A Legend of the White Water
It was a beautiful quiet summer evening in May 1845 when after working very late John Redman closed the door of his father’s mill and went out into the night. Pausing he looked back. The two story frame grist mill was plainly outlined in the moonlight and all was quiet and secure. Wearied with the days labor the lad hastened home to rest. After his departure the silence of the night enfolded all.
To the east and west were the wooded hills clad in mist. Through the valley ran the White Water River bright and gleaming in the soft moon light. Northward between the hills the peaceful little village of Quakertown was resting. The stillness was broken only the call of the whip-poor-will and the fall of the water over the dam.
Silently the hours came and went until at last he rosy light of early morning began to show in the east. Whistling cheerily the young miller came to begin his work.
To his amazement he found that all was not as he had left it but that a change as wonderful as any achieved by Aladdin and his lamp had taken place. In the quiet, peaceful night while he slept, the mill had turned until each corner was off the foundation some seven feet. The water in the race could not reach the wheel and there it hung motionless, idle, useless.
Breathlessly the lad sped to the house to tell his father. The story was so strange, so weird, so unreasonable that Mr. Redman thought it was an idle tale. Rising he dressed hastily and hurried to the scene of the marvel of the night. He found that his son had spoken truly an that his mill was a price of valueless property. The shock was so great that he returned home and going to bed was not seen the remainder of the day.
Only the mill had turned. Everything within was just as it had been left. Everything without was unchanged. The river was singing its song as it sand in the twilight and all though the night. Nestling among the trees on the hills were the farm houses just as they were the day before.
In a short time the neighbors heard the strange and came to verify the report. They gathered in small groups to discuss this wonder of wonders. No one could tell why this strange thing had happened and although many theories were offered none were satisfactory.
While the men talked of the strange phenomenon and the uselessness of the mill they discussed the important question whether it could be moved back into place and made to do its accustomed work. There were doubting Thomas’s who maintained that an attempt would be useless and that failure was certain but the men of faith at last decided that the trial should be made.
One day in June all the men from miles around came to help place the building back on its foundation. They took their places at the levers and when the command was given by the stalwart old lead, Adam Pigman, each man did his duty. At the first attempt the mill was moved several inches.
One of the doubters sighting by his upheld pick seeing the building tremble toward its old position on the foundation dropped his pick in amazement exclaiming, “Boys, she moved, we can do it.” Slowly, steadily the mill was turned into place. The great wheels swung into the strong current of the race to the delight of Mr. Redmond, all was well.
When twilight fell the wheels were turning merrily and the mill never gave a sign of the strange experience. All was peaceful and serene.
Only a trace of the old mill remains. Men are skeptical of its ever having turned but in the night time the trees and the water whisper of the legend of the old mill.
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