Anderson Mill replica wheel to be showcased during April 28 open house

The Anderson Mill Garden Club plans to unveil its replica mill wheel during an April 28 open house.

The history of the mill wheel dates back to the 1860s when the original Anderson family mill was built. The Anderson Mill Garden Club soon built replica wheels at the nearby Anderson Mill Memorial Museum—first in 1965 and again in 1986 when the original replica fell apart.

The second replica mill wheel was disassembled in July 2011, prompting the Volente-based garden club to again recreate the historic structure. Several volunteers have spent the past year funding and reconstructing the mill wheel, shaft, farmhouse and flume.

Once water pumps are installed, the surrounding pond will also be restored, said Jan Herring, who serves on the Anderson Mill Garden Club open house committee. In the meantime, Herring said the wheel has been rigged to turn just as the original once did.

"It's still nice to see the wheel turning," she said. "It's a fantastic sight."

The replica wheel was built with old growth Cypress wood obtained in Louisiana, she said, one of many features done to help make the project as authentic as possible.

Once the mill is fully functioning, the garden club intends to grind corn that they will in turn sell during fundraisers. The group previously relied on an electric corn grinder that used some of the original gristmill stones.

The open house is scheduled to take place at the Anderson Mill Memorial Museum, 13974 FM 2769, Volente, from 2–5 p.m. April 28 and will include free refreshments, tours and history lessons.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.