The Wilkinson Mill, situated on the west bank of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, was built between 1810 and 1811 by machinist Oziel Wilkinson. Constructed in stone rubble, three and one-half stories high, the mill played a critical role in the history of textile technology, in steam power generation, and in the development of the machine tools industry. The Wilkinson family came to Pawtucket in the 1780s and set up a shop to forge anchors, build presses for oil works, and mold iron screws used in paper pressing machinery.
The first authenticated discovery of gold in the U.S. occurred on the Cabarrus County farm of John Reed in 1799, sparking the nation's first gold rush. During its peak years, more than a million dollars of gold was recovered a year, making North Carolina a leader in gold production until 1848. This mill, built by the Mecklenburg Iron Works of Charlotte, North Carolina, is original except for the timber work. Two groups of five 750-pound stamps with 5- to 7-inch lift, rose and fell thirty-five times a minute to yield a finely crushed ore.
The Old Mill, a smock type of windmill, believed to be the oldest operating windmill in the United States. Most of its parts are original. This mill is the sole survivor of four that once stood along the range of hills west of the town of Nantucket. The long spar and wheel rotate the top of the mill and turn the sails into the wind. Inside, visitors can watch the gears as corn is ground into meal, producing about 5 bushels an hour. Documentation of the restoration of the windmill is located at the Nantucket Historical Association's Research Center.
Ithamar A. Beard, an engineer of some prominence in New England, surveyed the mill brook and selected the best site for a storage dam. Contractor Simeon Cobb, knowledgeable of contemporary civil engineering practices, made major changes to the dam's original design, converting the linear dam into a gentle arch.