We time-traveled to the 1800’s to historic Beckman Mill in Beloit to enjoy some old-fashioned demos of skills used before high-tech and mass production. The Amish help keep some of these crafts alive today. The centerpiece of this historic site is of course Beckman Mill, a grist mill that is still using the original millstones to grind mainly corn. The covered bridge is a more recent addition and is quite popular! The mill stream powers it, and this mill doesn’t use a waterwheel. Turbines inside do the turning of the grindstone. Enjoy this demonstration of the mill in action!
Buzz Beckman of the Beckman family was there and posed for a picture with us! The building behind us was where the Beckman family once lived, now it houses exhibits.
We also enjoyed watching the blacksmith making tools.
Another man was making flint arrowheads, wow!
Some vendors were also there that incorporated these 1800’s skills. A broom-maker had many beautiful brooms for sale.
Another vendor,Terri Dodge of Double D’s B’s of Beloit (608-365-1646) sold wonderful hand-crafted soap that smelled wonderful! We got some! They also sell honey. Also some beautiful pottery, some was even being made as we watched! The little girl on the left won first-place in the Laura Ingalls Wilder contest at the festival.
President Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd were visiting the mill also. They gave a 10-minute presentation in character. They are played by Jerry and Judy Wubbena of South Beloit, Il. Contact them for your event, 815-389-8829.
We were also entertained by the Mill Road Band, playing tunes to get your feet tapping. Also dulcimer players, they played a song from Lincoln’s campaign before their presentation.
The festival also featured a classic car show and wagon rides.
For an old-fashioned good time, come to Beckman Mill. They are open from May-October, mill tours on weekends. Don’t forget a souvenier from the gift shop, your purchase supports the site’s continued operation!