After our quick camping trip in Hoosier National Forest on July 3rd, Collin and Annie and I met up with all of my siblings at Spring Mill State Park. We had a great time together visiting the pioneer village and talking with the artisans in period costumes. There were a lot of activities going on in the park for the holiday weekend, which made it extra fun.
Faith and Paul up by the spring that still feeds the huge stone grist mill.
Andrew, Annie, Collin and Jon check out the headwaters of Spring Mill Creek.
The centerpiece of the park is the huge grist mill built in 1817 (just a year after Indiana became a state!). The mill is still in operation today, and you can buy stone ground cornmeal for $2.00/2lb bag. It is fantastic cornmeal, too, and it makes some of the best pizza crust coating I've ever had. We really enjoyed talking with the mill operator, and he enjoyed showing us some of the old equipment they don't use on a regular basis. He wanted to take Paul on as an apprentice, but Paul wanted to become a blacksmith instead.
Annie checks out the view from the 3rd story window of the grist mill.
Most of the buildings except the mill and a couple others have been moved to the park, including this blacksmith's workshop.
While we were there the blacksmith was working on finishing the tip of this fireplace poker.
The village gardens were very pretty, and the sun was very bright.
Faith was so taken with the arched entry to the gardens that she asked Collin if he would kiss me under it so she could take a picture.
Inside the church meeting house a young woman had a craft station where you could make a fan out of craft sticks, ribbon, and calico fabric. She called it "old fashioned air conditioning." While the girls made fans, the guys sat around and looked bored.
It was very hot on this 4th of July weekend, so we spent some time cooling our feet in the creek. Annie loved it.
This wood carver was making a rolling pin. His work (displayed on the blanket on the ground) was very beautiful.
Collin, Andrew and Jon were all a little too tall for the inn's short ceilings. Ben and Kristen had to leave early, so they missed our height comparison photo.
Anyway, if you're in the Bloomington area, you should definitely take a summer Saturday to go down to Spring Mill. It's a lot of fun, especially with the costumed interpreters to talk with and learn about the pioneer way of life. Plus, you can buy some stone-ground cornmeal and that's almost worth the trip by itself.