Hodunk, MI, mill - 2006.

One set of sources say the mill shown below was built in about 1839. Historical evidence shows a Michgian permit for use of the land was granted in 1813, and and earlier mill might have been built in about 1820. It, too, burned. Don Haughey, above, was in the process of rennovating the mill, as can be seen by the new windows and siding on the exterior. Whether there was any attempt at authenticity is not known. He lived in the upper part of the mill. When it burned some time in 2010, he burned with it.

The photos below were taken in the fall of 2006.

Another source, Michigan Place Names, says that Abram Aldrich, a Quaker, from Wayne County, NY, became the first settler in Branch County, in 1833, and built a mill known as Cocoosh Mill. Alexander C. Carr became the first postmaster of Orangeville on January 23, 1866, with the name changed to Hodunk on May 16, 1882. The office operated until September 30, 1904.

Still another source - a biographical record of Branch County, by Henry P. Collin, repeats that Abram Aldrich was the first settler in what became Orangeville. He built a saw mill "near the confluence of the Coldwater and Hog Creek." "Several years later, Mr. Aldrich built a story and a half grist mill, the second in the county, and began grinding in 1837." It was the predecessor of the Hodunk Roller Mills, "a five story structure, which was erect by Roland Root in 1847, after the first mill burned."

The source goes on to say that over 60 years the stones were removed and replaced by "modern roller processes, and the old-fashioned water wheel" replaced with a "powerful turbine." So the turbines date to about 1900 to 1910.

The 1897 Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory (2305 pages) states that Hodunk had a population of 75 in that year.

Perhaps the true store of the mill is contained in these slightly contradictory sources.

Left click on a page for a full size version.

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Undated photograph.

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Intake to the low head turbines.

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Spillway, showing head height.

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Sandy patch - left - mill location.