Did you know that the oldest functioning mill in the United States is located here on Nantucket? The next time you stay with us at Periwinkle Inn, a visit to the Nantucket Old Mill must be on your to-do list! It serves as a working mill, in addition to a museum that guests can visit seasonally and dive into the history of this fascinating structure.
To learn more about the area’s best attractions, refer to our complimentary Vacation Guide. It’s free to download and contains local insight regarding popular restaurants, events, and more on Nantucket.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About the Old Nantucket Mill
When Was the Old Nantucket Mill Built?
The mill was built in 1746 by Nathan Wilbur, a Nantucket sailor who had spent time in Holland. In 1866, the mill was sold to John Francis, a Portuguese miller, who operated it for many years. The mill appeared on the auction block in 1897, and the Nantucket Historical Association purchased it for $885.
Today, the Old Nantucket Mill is the only surviving mill of the four “smock mills” that once stood overlooking Nantucket. It’s still capable of grinding corn the same way it did over two hundred years ago. It’s believed to be the oldest functioning mill in the country and was designated as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark and a museum.
What Can You Expect When You Visit the Old Mill Museum?
When the wind and weather conditions are ideal, the millers will run the mill and grind the corn. They’ll explain how the mill cap needs to be rotated to take advantage of the wind before the sails are raised. Inside the mill, you’ll learn how the mechanics turn corn and turn it into cornmeal.
Where Is the Mill Located?
The Nantucket Old Mill is located at 50 Prospect on Nantucket, which is only a 5-minute (one mile) drive from Periwinkle Inn. If you want to enjoy the gorgeous coastal weather, hop on a bicycle, and peddle your way to the mill. You can also embark on a leisurely walk, and it will only take you about 20 minutes.
Is the Old Mill ADA Compliant?
The Old Mill maintains its authentic 18th-century architecture, which has it’s limitations and means it’s not wheelchair-accessible. It’s important to note that there is a grass slope leading up to the building and steep steps and narrow doorways throughout the structure.
Service animals are welcome at the Old Mill. The Nantucket Historical Association welcomes dogs trained to assist people with disabilities, but you must leave household pets at home.
Welcome To Periwinkle Inn
Located on the picturesque Greek House Row, Periwinkle Inn offers the ideal location for your next Nantucket escape. Our charming Nantucket inn provides the perfect blend of historic charm and modern comfort, with some quirky twists sprinkled inn. Each room was named after a character in the classic novel by Herman Melville, Moby Dick. Plus, Periwinkle Inn is perfectly situated close to the waterfront, downtown shopping, live theatre, restaurants, and much more!
Browse our luxurious accommodations, such as our Tashtego Room, and find the perfect one for you. Tashtego features a queen-sized canopy bed with furnishings that hark back to the whaling era’s style, providing you with the ultimate feeling of authentic Nantucket charm.
Check our availability and book your stay with us today!