History of Mansfield Village Book
Thousands of visitors to Parke County's Covered Bridge Festival veer off of the planned tour route to see the old grist mill on the banks of Big Raccoon Creek in Mansfield.
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It was on this spot in 1819 that James Kelsey, along with the help of two woodsmen who had built cabins nearby, erected a home for his family. With a partner, Francis Dickson, and a handful of settlers and Indians, he built a dam and a water-powered mill (Mansfield Roller Mill), anchoring the foundation deep and lastingly in the rocky bed of Big Raccoon. This rocky bed can be seen below the dam today.
The first dam was made of wood. During the great flood in 1913, the wooden dam was washed away. A new dam was built out of concrete.
In pioneer times a sawmill was attached to the gristmill, and George Hansel, a veteran of the War of 1812, established a boat yard nearby and built flatboats for rafting lumber, grain, and salted meats down the Big Raccoon to the Wabash River and on south.
Kelsey named the new community around the mill 'New Dublin'. This name lasted only a few years until other settlers, most of them Irish too, began calling the newly developed village Mansfield, believed to have been the Indian name.
Want to read more? Want to know how many people have owned the mill at Mansfield? How about learning the history of The Johnson House? Would you like to know about the Mansfield Lion?
You can read all of this and a lot more in "Mansfield: It's More Than a Mill."
24 Pages plus cover. Cover features color photos.