Old News – History Article

This old article tells of even more distant times. North Bloomfield is a hamlet that sits on the border of the Towns of Mendon and Lima. Although a rural area, it once bustled because of the water power coming from Honeoye Creek.


Thursday, Jan. 25, 1968

North Bloomfield was Once a Milling Center

The milling industry in North Bloomfield is no more, but prior to 1878 that community well held its own, as a picture owned by Mrs. Marion Carmichael of North Bloomfield shows.

Honeoye Creek was a high flowing stream then, and with dams and raceways it supplied sufficient water power to be the mainstay of many families whose names are associated with the primary industry of milling.

Mrs. Carmichael’s picture shows no fewer than three mills together at Bean Hill Road and Ontario Street, and one across the creek on Ideson Road. In those days there was a wooden bridge crossing the stream there, half maintained by the Town of Lima and the other half by the Town of West Bloomfield. The village shared expenses and labor in keeping he bridge in repair. The mill across the creek was built entirely by hand, with wooden pegs and hewn beams, the only one of five mills there still standing.

The fifth mill was built by John Ideson, Mrs. Carmichael’s grandfather, in 1884. It was a cider mill, now the site of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Miller of Ideson Road.

At the end of Bean Road by Honeoye Creek on Ontario Street stood this milling complex a hundred years ago. For easy access, directly on the road, shown at extreme left is a grist mill originally owned by Aaron Mather, whose product was stone ground flour. The building next to it, with a cupola, is the woolen mill operated by the Hunt Brothers. The small building with it was used for mixing dye and dying cloth. The woolen mill later moved to Honeoye Falls, and the original operation changed to the manufacture of wagon hubs. Next to the Hunt Brothers mill, right on the stream, is a saw mill then owned by the Bond family. In the distance, across the bridge is the mill built by hand before 1860, now the studio of Elinor Chambers. It was used to make carpenters’ augers, and marks of the augers are still in evidence in the old building. The cider mill by Mrs. Carmichael’s grandfather was to the right, outside of the picture. A bridge still crosses the stream here, but the one shown is of wood.