#96 – The Grist Mill

This week I’m introducing another blog format which I plan to use from time to time – a photo of Sam’s with some short commentary. This photo was taken on January 2, 2008.Abe-Erb-Mill It’s  taped to the blue door of our condo unit. Almost everyone who knocks at the door is taken with it, and asks something like: “That picture looks sort of familiar but I can’t place it.  Where was it taken?”  Or ” I don’t think I’ve ever seen that building.  What it is?”

If you drive in Waterloo, you pass this scene on your right every time you curve around Caroline St. N. in its approach to  Erb St.  This building is now dwarfed by the Perimeter Institute behind it, and by the Clay and Glass Museum on the corner.  Good drivers aren’t looking at buildings at all at this spot, but rather trying to change lanes properly and not get cut off!

Abe-on-DoorThe building was constructed by the City of Waterloo in 1996 as a replica of the first grist mill built in the city by Abraham Erb in 1816, at the same spot by Silver Lake.  It’s part of Waterloo Park, and can be approached on foot or bicycle from within the park, or from a parking lot off Caroline St.  It’s a popular spot for weddings and for photos, and can host up to 75 people.

Seeing how many motorists don’t even notice this building I wonder, “What beautiful places do I drive by regularly without really seeing and enjoying them?”

Next week: TBA












3 thoughts on “#96 – The Grist Mill

  1. Since I work with historic places, stories and structures a good bit, this resonated with me immediately. It is a reason that I love the short drive to town from our house, in any season. So much to see, if I’m not following a snow plow.


  2. Yes, Sue and Sam, this is a “hidden treasure”, locally. It is only a year or so ago that I explored Waterloo Park at this point and discovered the old story and the current building. Thank you for highlighting it.


  3. I like this new format Sue!
    For some reason, the picture and your comments led me to think about all the roads I haven’t taken on my daily trek to work. As I pass, I see landmarks pretty or not, that beckon to me. Then I thought about my Dad giving my commencement address at Elkhart High School in June 1967 when he used Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken as his text:

    The Road Not Taken
    By Robert Frost
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.


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