Mills were once a major factor in the area’s economy. They were the social center for the farmers. Many small towns sprang up around the mills. Pictured is the old Mill at Ha Ha Tonka as it burned into oblivion.

The grist mills of Camden County were built near a river or spring-fed creek.

Some mills were powered by an Undershot wheel, also called a breast wheel, because the wheel seemed to rest on the breast of the mill race water. These mills were built on the banks of fast flowing rivers. When the water gate was opened by the miller the water rushed under the shell and turned the wheel.

Some mills were built below a big spring or by a small river. A dam was formed making a body of water called a Mill Pond. The wheel had a strong log shaft from the center of the wheel into the mill turning the big gears on the stone grinders called Burrs.

Mills were once a major factor in the area’s economy. They were the social center for the farmers. Many small towns sprang up around the mills. Pictured is the old Mill at Ha Ha Tonka as it burned into oblivion.