Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vanished Rochester: Winkler Mill

Winkler Mill, August 1923
In 1825, pioneer settler John Hersey built a grist mill northeast of the emerging settlement of Stoney Creek, establishing one of the earliest industries in what would become Avon Township.  Captain William Price, a pioneer of Washington Township in adjacent Macomb County, bought the Hersey property, including the mill, in 1837. As proprietor of the former Hersey mill, Capt. Price was credited with grinding the first barrel of superfine flour in Oakland County.

William Price died in 1857, and his heirs eventually sold the mill near Stoney Creek to a German immigrant named Joseph Winkler, Winkler operated the mill for half a century, from 1870 until 1920, and it is by his name that the mill property has been known ever since.

A succession of owners followed Joseph Winkler, but the building had by then seen its last days as a working grist mill.  In 1968, a Michigan historical marker was placed at the mill, recognizing it as a relic of Avon Township's era of exploration and settlement.  To the sadness of the community, the historic structure was completely destroyed by fire in the summer of 1985. The Michigan historical marker that once stood at the site was removed to the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.

1 comment:

  1. Joseph Winkler bought the old Mill & operated it. His son , at some point,Joseph Winkler also operated the Mill until he sold it
    He then continued his farming in Macomb Twp Macomb County.You can see his farm in the Plat Atlas in 1916 Macomb County Atlas.
    His mother was Hedwig Stier.Possible relation to Louis Stier owner of the Stier hardware in Waldenburg Macomb Township Macomb County.
    Louis son Clarence was sent to the Winkler Mill to have some flour ground.
    As these peole have all died over many decades,its hard to connect the Winkler Stier families.
    Phil Kuehn

    History & Genealogy are my hobby.