About Us: History


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How it all Started...
The Native Americans used a variety of grinding techniques, such as a mortor and pestle to turn their corn or maize into meal.  The colonists, accustomed to their age old techniques of stone ground milling other grains, used this technique to stone ground the gift of the Indians corn.  Our millstones were quarried from Westerly, Rhode Island granite, known to be one of the hardest granites around.

How We Grind Our All-Natural Meals & Flours
It is said that a miller must “keep his nose to the grindstone”, but a miller must use all of his senses to produce a high quality consistent textured flour.  Grinding is considered to be an art, a skill that is passed down from miller to miller.  First, g
rain is poured down into the hopper, and comes to rest in the shoe.  The shoe is agitated by the spinning of the damsel.  The damsel is attached to the rhind, on which the giant 2½ ton runner stone rests.  As the stone spins, the grain falls from the shoe through the boot, which directs it into the hole in the center of the runner stone called the eye.  The grain then spirals outward between the runner stone and the bed stone which grinds the grain into flour or meal.  The bed stone remains stationary while the runner stone is propelled by a series of belts, pulleys, and gears which are linked together.  A miller can adjust the rate that grain enters the stones, and by turning the tentering wheel, he can adjust the aperture between the stones.  After the meal passes between the stones, it falls into a trough which encircles the bed stone and is pushed into the chute by metal cards or sweepers.  The folks at Kenyon's learned their craft from longtime miller and Narragansett Indian Charlie Walmsley and they remain committed to preserving and promoting the stone grinding tradition.  Click here for a cutaway drawing of the mill.

Chronology of Ownership
1696 First mention of an operating grist mill on the property
  Land tranfer from the Cottrell family to the Mumford family
1886     John Tarbox (built the mill that stands today)            
  John C. James
  John Woodmansee
  Stillman Barber
1906  Charles M. Hanson
1909  Charles D. Kenyon (whose name the mill now bears)
1938  Archibald Kenyon 
1954  William Sykes 
1956  Joseph Crooker 
1957 Gordon Pennoyer
1959 Albert E. Powell (established the concession business)
1962 John A. Mulligan Sr.
1971 Paul E.T. Drumm Jr. 
2005 Paul E.T. Drumm III
   
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21 Glen Rock Road/P.O. Box 221 West Kingston, RI 02892
Tel: 401.783.4054 | Tel: 800.7.KENYON
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