Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

Guest Blogger and Photographer, Karen Stackow Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

When asked what my favorite places are in RI I must reply my backyard, my neighborhood, my small town. I don’t travel far very often and I don’t have to in order to see the best RI has to offer.  I enjoy the back roads more so than the highway and am fortunate to have to travel on the small and windy roads to work.
I leave my home in Matunuck, taking Moonstone Beach Rd to Route one. This is truly a windy road, with hairpin corners bordered by stone walls that have stood strikingly strong for decades. Fields and streams literally align the side of this road, as well as well manicured properties, old farmhouses on sloping hills, cow pastures and working farms.

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill
Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

I think the most notable piece of property is the Carpenter/Perry Grist mill which is on the National Register of Historical places. The quaint little grist mill on Moonstone Beach Rd. in the Perryville section of South Kingstown, RI was built by Samuel E. Perry in 1703. It became known as Carpenter’s Grist Mill after 1874 when the Carpenter family first became owners.

It is a working mill where Rhode Island Whitecap Flint Corn is stone ground by water power. In continuous operation since it was built, it is the only water powered mill currently operating in Rhode Island.
Products of Carpenter’s Grist Mill are Carpenter’s Johnnycake Meal, Carpenter’s Rhode Island Yellow Corn Meal and Carpenter’s Rhode Island Clam Cake and Fritter Mix.

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

In 2012, South Kingstown Land Trust acquired the property and renamed it the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill.
I am not even a fan of Johnnycakes but love to visit the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill when its open for visitors and actually runs a demonstration. Witnessing its operation gives me a sense of history that no story could tell, no words could describe. I feel connected to a place, my town, my home more so because of the history and simple beauty this building contains.
As I pass up and down this road twice a day, and turn carefully through the tight curved road I turn to look at the Mill each time, I always look at the mill stone outside the building, the stream which passes beneath it and the cute outbuilding set in the back. Its quaint and quiet, unassuming and attractive with its historic red paint and weathered cedar shingles. The Mill was built in 1718, quite a remarkable feat to still be standing never mind in good working condition. I am thankful for the efforts of the Smith family who has volunteered for many years to keep this piece of South Kingstown history alive and still grinding. Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill is a piece of Rhode Island history that has been preserved.
I am a lucky girl, and I know it. I am sure many people drive (too fast) by Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill and never appreciate all it has to offer.

Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill is a part of Rhode Island history that you must see!

More info on the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill

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One comment

  1. Excellent photography Karen Stackow. Your focus on local history is very much appreciated. Thank you for flagging us to slow down, stop, and explore your backyard full of treasures!

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