Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cotton Gin Mill and the Harahan Sorghum (Sugar) Mill - Buildings No Longer In Greenfield Village

The cotton Gin Mill, originally from Richmond Hill Plantation in Ways, Georgia, is said to be the only building on the plantation that remained standing after General Sherman marched his troops through the district on their way to the sea in late 1864.
The Cotton Gin Mill

The Sorghum Mill, believed to be from the 1850's, was reassembled from an old sugar mill found in Louisiana near Harahan not far from New Orleans.
During the autumn, sorghum cane raised in fields was fed into the shredding and roller-press machinery to extract the juice.The juice would then be heated in pans over a fire to be made into syrup. However, when Greenfield Village would make it, the liquid was instead passed into shallow defecating tanks where it was heated by steam pipes.
It is estimated that 30 to 40 gallons of syrup could be made in one day.

The Sorghum (Sugar) Mill
These are the only photos I was able to obtain of both the Rice and Sugar mills, and I had to get them from an out-of-print book I own ("Greenfield Village: Preserving America's Heritage"). I wish I had thought to photograph them during one of my visits years ago.

As far as I can guess-timate, I think both buildings were removed from Greenfield Village in the early 1990's during one of the renovations.
I never quite understand why such important Americana is removed from the Village, for all help to show and teach of everyday life of a time long past, which was part of Henry Ford's original intent. I hope that we have seen the last of the removal of historic structures.


1 comment:

Lynn said...

Thank you for posting this! We lived in Harahan in 1964-66 & always visited the mill in the village when we returned home. How sad it's no longer there.