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Saukville Mill
extracted from the Ozaukee Press
March 18, 1948

Sketch by Shirley Gruen
(from photograph submitted by Henry Grady)

Story by Bill Harrington

Saukville--Today it's just a hole in the ground and a heap of rubble, but around the turn ofthe centruy it was one of Saukville's land marks, a thiriving sawmill and flour and grist mill, visited by farmers from miles around who brought their wheat, rye, and buckwheat to be ground and logs to be sawed. During the day there were always a wagon or two drawn up before the loading platform and their drivers could be found lolling about in front of the mill office, passing the time of day and exchanging the latest bits gossip. On the south side of the mill, sprawled in the fragrant grass that grew there, you could see the village loafers snoozing in the sun and on the grassy, flower-strewn banks of the mill pond were perched the youngsters of the surrounding countryside, with homemade hook and line, hopefully fishing. A picture of bucolic peace that is vanishing all too fast from our American scene.

Built in 1878 by Harry Thien, after whom Thiensville was named, and George Guettler, the mill enjoyed great popularity during its relatively brief existence. For brief it was, spanning only two decades. The great "tornado" of July 3rd, 1898 blew off the roof and carried it across the Milwaukee river and onto what is now the Schowalter property on highway 57 on the east side of the river. That was the beginning of the end for the Saukville mill for the seasonal rains came and rotted the floors and the interior. Several years passed, with the mill growing ever more shaky on its foundations. Its only visitors were small boys who climbed about on the structure like agile little monkeys, to the imminent peril of life and limb. Finally, in 1903 or '4 the town of Saukville ordered the building destroyed, and thus ended the short career of the Saukville mill.

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