Mill GEAR & Axle Shelter

Located next to the Sawmill is the shelter housing the restored Mill Gear and Axle from the Springbrook Mill 1844. This large mill gear and axle assembly is part of what is called a cider mill power. 


When in use, the upright axle would have been turned by a water wheel or turbine, or by a horse or horses, on the lower level of the mill building. The axle's rotational power was sent up to the next level in the Mill to turn the large attached mill gear, which has straight-cut bevel gears set around the edge. Using other gears and belts & pulleys, this operated machinery in the mill.


Very few mills used this style of cider mill power, so it's a rare sight to see the major part of one still in existence.  Don't miss out on seeing what may be the only surviving cider-mill-style mill gear and axle. 


HISTORY LESSON ON POWERS: A power is also called a horse power (two words) or an animal power. Before steam engines became commonplace, powers were used to operate machinery, such as threshers, saws, feed cutters, and much more. Early horse powers could have horses walking in a circle, or walking on a treadmill (a.k.a. a railroad horse power). Powers continued to be used into the 1900s, even though steam and internal-combustion engines were essentially everywhere. Gin power was another name for this type of mechanism (although it may be a term more often used in England), as was upright power or vertical power.

Overall view of the Shelter.

Overall view of the Mill Gear and Axle.

Note that the assembly is laying on its side.

Springbrook Mill Gear & Axle Shelter.

Please note that the mill gear and axle assembly is on its side for display, but in use the large gear would be at the top with the axle below it, as shown immediately below.

This is an example of a Cider Mill Power based on one in an 1893 online catalog.

Marker for Springbrook Mill Gear & Axle Shelter.

Photos of Old Elma: Covered Brodge (at left) over Cazenovia Creek on Northrup Road, and Springbrook Mills (at right).

Undated (possibly 1880s or 1890s).

Hand-painted sign.