Next time you are on the Bi-State Route, make time to stop at Schech's Mill, located just off County Road 10 off Highway 76. It is north of Claedonia, Minnesota and south of Houston, Minnesota, just outside the small town of Sheldon. The mill was nominated for the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977. At that time it was the only mill in the state to contain unchanged, operable milling equipment and to have its original stone. It is one of only three mills in the state to operate solely on water power.
In 1876, John Blinn built a mill in one of the beautiful valleys of southeastern Minnesota. An article in an 1887 mill paper brought the mill to the attention of Michael Schech, a master miller who had immigrated from Bavaria and was employed at one of the large mills in Minneapolis. Schech purchased the mill which was operated by Schech’s brother until 1890 when Michael Schech relocated their family to their Beaver Creek Valley home in Houston County. The mill became known as Schech’s Mill.
Michael and his sons, Fred and Edward, took over operation of the mill. Their products included “Schech’s Best Flour” cornmeal, rye buckwheat, graham flour and whole-wheat cereal, which were sold to stores in Houston and Caledonia. Power for the mill came from three Leffel turbines and one Sampson turbine. The equipment included four run of 22” Diamond buhrstones, a roller mill, crusher, sheller, bolters, and related elevators.
Today the mill is cared for and run by the 4th generation of the family. Tours are available and you can even sample the wares that the mill still produces.
And don't forget, Shech's mill is one of the stops on the Driftless Challenge. Keep those entries coming...we will be drawing for this month's winner very soon!
Have a great week! Ride safe and be well!