We were in Bristol before 10 AM. Destination, the Bonneyville Mill, established in 1832; it is Indiana’s oldest continuously operating grist mill.
“During the mid 1830’s, Edward Bonney had a vision of a rapidly growing city centered around a sawmill & a grist mill on the Little Elkhart River. He selected the location partly due to its proximity to the Toledo/Chicago trail & the navigable St. Joseph River, providing access to Lake Michigan commerce. When the railroads by-passed the Bonneyville site & the proposed canal system was never developed, Bonney’s dream of an urban hub ended. Bonney then sold the mill & went into the tavern business. He was later accused of counterfeiting, forcing him to flee the area as an outlaw.”
During the 1880’s milling advanced rapidly by using new innovations to speed the production of flour. Bonneyville Mill never expanded, choosing to serve the local farmers & merchants. The mill was later purchased by the Elkhart County Chapter of Michiana Watershed in 1968. It was presented to the Elkhart County Parks & Recreation. It is an example of working antiquity, grinding flour from May through October. The mill grinds corn, wheat, rye & buckwheat the old-fashioned way.
Also at the Bonneyville Mill County Park is the Baldwin One Room Schoolhouse. It is a reconstructed turn-of-the-century school. There are 4 hiking trails ranging from 1/2 mile to 3 miles in length.
After leaving the park we decided to do some shopping in Goshen. Goshen has a Sam’s Club & we needed to stock up on a few basics. And Lo & Behold, this Sam’s Club carries Pumpkin Whoopie Pies in its bakery department. Wouldn’t you know it, Don’s resolve not to purchase any more Whoopie Pies while in northern Indiana disappeared. I found a package of 6 in my cart at the checkout counter.
It was lunchtime, so the most logical local place to eat to my mind is the South Side Soda Shop & Diner. The diner originally opened as a grocery store in 1910. In the 40’s a soda fountain was installed ( & still remains), transforming the grocery to a soda shop. The shop continues the tradition of a 50’s diner.
The South Side Soda Shop is noted for its chili. Voted best chili 7 times in the Michiana area. The Lemon Meringue pie won the Indiana Pie Quest contest. It’s been featured in Gourmet magazine, the film “Lonesome Jim” & on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives with host Guy Fieri. We opted to go the Triple D route & ordered the Philly Cheese Steaks accompanied with a basket of Spiral fries & old-fashioned chocolate malts. We gave it a two-thumbs up.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid…………………………….