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.

For 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: Historical


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