I often drove by an old building on the outskirts of Pine Plains and wondered about what it used to be. It was by a millpond so I naturally assumed it was some kind of abandoned water mill. One day, when I saw some activity going on around it (actually more underneath it) my curiosity got me and I pulled over.
I got into a conversation with the mason. He turned out to be an interesting guy as was the whole project he was working on.
They were shoring up the foundations of this old mill. Looking underneath, I saw that some of the pulleys and belts seemed fairly intact.
I wondered about the rest of the building and if any of the mill equipment was still intact. As is the way of things in a small town, it did not take much to wangle an inviation to take a tour of the interior. An amazing amount of milling gear was still there and, if not in working order, enough to show how the mill was used.
I asked around about the history of the mill, called Patchins Mills because at one point there were two of them, and was able to contact one of the descendants of the Patchin family who actually owned the mill and asked if she would let me film the inside to find out more about it. Susan Patchin Drury wa herself curious and came along.
I brought Bruce Humphries over to go through it with Susan so I could videotape the tour for the sake of some history. He was the only person I knew who would be familiar enough with the milling equipment and the turbine. This was the first time Bruce had been in the building!