History of New Hope Mills, secret place outside Skaneateles

History of New Hope Mills, secret place outside Skaneateles 

History of New Hope Mills

Beginnings to the Weed family

New Hope Mills Inc has produced quality products for more than 180 years to earn its distinction as one of America’s oldest flour mills.

The flour mill was built by Judge Charles Kellogg. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (1808-09, 1821-22) and later reelected to Congress (1825). Judge Kellogg sold the mill to Horace Rounds in 1851. The mill remained in the Rounds family until 1947. The mill was then sold to Howard Weed, Hubert Latta, and Leland Weed; the mill became New Hope Mills at this time. Dale Weed became the sole owner in 2001 when his brother and co-owner David entered the presence of his Lord and Savior in Heaven.

New Hope Mills Inc.
Addr: 181 York Street, Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 252-2676
Email: sales@newhopemills.com

Photo by Champy

Quality in Products and in Heritage

In today’s modern, complex, and industrial society, the old fashioned way used here consistently produces quality without pollution! In fact, at New Hope Mills, the water is improved by its use; it is aerated as it passes over the waterwheel or through the turbine. The wheel does not put a drop of petroleum into the water because the wheel bearing is made of rare wood Liqnum Vitae that has its own lubricant.

Old mills today are a novelty! If they are still standing, they are deteriorating fast. At New Hope Mills, we take pride in preserving such an old piece of our American Heritage. We believe we should preserve our heritage and our families.

From Sodom to New Hope

The flour mill and a saw mill a short distance upstream are known as New Hope Mills Inc. There were 15 water powered industries along the banks of Bear Swamp Creek in the 1850’s. Now, only these two mills remain as a tribute to New Hope Mills’ unique past.

Local History contends that the community of New Hope was given its name from the top of its new flour mill in 1823. After the mill’s forty-foot, five-sided ridge pole was put in place, a man climbed to the top and threw a gallon jug of whiskey over his shoulder declaring the town of Sodom to be renamed to New Hope.

Historical Water Powered Industry

The mill originally contained three runs of stone and had a capacity of 200 bushels a day. In 1892, the mill began grinding with roller mills which are still in the mill today.

New Hope Mills has been a water powered industry from its beginning. The most visible item for water power is the overshot waterwheel. In 1972, the wheel was brought from New Jersey. The wheel was about 100 years old and very rusted which made it necessary for the buckets to be rebuilt of wood. In 1978, the buckets were rebuilt of sheet-metal that would have been used in making Brockway fenders. It is jokingly known as the only Brockway waterwheel in the world.

True Water Turbine Power

Although the waterwheel is most visible, the mill’s real power comes from the water turbine underneath the mill. The turbine can run all year round providing there is sufficient water.

The mill has an ideal location and facilities for water power. There is an upper mill pond with a twenty-four-foot waterfall before the sawmill. The lower mill pond before the flour mill has a twenty-eight-foot waterfall. Water can be stored overnight in the upper pond to run the mill the following day.

Keeping Competitive Even Today

Although the mill is no longer used for producing flour, New Hope Mills can operate much the same as it did in the 1800’s. The mill is being preserved with operations intact, with the goal of an operational museum. The quality of the product remains a prominent goal. Any product that is made by New Hope Mills is free from all chemical additives and artificial enrichments. The quality of New Hope Mills products has made New Hope Mills Pancake Mixes the number one pancake flour in central New York.