Richfield Historical Society

Richfield, WI

Mayer Mill  in 1912  Messer/Mayer Mill Timeline Messer/Mayer Mill
Year Event
1840 Early 1840s first settlers arrive in the Town of Richfield
1846 John Messer arrived in America
1846 John Messer purchased 120 acres of land in the Town of Richfield
1856 Sawmill, with an up and down saw (Mulley), was constructed. Power for the Mulley saw was provided by a 20-foot overshot waterwheel
1856 Wooden dam constructed of logs
1869 Andrew Messer purchased 27 acres and Sawmill from his father John Messer
1871 Grist Mill construction began
1872 Leffel water turbine installed
1873 Messer grist Mill construction completed and in operation
1874 Andrew Messer killed in an horse accident
1876 Johann Mayer purchased the grist Mill and Sawmill from Andrew Messer's estate
1880 Original turbine replaced
1885 Karl Wilhelm (C.W. Mayer) purchased the Mills from his father Johann
1890 Added a circular saw powered by a steam engine to Sawmill
1893 Four stands (sets) of double roller mills were added to the grist Mill
1895 22 horsepower gasoline engine was installed in grist Mill
1895 Gas engine broke down
1896 Engine was replaced; operated 1 week
1897 New 35hp engine replaced 22 horsepower engine
1899 C.W. Mayer added a 6 roll feed roller to grind oats for cattle feed
1901 C.W. Mayer set record - produced 45 barrels of flour in 11 hours
1907 Corn cob crusher added to expand cattle feed grinding
1908 Turbine replaced
1913 Wooden dam collapsed and replaced with a concrete dam
1917 George and Charles (Milton) Mayer took over operation of the grist Mill and Sawmill after the death of their father C.W. Mayer
1923 Dam washed away and rebuilt
1924 Turbine replaced
1927 Electricity came to the Mill
1927 Electric powered attrition (burr) mill was added
1930 Charles (Milton) Mayer sold his interest to his brother George Mayer for $1
1930 Sawmill operation ended
1930 Flour milling ended
1951 Sawmill collapsed
1954 Cattle feed grinding ended; George Mayer retired leaving all of the Mill equipment intact
1968 Dam failed again and remnants remain
1971 George Mayer moved out of the Mill House
1973 George Mayer died
1974 Property was sold out of the Mayer family
1996 The sawmill equipment was sold and removed from the property
1998 Town of Richfield purchased the property (27 acres) containing the Mill and surrounding buildings
1999 Started work on Mill restoration
1999 New cedar shingle roof on Mill
2001 Roller mills refurbished
2002 Started replacing the siding
2002 Major structural repairs completed on the 2nd floor of the Mill
2002 Completed reconstruction of the horseshed
2003 Trees cleared from Mill area - lumber was used to replace flooring on the 2nd and 3rd floors
2003 Information sign by the Mill built
2004 Finished replacing the siding
2005 Sifter restored
2006 Mill placed on the State Register of Historic places
2006 Repaired flooring on the 2nd and 3rd floors
2006 Portion of water chase reconstructed
2006 Front steps moved
2006 Purchased 1913 Superior gas engine
2006 Water chase rebuilt
2007 Mill placed on the National Register of Historic places
2007 Completed Mill window replacement
2009 Mill designated a Washington County Landmark
2009 Foundation stabilized
2011 Built new stairs between 1st and 2nd floors
2012 A set of grain elevators refurbished and made operational
2013 Restored north and parts of east and west side of the foundation
2015 Rebuilt basement stairs
2015 Path & door to basement completed
2016 Cleaned and rebuilt the bolting machine
2017 Mill siding repainted
  Complete the restoration of the foundation
  Clean and rebuild floor hopper, chute, and grain elevators
  Clean the storage bins and rebuild the bagging area
  Realign the shafting that turns the millstones
  Rebuild the engine shed
  Hook up the Superior engine as the power source
  Rebuild the dam
  Restore the Leffel turbine
  Rebuild the Sawmill



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