UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF THE OLD BROWN MILL
About 1846 a great event occurred in the vicinity of Quakertown and some idea of the consternation which the mystery caused, especially as it was interpreted by many as the work of his Satanic majesty may be gained from the following story.
The mill was known as the Brown Mill and was located about two miles south of the village of Quakertown on the East Fork of the White Water River. The mill was run by Peter Riedman, who conducted a woolen and grain mill which was run by water power furnished by the river with the dam about one-fourth mile above the building.
In those days customers carne from a distance to have their grinding done and often many were waiting and had to patiently wait their turn or go home and return at a later day. At the time the great catastrophe happened, business was booming and Mr. Riedman kept the old mill going until 11 o'clock at night. Worn out by the long day's work he went to his home near by to get a little rest and instructed his son to go down early and open the water gates.
The son started before dawn but soon returned with eyes bulging with fright saying he couldn't get into the mill for it has turned around during the night. The miller ran down to the mill and the and the sight of the building justified the sonís statement and he went back to bed for he was sure it was the work of witches, a belief more common in those days.
People quit their work and came to view the phenomenon and before long there was quite a cosmopolitan crowd on the ground with representatives from Brookville, Cambridge City, Richmond and Liberty; and it was the days of slow travel.
Adam Pigman, an expert carpenter and handy with tools, suggested that if enough force could be obtained, he believed that the mill could be moved back by means of lever power, main strength and awkwardness. A number of farmers of the valley who were present seconded the proposal. Among those were Tommy Thomas, Jack and Clark Templeton, Samuel Scott, the Wooster brothers, David G, Hannah, James Osborn, Jeremiah Cory, Andrew Sutton, Benjamin Flood, Crawford White, William S. Rose, Jacob Newkirk, William Harris, Jacob, John arid Aaron Masters, Enoch Hollingsworth, Jacob DuBois, William Abernathy, James Wright, John Sims, Hezekiah Ogden and many others.
Finally a day was agreed upon when the entire neighborhood would come, each man bringing with him an ax, log chain, saws and well filled basket and have with them their wives or sweethearts to prepare a real feast for the workers.
Miller Riedman agreed to furnish a barrel of cider. Adam Pigman and Enoch Hollingsworth as captains and the other men were asked to bring hand spikes. The Masters brothers having a blacksmith ship were asked to make the spikes for the pike poles.
The dinner the women prepared that day was the talk of the neighborhood for months afterwards.
Over 160 men responded for the task of righting the mill under the direction of the captains who "hee-hawed" while the men toiled with the pike poles. The soon found the mill responded to their efforts and before evening the building was on even keel once more.
It is interesting to note that the old mill ran better afterward than before it performed this mysterious escapade.
No answer was ever found as to why the mill turned that night...and I guess it never will.
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