Last of its Kind Standing

“Barron Flour Mill”
Oaksdale, Washington

This old mill has quite a history. The mill was built in 1890 by J.G. Porter and sold to Harvey Gray. Joseph C. Barron, Sr. bought the mill from Gray in 1907 for $11,500. Joseph C. Barron, Jr. was born in 1909 and joined his father in the business. Junior took over the business and ran the mill until 1960 when he could not compete with the modern facilities. Barron then put in a small modern mill, capable of producing 500 lbs. per hour, in a small building behind his house. He ran the new mill until 1997. At the age of 88 he felt that it was time to retire and sell both his new mill and the old Oaksdale wooden mill to Mary Jane Butters. Mary Butters had worked with Barron for several years and is the owner of Paradise Farm Organics, Inc. which markets organic and heirloom grain products.

The Barron Mill is the only intact flour mill remaining in the Palouse. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is my dream to be able to tour the old mill some day in the future.

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