The locality of Mill Dam Falls marks the place where George Howell (senior) constructed a water powered flour mill on the Nepean River near its confluence with the Grose River in about 1818. Howell died in 1837 aged 79 years and his son Thomas continued to operate the mill.
According to Sam Boughton writing in 1904, the mill was washed away in the 1867 flood. Boughton described the location:
We follow the winding road down the green sloping banks until we reach the mill-race, which leaves the river just above Williams’ Falls, with a gentle curve, partly through excavation and partly embankment, shaded on either side by the river oak, sallies and other trees. The limpid water flows on until it reaches the mill, and after performing its duty there returns to the river below Woods’ Falls.
The road, after descending to the level of the race, proceeds along side by side with the stream, the waters within the embankment being high above it. In fact, while seated in your vehicle, as you come near the mill, they appear to be on a level with your head. The road after passing the mill, crosses the millrace and proceeds over the sandy flat between this stream and the Hawkesbury River, where you can ford Aston’s Falls and thereby reach the high road to South Kurrajong.
The mill, to all appearances, was a most substantial structure, with great corner posts securely put in the ground The base was formed with slabs of great thickness, and the whole space between each wall of slabs filled in with bed boulders, taken from the bed of the river and must have taken some hundreds of tons of the metal.
On the first floor, the principal part of the machinery was situated, being ponderous and substantial, and when wheat and corn (maize) was received for grinding, the flour and meal were delivered after going through the mill. And the most important and interesting of all was the great mill wheel, which must have been nearly 20 feet in diameter, solely and steadily revolving; also the flood gate and bywash, and the fish passing over the falls. which we sometimes caught with our hands as they got fast in the stones.
A locality on the Nepean River about 5 km SSW of Agnes Banks.
Read more about George Howell’s flour mill - https://www.kurrajonghistory.org.au/millstones/wm_2006_11.pdf
Please make your comment below. PLEASE NOTE that comments are moderated and only relevant comments will be published