Old Mills in the United States
E-Mail Us
Ohio Mills by County & Mill Names


Exterior June 2011
Lower Level
Water Wheel Shafts & Gears
Lower Level, Water Wheel Shafts & Gears
Wooden Gears & Belts
Wooden Gears & Belts
Mill Stones, Hoppers & Equipment
Mill Stones, Hoppers & Equipment
Timber for Support & Beams
Timber for Support & Beams
Interior Equipment
Interior Equipment

Staley Mill
1990 and 2011
History of Staley Mill

July 1990
June 2011
Click Here for History of Staley Mill

Click Here for Photographs from 1990
Click Here for Staley Mill 2011



The Staley Mill, the oldest mill in Ohio, was built in 1818 by Elias, Henry and David Staley. The three brothers built the mill for John Wrench, who sold it to Elias Staley in 1825.

Elias managed the mill until his death in 1866, when the mill's operations were assumed by his son Andrew. Andrew discontinued milling for the public in 1877, but continued operating the mill for the Staley Family until 1905 when the mill closed. Andrew was 74 years old and his eyesight was poor.

The mill was originally a 1-story frame structure. Around 1895, another 1 1/2 stories were added to the building, increasing the efficiency of the flour milling process.

Staley Mill was built with two 11' wooden waterwheels located on the back of the mill. The remnant shafts of each of the wheels are still visible. The water was channeled to the overshot waterwheels via a wooden flume that transported it from the millrace.

Prior to the 1890's the Staley's added a small 1-story addition to the right side of the mill which housed a steam engine. They did not change the wooden milling equipment but did incorporate belts and line shafting necessitated by the implementation of the steam engine.

The Staley Mill ran two sets of buhrstones that are still in the mill. All of the antique equipment has been preserved and is in excellent condition. The wooden gears, millstone case, stone crane, iron tongs, and hopper boy are museum pieces.

The 1818 Staley Mill is a 2 1/2-story building that rests on a stone foundation and basement. The mill has air vents at the basement level. The first floor's windows are 6 over 6 double-hung, the second floor's windows are 6 over 3, and the attic's windows are 4 over 4. The building has two front doors, one on each level, and the left side has another access door on the first floor. The building is covered with tongue and groove siding painted dark red. The mill is trimmed in white and is well maintained.

One of the most unique old mills in Ohio, the Staley Mill is the oldest and one of the few in existence that exhibits double waterwheels in the world. (Simmons)


On the Staley Farm, located across the road from the mill, set behind the family house and barn, there is an old single-story building that looks like a rectangular shed. Covered with weathered-gray plank siding and a tin roof, the building houses an up-and-down sawmill that was powered by a unique undershot, flutter waterwheel. With one end of the building open to allow access for the logs, the sawmill is in good condition. Located in a stone-lined basement under the sawmill, the wooden flutter wheel has deteriorated, but the design of the wheel well, the remnant shaft, and iron crank allows the imagination to determine the configuration and application of the unusual undershot waterwheel.

DIRECTIONS: Miami County. Bethel Township. From the intersection of S.R. 571 and S.R. 201, north on S.R. 201, 1.5 miles, right (east) on Staley Road, .5 mile, on the right.

Staley Mill, Miami County, Ohio.  Exterior Front.
Staley Mill, Miami County, Ohio.  Exterior.
Staley Mill, Miami County, Ohio.  Exterior.
Staley Mill, Miami County, Ohio.  Exterior rear.  Shows two waterwheel shafts.
You can see the shafts of the two water wheels. They are round in the bottom level of the rock wall.
Staley Mill, Miami County, Ohio.  Exterior Rear.  Shows closeup of water wheel shaft.

Close-up of the remnant shaft of the Staley Mill water wheel. This is one of the remnants of the two water wheel shafts.

Top of Page