Tunnel Mill: One of Indiana's Historic Water Mills (HI-13)
The ruins of Tunnel Mill, about a mile from Vernon in Jennings County,
represent one of literally hundreds of water-powered gristmills that once
operated in Indiana. The 3 1/2-story stone structure was completed in 1824
by Ebeneezer Baldwin. The mill was first fitted for steampower, but later
a dam was erected across Vernon Fork of Muscatuck River and a 300-foot
tunnel, which diverted water to the huge overshot wheel of the mill, was
driven through a ridge. A short time later, the wheel was replaced by a
turbine. In 1875 the proprietors of Tunnel Mill were manufacturing various
grades of wrapping paper from rags and straw besides grinding grain.
many years the scenic site at Tunnel Mill was a favorite picnic spot for
local people. Today geologists and rockhounds collect fossils from the
famous Waldron Shale exposed in the old tunnel.
Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: