The Water and Other Perils

Detail of Mill

Detail of Mill

This is the first in an an ongoing series of short posts by Dave Burnett, who trained as a real-life miller, and who also plays the old miller, Kelmar, in The Miller and His Men.

The Water and Other Perils by Dave Burnett

Ontario is dotted with old mills and remnants of them. Locations for settlements were often chosen on the basis of proximity to year round running water / topography to create a mill pond as a reservoir to manage water flow. The water flow could then be diverted to drive a water wheel and power the mill.

Coping with floods, torrents and drought were part of the miller’s lot. A miller would heed the weather because failure could mean the demise of his mill.

Likewise the grain and flour in the mill had to be kept clean and dry lest the flour not be fit for human consumption.


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