill

Step back in time as you explore the rich history of Rock Mill. Originally constructed in the early 1800s, Rock Mill served as a vital hub for milling grain in the region. The remnants of the historic mill, with its weathered stone walls and rustic charm, stand as a testament to the area's industrial past. Learn about the mill's significance in shaping the local economy and gain insight into the lives of those who worked within its walls.

 

Rock Mill (1799-1820): Origins and Expansion

The journey began in 1799 when Joseph Loveland and Hezikiah Smith erected the first Rock Mill. Alongside it emerged a general store, tannery, distillery, and the iconic Blue Ball Tavern, marking a period of flourishing enterprise. However, after 21 years, the inaugural mill met its demise, tumbling into the gorge in 1820.

 

Rock Mill (1820-1822): A Fleeting Revival

In 1820, James Brook undertook the task of rebuilding Rock Mill. Though the exact date remains uncertain, memories from James' grandson, B. M. Brook, shed light on its construction. Regrettably, just two years later, in 1822, flooding spelled the end for the second mill.



Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

 

Rock Mill (1824-Present): Endurance and Adaptation

Christian Morehart embarked on constructing the third Rock Mill in 1824, positioning it strategically higher to mitigate flood risks. This mill, towering five and a half stories, became a symbol of resilience. Over the years, ownership changed hands, and renovations ensued, with a significant overhaul in 1899 and a transition to steam power in 1901.



Nikon COOLPIX P950 Compact Digital Camera with 83x Optical Zoom Super Telephoto Lens Bundle

 

Restoration and Renewal: A New Chapter Unfolds

After lying dormant for nearly a century, the Stebelton family initiated a restoration project in the early 2000s. The meticulous process, including excavation, replication of parts, and installation of a replica waterwheel, culminated in Rock Mill's grand reopening in 2017. Today, it stands as a beacon of historical preservation. The mill draws visitors from near and far to witness its resplendent revival and celebrate Lancaster's rich heritage.


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130


Rock Mill Covered Bridge

The Rock Mill Covered Bridge, an iconic landmark is adjacent to the mill. It stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity and historical preservation. Constructed in 1901 by Jacob R. "Blue Jeans" Brandt, utilizing the queenpost truss design, this bridge spans the majestic Hocking River. The bridge measures 36.5 feet in length with 5 feet of overhang at each end. It serves as a replacement for the original 1849 and 1880 bridges.

 

While no longer accessible to vehicular traffic, the bridge offers a serene vantage point. It has become a cherished retreat for photographers seeking to capture the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

 

In 2008, efforts were undertaken to restore the Rock Mill covered bridge. Today, the Rock Mill Covered Bridge stands as a silent sentinel, bridging the gap between the past and the present.



Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130


Barn swallows (Love birds) metal tree art metal bird garden Steel Rusty Silver Copper Gold Black, a lovely gift


The Beauty of Stebelton Park

Prepare to be captivated by the natural beauty that surrounds Rock Mill. Stebelton Park isn’t very big, but there are a variety of things to do. Including:

 

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

  • Photography

Grab your camera and unleash your creativity amidst the stunning vistas of Rock Mill. From the cascading waters of the Hocking River to the rustic charm of the mill, every corner of this park offers a unique opportunity for photographers. Whether you're capturing the vibrant hues of autumn foliage or the soft light of a sunrise, Rock Mill provides endless inspiration for aspiring and seasoned photographers alike.

 


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

  • Birding

Birdwatching at Rock Mill is a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages. As you explore the park's serene surroundings, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species. From colorful songbirds to majestic raptors, Rock Mill offers ample opportunities for birders.

 

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Rockmill Lancaster Ohio
Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  • Relax

Escape the stresses of modern life and reconnect with nature at Rock Mill. As you breathe in the fresh air and soak in the serene atmosphere, allow yourself to let go of worries and distractions.


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

 

  • Rock Mill Days

Rock Mill Days at the park is an annual celebration of history and community. Visitors are able to step back in time and experience the charm of days gone by. Held amidst the scenic backdrop of Rock Mill, this event features a vibrant array of activities for the whole family to enjoy. From guided tours of the historic mill to hands-on demonstrations of traditional crafts and trades, Rock Mill Days offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich heritage of the area.



Millstone Soap by gristmillgifts on Etsy


Literature in the Kiosk

Below are pictures of the literature that is located in the kiosk. It is a little hard to read, so I have written it out for you. I do not know who the original author is.


Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

Stebelton Part at Rock Mill

Stebelton Part at Rock Mill is named for Bob Stebelton, who did much to save what was a vacant, decaying mill. Once he decided to donate the property to Fairfield County Park District, a labor-intensive restoration began. In 2017, Rock Mill once again can to life, and ground grain for the first time in over a century.

 

 

The present mill was built in 1824. There were two previous mills at this location, both of which were destroyed.

 

Rock Mill is a gristmill. ‘Grist’ means grain and a gristmill is where grain was ground. Many communities were dependent on their local gristmills. Some farmers who did not have a closer mill would need to travel for days with their wheat and corn. Without a mill in the area, farming would have been slow to develop.

 

The Hocking River powers this 26 ft. waterwheel.


 

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

Hockhocking River

The Hocking River derives its name from the Delaware work ‘hockhocking,’ meaning “gourd-shaped.” The unusual term refers to the waterfall and gorge here at Rock Mill. When viewed from above, the features resemble a gourd. The Hocking River was known as the Hockhocking until the late nineteenth century.


 

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

What is a Gristmill?

A gristmill is where grain is ground into flour and meal. The word ‘grist’ means grain.

 

Grains are ground into flour and meal by the millstones, two large and flat circular stones. The Stone spindle turns the upper millstone. The stone spindle is connected to the gears. The energy needed to work the gears is created by the swift current of the nearby river powering the large wooden waterwheel.


 

Rock Mill at Stebelton Park 1429 Rock Mill Place NW Lancaster, OH  43130

The Millstones

Inside a gristmill, grain is crushed and ground into flour and meal between two large, circular stones called ‘millstones.’

 

The surface of each millstone has a special pattern. The groves, also called ‘furrows,’ push flour out the edge of the stones.

 

All sorts of patterns were carved into millstones.

 

After much use, the millstones need to be redressed. The miller uses a special iron pick to hammer designs into the stone.



Millstone Coasters



 

Conclusion

 In the heart of Lancaster, Ohio, Rock Mill at Stebelton Park invites visitors to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery. With its rich history and breathtaking scenery, Rock Mill offers a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike.



What You Can Expect at Flight of the Hawk Park

Please note that trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Stebelton Park at Rock Mill as of April 2024.


Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

There are no restrooms.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

There are no bike trails.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

We saw a few birds. However, we visited about a week before spring migration was in full force.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Rock Mill covered bridge.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Concealed carry is permitted.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Pets are permitted if they have a valid registration tag and are under physical control of the owner. Leash cannot be more than six feet long.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

No trails.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Blacktop parking lot with 6 parking spaces. There is an overflow parking lot for special occasions.


Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Two picnic tables.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

A bench and millstone seat.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Decent amount of shade.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

No shelter house.


Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

One trashcan.



Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

1 ADA parking spots.




Rock Mill Lancaster Ohio

Special Features - Historical mill and covered bridge.






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