Spring Mill State Park collection
Scope and Contents
- Spring Mill State Park (Ind.) (Organization)
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Conditions Governing Use
The Hamers owned the village during its peak years, the 1850s, and as it fell into decline after the U.S. Civil War. The village began to lose a significant number of people to the nearby growing town of Mitchell Crossing, now Mitchell, after it was established in 1859. Hugh Hamer died in 1872 and ownership of the Village passed to his son Robert.
Robert Hamer made an attempt at being a miller for several years, but ended up leasing the mill and other establishments to Jonathan Turley in 1881. Turley in turn went into a partnership with Solomon Scott in the distillery business, and also renamed the village Daisy Spring Mills in hopes of revitalizing its image. Turley added a steam turbine to the gristmill, but it was still only running in season and most of the shops remained closed. At some point Turley became the owner of the village in the 1880s.
In 1892 much of the village was sold to the Lehigh Portland Cement Company due to rough economic times. Jonathan Turley did however continue to run the distillery until his death in 1896. After Turley’s death two of his daughters, Sarah and Eliza, continued to live in the family home for nearly thirty more years, but most of the community had abandoned Daisy Spring Mills for Mitchell.
George Donaldson, of Scotland, is also of note during this time period because he purchased roughly 181 acres of land from Spring Mill residents in 1865. Donaldson later returned to Scotland in 1897, but because he never became a U.S. citizen, his lands reverted to the state of Indiana. Indiana University took possession of these lands and held them until 1928.
In the 1920s, Indiana was creating a statewide park system headed by Richard Lieber. Lieber was dedicated to historic preservation as well as to preserving green spaces. He felt that Spring Mill was suited to both efforts. The restoration of the pioneer village began in 1928 and the park opened officially in 1930. Reconstruction and renovation of other building continued for many years. Today Spring Mill State Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Indiana.
Ansari, Mohammed S. A History of Spring Mill Village. Bloomington, IN, 1985.
Patrick, Randy R. and Linda L. Patrick. Hiking Indiana #4: Spring Mill State Park. Roachdale, IN: Memories Forever Books, 1999.
0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)
Language of Materials
- Spring Mill State Park collection
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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