I recently was down working in the Napa Valley and made a stop at one of my favorite places on my way back---The Old Bale Mill. I love the old giant wheel and the surrounding wilderness and remoteness of the old mill. If you look closely, you can just see the wheel in the center of the picture--- Also, I love the stone ground corn meal I can get there---it makes the best cornbread! I have never found anything to equal it, and believe me, I’ve looked. The Mill isn’t grinding often during the winter months and only on weekends now during the summer, so I have to time my trips just right to get there when they’re open. The time to really visit it is during The Old Bale Days two-day event usually in the fall, where they run tours and have outside events and stands depicting the old-tyme equipment and a working blacksmith, etc. People are dressed in costume of the old days which makes it seem more authentic.
After reading the engraved sign, I was surprised that the Mill was as old as it is. It is, by far, the largest Mill wheel I’ve ever seen and so fascinating to watch the corn and wheat ground the old fashioned way! They used to sell the corn meal, but the State health officials made them quit, do to the “less than sanitary” method of the grinding (i.e. open windows, no sterilization, etc.). However, if one makes a donation, one can still obtain the freshly ground corn meal and use it at your own risk. YUMMY!