Page 17 - Destination Delco - Fall/Winter 2018
P. 17

   Turning Back Time
The 1704 Newlin Grist Mill has always been a place to learn about the past, but now it
will also be a place that recreates the past. The fall of 2018 will see the public opening of
a project that has been in the making for years. In order to replace the mill’s 16-foot waterwheel — the linchpin of the operation — staff and volunteers will construct one in a “new” 18th-century millwright’s shop. Well, new to the 21st century anyway. Rather than using modern tools to create a waterwheel that has the look of being authentic, this waterwheel will actually be authentic.
Very few details are known about 18th-century waterwheel construction, since members of the trade guilds fiercely protected their trade secrets. Therefore, this project will not only
be one of restoration, but one of education as well. Careful research and documentation will be collected in order to add to the small body of existing knowledge on early colonial mills and the tools and techniques used to create them.
Beginning in September, the millwright shop will be open to the public Fridays through Sundays. Guests can visit in person or follow along online through the Millwright’s Apprentice blog. Once the waterwheel is constructed and installed, the shop will be used to complete other ongoing historically accurate restoration and maintenance projects.
Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose our- selves at the same time.” We doubt he was referring to the annual Delaware County Studio Tour — a weekend once a year where dozen of Delaware County artists open their studios to the public — but he easily could have been! With carefully designed maps that purposely lead guests through some of the prettiest roads in the county, the tour allows art aficionados of all skill levels to find themselves in the intimate workspaces of artists while losing themselves in the lush beauty of southeastern Pennsylvania. Early birds on the tour have the best chance of scooping up a piece of art through the County Collectors Club, a program where each participating artist creates one 6"x6" piece of art that is sold for $75. This year’s tour will be held rain or shine on October 20 & 21. Tickets are not required and whether you visit one studio or all of them, admission is free.

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