In 2011, Davis MacIntyre & Associates conducted an archaeological resource impact assessment of the dredging of the millpond at Balmoral Grist Mill.


Investigative Stage

Background Research:

The Balmoral Grist Mill was constructed in 1874 and it was built with a turbine rather than waterwheel. Visitors to the site prior to 2011 will recall seeing a reconstructed waterwheel on the site, which though picturesque does not accurately represent the mill's heritage. The turbine installed is believed to be a Leffel & Myers water turbine. The area surrounding Balmoral mill was home to many other sawmills, grist mills, and even the Sutherland Steam Mill (now a museum as well) over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. By the 1950s, the competition created by large business caused many small mills to shut down, including Balmoral. In 1964, the mill was turned into a museum.


Mitigation Stage


Monitoring:

The monitoring of the dredging process revealed very few artifacts and cultural material, probably due to previous dredging which was done in the 1960s and 1980s. A few iron objects were discovered as were several wooden shingles and a remnant sawdust pile. The wooden tooth of a spur wheel was also recovered and is currently undergoing experimental conservation in a surcose solution.

Advertisment for Leffel & Myers turbine (Courtesy NSM)

 

View of Balmoral mill during dredging activity

A wooden tooth of a spur wheel recovered during the monitoring

Undated photo of Balmoral mill (Courtesy NSM)

The reproduction waterwheel being moved from the impact zone.

A wrought iron ring found during dredging of the mill pond which was possibly part of a logdriver's pike.

Undated photograph of the mill and millpond which appears to be date after the mill was opened as a museum (Courtesy NSM)

The dewatered mill pond shown here with the  bypass pipe.

Remains of the iron turbines of another mill nearby