Lou's Place in Cyberspace





View of second floor framing and elevator legs from front of Mill looking west. Note large center opening and closed trap-door at right rear corner. Staircase on right is north wall.

The second floor of Castle Valley Mill holds a mixed collection of various grain processing equipment, spread over the main area. Most of the elevator legs were removed after Henry Fischer purchased the mill in 1948.

There are several pieces of equipment that are in their original locations, and there are other interesting items that show the mill’s evolution and change

In many places the original construction marks, usually Roman Numerals, are to be found on almost all main timbers and aligned supporting braces.

Near the center of the middle bay is the large opening to the first floor. This opening is the main access used for bringing equipment, and machinery to the second floor. It may

have had a hand rail as on the third floor, but was not indicated.

Presently this opening is boarded over and a ladder to the third floor is positioned there.

Second floor main framing looking south east

View looking southwesterly.

South west view, framing.

View from rear of mill showing rear elevator legs.

View with framing and floor joists.

View with floor joists. North wall is at top of illustration. Note opening to third floor

Same as preceding view with plank siding.

Roman numerals identify matching timbers.

In the timber framework at the front of the Mill, a section had been cut out of the main supporting timbers. These cuts may have been necessary in order to allow an oversized piece of processing machinery to pass. Presently that area is void of any equipment.

View of notched top cross and vertical post beam.

Another view of the notched beams. Note wooden pulley on upper right of  second floor loft door opening. This may have been part of a rope control system,  used to operate lift winch on the third floor.

At the front of the Mill is a well crafted double chute. Two processing machines once located on the third floor discharged their product into chutes that combined on the second floor into one chute, discharging to the first floor below. The complex workmanship on this chute system is interesting.

Photo of combined chutes.

1.     2.   3. 
Chute details-1. Chutes combined at  mid-level, 2-Chute on left in above photo, 3-Chute on right in above photo.



A chute passing thru ceiling from third floor showing two thin ropes attached. The strings were for some form of control but their use is not clear. This chute is in the north east corner of second floor ceiling.

Second floor elevator head. The small belt drives a lower auger trough. The auger trough has five square chute openings on the bottom. It either emptied into a divided bin, or used was for filling five grain sacks. Presently the elevator legs are missing leaving only openings in the flooring. This is the only elevator head on the second floor.


The elevator head received grain from the first floor and discharged it into an enclosed trough which has an auger to move the product along the trough and dispensing it into one of five chute (missing) This may have been used to fill grain sacks for later processing as its boot would have been near the primary receiving bin on first floor. Presently the elevator legs are missing down to first floorr A metal can hanging from supporting beam likely wicked grease to the iron axel passing through the support beam.

View of elevator with auger trough. Note five openings on bottom of auger trough where chutes directed grain into sacks.

Power to the Second Floor Elevator was derived from a drive belt with the driving pulley located on the third floor.


Photo showing slots in third floor floorboards through which passed the drive belt connecting the drive pulley to the power pulley on third floor. Note notch in right floor joist to allow belt to clear joist. Floor slots in third floor floorboards

View of bottom of auger trough showing cut-outs for chutes directing grain into bins or sacks. There are five openings. Parts of chute support brackets remain.

View of auger shaft. Small paddles were set into a hexagonal shaft Creating a helical spiral that moved the grain along the trough when rotating.

Detail of auger in trough-view looking up.

Holes cut through the first floor ceiling for the elevator legs for the second floor elevator head. Only the elevator head remains in place. Illustrations show elevator with legs in place.

Small cut off square elevator chute in center of photo, is from the third floor. It once merged into the front leg (down leg) of the second floor elevator, having its product directed to the elevator boot which was once located on the first floor. (See below)

Illustration shows diagonal chute which once merged into the front elevator leg. This chute has been cut away. The drive pulley was powered by a belt from a wheel on the third floor. Floor joists are not shown for clarity. Presently elevator legs are missing.

Iron turnbuckle truss rod, between joists, runs from south wall beam to southwest center support beam (IX or XI). Only one of these was used in the structure.  This truss was installed by Henry Fischer to strengthen the mill.


View showing truss rod running between south wall vertical beam and center south west supporting timber.

View of truss looking towards front of second floor.

Hole through third floor flooring showing where drive shaft to third floor once passed. From the imprinted circular line on the floor joists, it appears it was once covered. The housing would have held the bearing or Babbitt to support the drive shaft. Note grease stained wood.

Cone shaped bottom of Cyclone dust collector located on third floor. A chute would have directed the dust and debris into a bin or sack. The cleaned air and light particles being blown out a vent on the third floor to the outside of the mill. (See third floor) This device is located in northwest corner of second floor, close to the trap door opening to first floor.

Next to the central elevator legs is a double bin (white). Product form a third floor process descended the chute located in the center of the double bin box. The product was distributed into each box then combined in the chute system below on the first floor. (see below)

Double chutes on first floor ceiling below double bin which is located on second floor. Each chute has a slide stopper.

View towards rear of second floor showing location of double bin next to Central Rear elevator legs. To the right, in shadow, is the drive shaft to third floor.

View towards front of second floor, double bin is on left.

View towards rear showing center bay of second floor. Note drive shaft to third floor at rear of mill.

Chutes in south west corner of second floor directed product from a bolter and other processing equipment on the third floor. Flour would have been put in sacs or barrels at this location since there are no chute openings in the floor in this area.