Side A: In 1791, Captain Jonathan Devol, upon a proposal from Griffin Greene, designed and built a floating grain mill, which was erected on two boats and anchored within several yards of the Ohio River shore near this marker. Oak planks fastened the boats together and formed a deck, upon which sat a frame building that enclosed the mill’s running gears and millstones. The mill’s position in a rapid portion of the river and its proximity to Farmer’s Castle, a fortification of thirteen blockhouses, built by local farmers at the beginning of the Indian Wars, shielded it from Indian raids. The river’s current revolved the wheel of the mill, and depending on the strength of the current, between twenty-five and fifty bushels of grain were processed in twenty-four hours. Devol’s floating mill replaced the hand mill, which had become too laborious to operate. The mill supplied meal to the garrison at Farmer’s Castle and other settlers along the Ohio River for a distance of nearly thirty miles.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Rotary Club of Belpre, and The Ohio Historical Society