After living with the mill for over 14 years, we learned that the mill’s cellar was NOT a dirt floor! In the process of removing some accumulated silt from the Christmas 2015 flood, concrete was discovered under a 6″ layer of silt. Further testing indicated that about two-thirds of the cellar is old concrete.
A review of our only image of the restoration showing the cellar, reveals a concrete pad along the north wall in the below view:
Our excavation near the main pulley demonstrated the irregular deposits of silt. Around the concrete platform it varied in depth from 6″ to 12″.
At the base of the wall above, a small light spot is the drain, which can now be used to let future floods empty much more quickly.
A bonus for all this excavation was the below table runner that was buried in the silt! It was neatly folded lengthwise and free of any soil, except along the edges. A small root had grown through part to the fringe, but no other damage or stains are evident. My supposition is that oxygen was absent in the compacted silt, which prevented rot for unknown years. It now graces our dining table.
The low clearance toward the front of the mill apparently does not have a hard-surface floor. At this writing there is no plan to try to remove the silt there. The retaining wall will have to do its job a while longer, at least.