New England (2)
Can you guess what this 4' diameter stone with a groove cut around the rim was used for? I couldn't until it was explained to me. It was used for making soap! Still confused? Read on...
A barrel was placed on the center of the stone and half filled with water saturated wood ash. After around two weeks the barrel was topped off with water and the sludge allowed to seep out of the barrel and collected in the groove. The sludge is actually potash lye and when mixed with fat and allowed to harden makes a passable soap. Sometimes aromatic leaves such as ginger, bayberry or lavender were added to the soap.
The old snuff mill
The mill races
One of the water wheels and it's mill race
The mill pond
This page created 18th August 2011, last modified 7th September 2011