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During the War of 1812, General James Hedges spent some time at Fort Ball, one of the string of forts built along the Sandusky River. Impressed with the area, he convinced his brother Josiah Hedges, to visit. Josiah was also impressed; enough so that he purchased a large acreage across the river from the fort. A wealthy, energetic, shrewd, and somewhat ruthless man, he immediately set forth to develop a town--a town that would be called Tiffin, after governor be much admired. 

A major flood rored through Tiffin in 1913, leaving devistation behind but the milled survived. The flood created the "stone island," a two acre mound of bricks and paving stones that were deposited just downstream from the existing island. These bricks and stones were crushed with grinders powered by the mill and used to repave the streets of Tiffin, especially River Road (presently Riverside Drive).  In 1921, the carriage house was build and a new stone dam was constructed just in front of the original wooden dam.

In 1822, Josiah built a dam, a mill, and a home--the first structures in Tiffin. This massive undertaking kept over 40 men busy for a year since everything had to be done by hand and oxen power. The original dam was wood as was the mill building. However, the basement walls were constructed of the stone quarried from the mill's race way. The current building was constructed on those same foundation walls after a fire in 1875 destroyed the original wooden building. 

Starting in 1925 and continuing for the next decade the water-powered electric generator was used to recharge batteries for 25 cents a charge. The millwheels may be viewed in the waterwheel room. Another fire struck in April 1937, nearly getting the mill and partially destroying the back wall. The building was refult without the third floor or pillars on the second floor crating a more versatile open space. The milling equipment was replaced and the mill continued to grind flour and meal until 1950. 

The next few years saw the old mill building rented to various individuals and used from everything from a feed store to a carpentry shop. Finally, 1973, a group of local businessmen conceived the idea os transforming it into a restaurant.


After much planning and development, The Pioneer Mill of Tiffin restaurant opened for business on October 3, 1974 and was placed on the national register of historical places in recognition of its background.