Brookville: Roberts' Mill

Web photos Robert's Mill

Brookville has a lot of features worthy of modeling beside the shingle plant. I will be able to incorporate some of them on the layout even though I haven’t modeled the town proper. There was a small grain/feed mill just south of town that the railroad likely served once. It was torn down in recent years and I never got any photos of it.  One structure that I was determined to find room for however, is this decrepit old mill.

      Opened in 1930 by Cliff Roberts as a feed blending mill, The Great Depression doomed the business almost from the start in spite of Mr. Roberts' best efforts.

I’ve never seen any other photos of the building as it was before reaching this state of decay. The sign for the canoe rental place was a local landmark that could be seen for some distance down Highway 52.  I went down in 2008 to thoroughly photograph the building but, you guessed it, it was gone. Only the foundation is left. The only photos I have are the one above and a handful of others, so modeling it will involve more guess work than I normally prefer. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Research at the Brookville Public Library did turn up the building's outline dimensions of 20 X 90 feet with a capacity of four boxcars. I speculate that the missing portion of the building was a long single story affair where grains and raw feed stock was received, or possibly, finished feed blends were loaded into the train cars. As part of the blending operation, molasses was incorporated with various grain mixes, and research highlighted that a large holding tank  was somewhere in the building. It may have been in the tower or the other part of the building, or even outside. I simply don’t know at this point.

I plan to model the building as shown, combining it with the model of the Cedar Grove mill already on the layout. the width of 20 feet is an exact match, so they should fit together nicely as a "might-have-been" structure.


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Copyright 2012 Michael L. Cougill