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:
The window on the east wall can be seen in images of the cellar today, near the four-post support for the main pulley and shaft.
It is unclear from this photo if the original cellar had a concrete floor throughout the cellar, or if that portion was added by Cameron.
Our excavation near the main pulley demonstrated the irregular deposits of silt. Around the concrete platform it varied in depth from 6″ to 12″.
In the right pic, the amount of silt removed is dramatic. In the center of the image, a small light spot is the drain, which can now be used to let future floods empty much more quickly.
The close-up shows the partially opened drain door that can be operated from the operations floor above.
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.
Finally, here is the pulley system used to haul about 4.7 cu yds of silt through the trap door and out the front door, one five-gallon bucket at a time.
Earliest Days 1840-1856
Belated Cellar Rehab 2016