An Old Mill Race
One bright spring morning, being in a reflective mood, I stepped out into this great world of ours for a ramble. Hoping to find something interesting in the local surroundings I wandered down toward the banks of Silver Creek and soon my attention was attracted to the ruin of what was once called, the Samuel McCully Silver Creek grist mill. The old walls are now gone and the wheel over which the water once flowed has disappeared.
But that which most interested me and which was the object of my search was the mill race. In its ruined state it present a page of unique history, as any other ruin that has once been connected with active life. In answer to my inquiry I was told it was constructed a long time ago. This interesting old water channel is situated on the east bank of Silver Creek, north of the Brownsville pike as we go from Liberty. The channel which supplied the water is yet to be seen in its ruined state following the base of the hill from where the old mill stood, to its junction with Silver Creek.
But why should this channel which carries the water to the mill be called a mill race? Possibly the water flowing down and falling on the wheel suggested a race with the stream from which it takes its source, or, was it because the water once turned into the race becomes the spirit that rushed along its source and was life and motion to the mill.
But now we turn to the old ruined mill race and find it empty and alone. And the many visitors that once came with their grain and tarried until they were gladdened with the grist, and departed on to their homes and away, listened no more to the song sung by the rippling water, that passed from the race of the old mill.
The water which once flowed in the channel is now gone, bushes and wild flowers have sprung up in its place. A mere path it winds around the hill, it ancient course obstructed by trees that have been up-rooted and fallen across its track. The dam that turned the water into its channel has been broken down and the walls of the foundation where the water once tumbled over the wheel has crumbled to dust.
I walked along its pathway and stood where the waters once were turned into the race but where now all is a ruin. I looked again at its abandoned water way and seemed to hear it say, “I have live my time, but mine was a life of service, I never was idle. Mine was the spirit that moved the wheel and set in motion shaft and burr, and rod. I was happy for my spring time of life and spent in usefulness.
As these words took possession of me, I said “how true to life. These remnants of former benefit teach the lesson, summons to the works of man. Everything like the old mill race, serves it allotted time and purpose and passes into oblivion, and from the ruins spring other and new forms to brighten the scene of desolation.
Man himself is no exception. Culture unfolds and develops its natural powers, neglect but dwarfs and blight the fairest purpose. This empty old water channel serves to turn our thoughts to the works and habitation of man and to the nobler works of God. The works of one finite while the works of the other are infinite but Creator and created point to ....”One far off divine event to which the whole creation moves.”
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