Hamburg Mill operates on a regular basis. The park staff grinds corn every other Saturday from March through October. For the most current schedule please call the park office at (478) 552-2393. We can grind your own corn (minimum 100 lbs.) for a small grinding fee. Grinding is open to the public.
Ten Step Process
Before the kernels of corn can be ground into meal they first must be cleaned. This does two things: first it protects the grindstones from harmful objects and it produces a purer form of cornmeal. The corn goes through a 7 step cleaning process before it reaches the stones.
1. The corn is poured into a hopper which has a coarse screen to clear out any large pieces of trash, husk, and cob. As the corn travels down the chute it is screened again.
2. After the corn is screened a second time, it is picked up by bucket belts and transported to the 3rd level of the mill.
3. From the 3rd level it travels down to a hopper on the 2nd level and during this time it is screened again.
4. As it is regulated out of the hopper on the 2nd level it travels down a chute and passes through a strong air current produced by a fan located on the 1st level. This air blows away small particles (dirt, chaff, etc.).
5. After passing through the air current the corn is again screened and proceeds down through a chute to another set of bucket belts.
6. This set of bucket belts transports the corn up to the 3rd level.
7. At this point the corn can go to one of two stones — selected by a metal door in the chute. (The 3rd stone is for wheat flour)
8. The corn is now ready to be ground and falls into a hopper above the stones. The flow of corn is regulated into the stones by means of a shaker box. This is a small plate located at the bottom of the hopper. This plate "shakes" back and forth being controlled by a cam that is connected to the shaft that drives the upper stone.
9. As the corn passes through the stones it is ground into meal. This meal pours out into a hopper to be bagged.
10. The bags are then weighed, stamped, sealed, and marketed for sale at the country store.
Hamburg Mill is operated by a turbine. There is no external water wheel that is common to other grist mills.
The turbine in the mill is a 17-B Samson turbine, capable of producing 50 horse power. It sits at the bottom of a chamber filled with water. The speed of the turbine is controlled by adjusting the angle of the vanes on the turbine. The turbine is attached to a vertical shaft that runs up to the millhouse. The power is transmitted to the stones by a series of belts and line shafts.