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Millstone at Lower Mills
Mill stone from Stoughton's mill
Click image for more information
 Mystery photo from the collections of the Dorchester Historical Society. The sign says that the mill stone at the bottom of the photo was the first to be used to grind corn in America.

This description was undoubtedly meant to describe a mill stone from the Stoughton mill, constructed in 1634, on the bank of the Neponset River. In recent times we have learned that there may have been an earlier mill in Boston, but at the time of this photo in the mid-20th century, it was believed (at least among Dorchesterians) that Stoughton's mill was the first. So the mystery is: where is the stone today? The back of the photo has a name and address that seem to belong to the photographer: Frank P. Adams Sr, 14 Wilbur Street, Dorchester. Wilbur Street is near Upham's Corner, and it is possible the mill stone was locatedd there at the time of the photo. I suppose that it is possible that this is the same mill stone now on the Dorchester Historical Society property in front of the Lemuel Clap House.

It seems likely that the stone came from the Neponset, but it is unlikely that it was the first stone used in the Stoughton mill. Mill stones wore out, and were replaced. Old stones were probably dumped onto the river bank or broken up to be used as fill or rubble in a foundation. The stone was probably a later stone from a mill on the Neponset.



Related Images: showing 8 of 81 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 81 images.
Unitarian ChurchScan of Map Detail Lower Mills from 1918 Bromley atlas plate 35.Map Detail 1858 Tolman HouseBaker Chocolate tin
Third ChurchSchool House Lower MillsDetail from Lower Mills ViewStoughton School, River Street
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Created: January 19, 2011   Modified: January 19, 2011