The Smith Mill site was established in 1820 by Daniel Slaker who built the first sawmill in Jackson Township. The mill was subsequently owned by John H. Sprankle. The mill functioned as a gristmill and flourmill into the mid 1800's. The site became a valued asset for the mill because the Ohio & Erie Canal was constructed directly in front of it. The proximity of convenient transportation on the canal and also on rail gave the mill an economic advantage. In the late 1800's, the old mill was converted into a brewery known as the Massillon Brewing Company. In the 1910's after the brewery moved into Massillon, the old mill building burned down.
In 1925, Smith used the stones of the old mill to build the foundation of the present mill structure. In 1923, Smith had bought another old mill and used its timbers to construct the new mill. The Smith Mill ran with water-power supplied by a millpond that was created around 1800. The Smith Mill was not however a brewery nor a flour or gristmill. The Smith Mill functioned as a cider mill, pressing apples from 1925 through 1973. Smith's son assisted with the operation of the mill and when the father died, the son took over the business. It was a fascinating cider business because it was pressed fresh daily. The cider mill would sometimes produce up to 200 gallons a day.
The Smith's sold the mill in 1973. Now the mill is virtually empty. It is closed and the interior is not accessible. The mill grounds and the building are well maintained. It is apparent that the owner takes great pride in preserving the historic structure. The mill is 3 1/2 stories. The first floor (basement) is the foundation that Smith built with the stones from the old brewery. These stones are a light sandy color that contrasts drastically with the darker, brown sandstone used for the upper 2 1/2 stories. The many windows on the second level are 6 over 6 double-hung. The windows on the third level are 4 over 4.
The area surrounding the Old Smith Mill is exciting because of the Ohio & Erie Canal, the Tuscarawas River and the rich history of the area. The Old Smith Mill is one of the more picturesque old mills in Ohio today because it is well maintained and the stone structure is architecturally interesting. (Comerford; Heald)