Gervais Grist Mill - Little Canada, MN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member FSU*Noles
N 45° 01.331 W 093° 04.747
15T E 493766 N 4985417
Quick Description: This is the Gervais Grist Mill historical marker, for the first commercial grist mill built in Minnesota.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 4/5/2008 8:33:09 PM
Waymark Code: WM3H10
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member KC0GRN
Views: 51

Long Description:
This marker stands in the parking lot of Gervais Mill Park in Little Canada, and while the history is interesting, I found it amusing that the marker goes out of it's way to describe both historical figures as "short" and "honest". The Mill also seems to have suffered an abrupt and inglorious end...the full text on the marker is below:

"Just across the road and creek from this marker was the site of the first commercial grist mill built in the region now named Minnesota. Constructed in 1844 -- five years before the birth of Minnesota Territory -- the water-powered, flour and meal mill was operating when present day Little Canada was an unmapped wilderness on the western frontier of Wisconsin Territory. Its builder was St. Paul's first carpenter, Charles Bazille (1812-78), a Montreal native who was remembered as a short, "honest man, full of kindness." Its owner was another short, honest French Canadian, Benjamin Gervais (1786-1876) -- the founder of Little Canada, and one of the pioneers of St. Paul. A former voyaguer born in Riviere du Loup, Quebec, Gervais came to this site in 1844 on the recommendation of his Dakota Indian friends. Aided by his wife Genevieve and eight children, Gervais carved out a large farm along this creek and adjoining lake now named for him. After their first harvest, the Gervais family used the mill to make cornmeal and flour for the lumber camps of the St. Croix Valley. In 1847 Gervais replaced his original pair of seven inch diameter granite mill stones for a better set from St. Louis.

The Mill was razed in the 1880's."
Marker Type:: City

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