Tag Archive | Grist Mill

Beckman Mill-Heritage Day Festival in Beloit


Beckman Mill and Covered Bridge

Beckman Mill Marker

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.

Buzz Beckman and us

We also enjoyed watching  the blacksmith making tools.

Beckman Mill Blacksmith

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.

Broom Maker

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.

Double D's B's

Pottery Demo at Beckman Mill, Beloit

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. 

Present Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd

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.

Mill Pond Band Beloit

Duclimer Players and Lincolns

The festival also featured a classic car show and wagon rides.

Horse -Drawn 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!

Beckman Mill Gift Shop

Covered bridge at Beckman Mill

Related articles

Marshall – A Village of Many Names

7-8-13 and 4-12-16

Marshall signWatertower

Welcome to Marshall bench

Marshall boundaries

Marshall is a village with an interesting history. All told it had had 4 names, finally becoming Marshall in 1859. It all began in 1837 when Andrew & Zenas Bird and Aaron Petrie eyed the Marshall area as a great place to settle down after working on building the state Capitol.  In 1838 the Bird’s place burned down and the first name was Bird’s Ruins for over a decade.  The other names were Hanchetville and Howard City before finally becoming Marshall, named after  Samuel Marshall.

We came to Marshall in 2016 because near this community is the darkest spot in Dane County for viewing the stars, the Milky Way core in particular.  We weren’t disappointed.  We did see it faintly and we will be back when we have a camera better suited for astrophotography. Here is our result. You can check the light pollution in your area here for star viewing.

Milky Way core outlined IMG_4421

We were near a farm and at dawn it really looked beautiful in siliouhette.

Dawn in the Country near Marshall

Marshall has 9 parks, and we visited three of them.

We started with Veterans Memorial Park on the west side of town.  The village’s historical Bandstand from the late 1800’s is here also. The memorial was completed in 2008.


Next we headed to Lion’s Park.  The Lion’s Club maintains these grounds and many community festivals are held here.  The next one is the Riverfest on August 10.  This park has a beautiful Rain Garden and is on the Maunasha River,  the same river that runs through nearby Waterloo.  The river also helps grind product for feed for Blaschka Mill,  visible from the park across the road. On our return visit in 2016, we saw a new feature, a carved lion! Also a Free Little Library.

IMG_0660Marshall Lion at Lions ParkFree Little Library in Marshall

Lions Park

The view was just as pretty at dawn on our 2016 visit.

Blashka Mill IMG_4465

We were just leaving the park when I saw an animal crossing the busy highway,  a Snapping Turtle!  We RAN over to the road, Al tried to pick up the turtle, it nearly bit him! A large truck was coming and Al held up his hand to stop traffic.  Someone from one of the stopped vehicles was able to help, he picked up the turtle by the tail and dropped him into the river.  That turtle didn’t look real happy. At least his life was saved, our good deed for the day.

Stop traffic

Turtle crossingCaught turtleTurtle closeup

After that heart-stopping  moment, our next stop was Blaschka Milling Co., one of the oldest working grist mills in Wisconsin.  The history of this mill goes back to the early days of the village to grind the wheat, oats and other grain brought in by local farmers.  The mill towers over the river.


Blaschka Mill no lines brighter

Owner Pat Wells was there that morning,  she is partner with her brother Bill Blashka.  They love to talk to their customers and were happy to pose for a picture with us. We took this in the office, still heated by a pot-bellied stove in the winter.

Bill Blashka and Pat Wells

They sell lots of products geared toward sustaining livestock.    There wasn’t anything grinding when we arrived, but were happy to let us look around.


If you need anything, give them a call at (608) 655-3444.  Their hours are 8:30-12 /1-5  Monday-Friday.   9-12 Saturday,   Sunday closed.  Thanks for your kind hospitality Pat and Bill!

After visiting the mill we explored downtown. There are many businesses to serve you here.  The first one you see from the mill is a Subway sandwich shop.  In the same building is Greenline Construction and Remodeling.

Subway and Greenline Construction and Remodeling in Marshall

The next business is Steven’s Rocks and Gifts. He has served Marshall for 55 years now!

Steve's Rocks and Gifts in Marshalll

Across the street is Hansen Village Gifts.

Marshall Mercantile store

Next door is the Marshall Pub.

Marshall Pub

Across the street is The Cut Above hair salon and they also do nails. Below are business hours.

The Cut Above hair salon in Marshall

The Cut Above business hours

Next on this side is the Marshall Area Historical Society Museum.

Marshall Area Historical Society Museum

Next is the Silver Fox Bar and Grill, great place to watch Packer  and Brewer games with your friends.

Silver Fox Bar and Grill

Rounding out the businesses on West Main are Nuelk’s Garage.

Nuelks Garage in Marshall

This building is currently not occupied but it catches the eye.



This was a former American Legion building, now a private home.

American Legion Post 279 in Marshall

Tom’s Guns and Custom Woodworking is more than a gun dealer.  He can also help you with making you a quality deer stand or any wood project you need.  You can also drop off your dry-cleaning here for Lake Mills Cleaners and Dyers, Inc.

Tom's Guns and Custom Woodworking in Marshall

Toms Guns Deer Stand

On the other side is Akido of Marshall, Shear Magic Hair Design and PEAK Garage Doors.

PEAK Garage Doors, Shear Hair Designs and Akido Marshall

Marshall even has an Ace Hardware store, very friendly staff. Stop in if you need something.  The store also rents U-Haul trucks.

Marshall Ace Hardware

The Farmers and Merchants State Bank is also home to the Marshall Visitor Center to get information on the area.

Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Marshall

The Marshall Old Town Office Building on 301 W. Main with it’s clock keeps people on time downtown. Building is for sale.

Marshall Old Town Office Building

In April  2016 after our star viewing we enjoyed breakfast at the Marshall Café and Restaurant. Breakfast was delicious and we will definitely be back again.  The restaurant is located in Marshall Square Mall at the western end of Main St. There is also a Kwik Trip across the street.

Marshall Cafe and Restaurant

Marshall Square Mall

Kwik Trip in Marshall

   Fireman’s Park is a great park with many facilities for groups large and small.  This park is by the river with lots of shore for fishing and water sports.  Also a great playground for kids.  Since no kids were around at the time,  we had some fun!  Al hammed it up at the other end of a tube slide.



Marshall is really a great place for kids.  This park also has a baseball diamond.

There also is a skateboard park across from the library called Deerhaven.  Also BMX  racing. Visit the Marshall Community Library too.

Marshall Skateboard Park

Marshall Public Library

On the east side of town is Little Amerricka, a seasonal permanent amusement park.


We sure had a lot of excitement in Marshall, visitors are welcome here!

Train track Vignette