Champion MillIndustry

The Big Picture

After making our way off the beach an atop the short ridge backing it, we had found ourselves at the center of an expansive concrete floor. It stretched away from us in all directions, dropping off to the lake behind us backed by high concrete walls in front of us. Scattered across its surface were concrete monoliths of varying size and shape. These were sure to have once supported large pieces of equipment such as stamps, jigs, and wifley tables. Crisscrossing around our feet were trenches of various sizes with numerous small ones intersected parallel rows of larger wood-lined ones. In the end, they all flowed to once place – off the edge into the lake.

The sheer size and scope of the ruins are incredible. Pictures hardly represent the size correctly, but the panoramic photo I put together here should be a start. Enjoy. View Panoramic >

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  1. I don’t know how much exploring here you did but on the other side of the road to the south there is an overgrown holding area that has four or five main tunnels and each tunnel has 30-50 square openings that all channel to the pump house, we have walked around there a couple times.

  2. Thanks for the info. We had walked around the pump house to the road, but did not cross it or walk any further down it. It was also summer when we went and there was a lot of brush around the backside of the pump house making it hard to see much. We did notice the one concrete tunnel running down from the pump house to the water, but that was it. When you say holding area do you mean a pond or reservoir of some sort? Sounds interesting, and I think we’re going to go back this winter and without the leaves maybe we can find more stuff.

  3. Actually in the pump house we walked through it to the back side it wasn’t like a pond because it was concrete topped and had square openings to below so i dont know but it is worth checking out

  4. That area behind the mill was called the coal attics. It is a huge expanse of concrete with water running under it and under the mill. I’m not sure of the purpose for the coal attics. I do have a picture from the 1920s of my great uncle and one of the neighbor kids sitting on a wooden structure and the picture is labelled “at the coal attics” if you’re interested in seeing it (I don’t see a way to post a picture here).

  5. Carolyn, I would love to see the picture and feature it in a post if you don’t mine. I’m a transplant to the area and don’t have memories of my own to share, but I hoped that others reading this site would share theirs. I have to get around to putting a share page up, but for now you can just send me the photo at I’ll put it up here on the site as soon as I can. (If you could provide a story along with the photo, that would be even better!)


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