Attractions,  Outdoor Activities

Cedar Creek Grist Mill

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Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time and witness the traditional process of turning grains into flour? Look no further than the enchanting Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Nestled in the heart of picturesque Washington State, this charming historic landmark stands as a testament to America’s rich milling heritage. With its rustic beauty and captivating atmosphere, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill offers visitors a delightful glimpse into a bygone era, where the rhythmic sounds of the water wheel and the aroma of freshly ground wheat tickle the senses.



The Cedar Creek Grist Mill holds a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1876. Built by George W. Woodham, this historic mill was a vital part of the community, offering an essential service to local farmers and residents. With its prime location next to Cedar Creek, the mill was perfectly situated to harness the power of the flowing water and convert it into energy for grinding grains.

Fire and Restoration

In 1877, tragedy struck when a devastating fire engulfed the Cedar Creek Grist Mill, reducing it to ashes. However, the resilient community rallied together and embarked on a passionate restoration project, determined to rebuild the cherished landmark. Through dedicated efforts and the support of both locals and visitors alike, the mill was lovingly reconstructed to its former glory and reopened its doors to serve the community once again.

Location and Setting

Geographical Location

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of southwest Washington State, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill is located in the tranquil town of Woodland. Situated on the banks of Cedar Creek, the mill enjoys a scenic and idyllic setting, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of the flowing water. Its proximity to the creek not only provides a peaceful ambiance but also serves as a critical resource for powering the mill’s operation.

Surrounding Environment

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill can truly be described as a haven of natural beauty. The surrounding environment is abundant with tall trees, colorful wildflowers, and diverse wildlife, creating a harmonious ecosystem that encapsulates the essence of the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can indulge in the serenity of nature, take a leisurely stroll along the creek, and witness the captivating dance of sunlight through the leaves.



Admiring the Cedar Creek Grist Mill’s exterior is like stepping back in time. The structure showcases timeless architectural elements, featuring a charming blend of cedar wood and sturdy stone masonry. The classic design incorporates large windows that allow natural light to flood the interior, while the signature red roof adds a touch of nostalgia to the picturesque scene. The mill stands as a testament to craftsmanship of a bygone era and continues to captivate both locals and tourists alike.


Stepping inside the Cedar Creek Grist Mill is like entering a time capsule. The interior exudes warmth and history, with exposed wooden beams that bear witness to the countless grains that were once ground within its walls. Visitors can explore the various levels of the mill, each showcasing the machinery and equipment that powered this operational marvel. With informative displays and interactive exhibits, the interior provides a fascinating glimpse into the intricate process of grain milling.

Water Wheel

At the heart of the Cedar Creek Grist Mill lies its iconic water wheel. Powered by the gentle flow of Cedar Creek, the wheel serves as the mill’s primary source of energy. Its impressive size and sturdy wooden construction command attention, serving as a visual representation of the mill’s reliance on the power of nature. Observing the water wheel’s rhythmic turning evokes a sense of appreciation for the ingenuity of the past and the sustainable practices still in use today.

Function and Operation

Grinding Process

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is renowned for its ability to transform grains into high-quality flour and meal. The milling process begins by feeding grains into the hopper, where they are transported to the millstones by a series of intricate gears and belts. The millstones, crafted from durable quartzite, work together to crush and grind the grains, transforming them into fine, usable flour. This time-honored technique creates a product that is not only delicious but also reflective of the skill and tradition passed down through generations.


The millstones play a crucial role in the Cedar Creek Grist Mill’s operation, as they are responsible for grinding the grains into flour. Crafted from locally sourced quartzite, these massive stones are finely crafted to create the perfect texture and consistency. The smooth rotation of the millstones is a testament to the meticulous maintenance and care they receive, ensuring that they remain in optimal condition to produce the highest quality flour.

Power Source

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill harnesses the power of Cedar Creek to operate its machinery. The mill utilizes a water wheel, placed strategically in the creek, to capture the flowing water’s energy. As the water flows over the wheel, the rotational motion is transferred through a system of gears and belts, ultimately powering the millstones to grind the grains. This sustainable power source not only reflects the mill’s historical authenticity but also highlights the importance of environmentally friendly practices.

Historic Significance

Oldest Continuous Operation

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating grist mill in the state of Washington. For over a century, this beloved landmark has stood as a symbol of resilience and community spirit. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout its history, the mill has maintained its mission of providing essential services to the surrounding community, solidifying its place as a living testament to the past.

National Register of Historic Places

In recognition of its historical significance and architectural beauty, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. This prestigious designation highlights the mill’s cultural and historical significance, ensuring its preservation for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Being listed on the National Register serves as a testament to the mill’s enduring importance and unique contributions to the region’s heritage.

Tourism and Amenities

Guided Tours

Visitors to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill can explore its rich history and remarkable architecture through guided tours. Led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, these tours offer a captivating glimpse into the mill’s operation, architecture, and cultural significance. With each step, visitors are transported back in time, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and stories that bring the mill to life.

Picnic Area

Nestled amid the scenic beauty of Cedar Creek, the mill’s picturesque surroundings provide an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic. Families and visitors can enjoy their packed lunches or local delicacies while taking in the tranquil ambiance and breathtaking views. The soothing sound of the flowing creek and the gentle rustle of leaves create the perfect backdrop for a peaceful afternoon spent amidst nature’s splendor.

Gift Shop

No visit to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill would be complete without a trip to the gift shop. Bursting with locally made goods, unique souvenirs, and freshly milled flour, the gift shop offers a treasure trove of items that celebrate the mill’s rich history. From beautifully handcrafted items to delectable treats, visitors can take a piece of the mill’s legacy home with them as a cherished memento.

Events and Activities

Annual Summer Concert

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill hosts an annual summer concert, delighting visitors with an evening of enchanting melodies and memorable performances. Against the backdrop of the mill’s historic exterior, guests can relax on the grassy lawn or bring their own seating for an evening of musical enjoyment. This much-anticipated event brings the community together and serves as a reminder of the mill’s enduring place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

Art Festivals

Celebrating the rich artistic talent within the community, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill plays host to various art festivals throughout the year. With artisans showcasing their unique creations, visitors can peruse a diverse array of paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. The mill’s serene surroundings provide the perfect setting for appreciating the arts, as creativity and nature intertwine harmoniously.

Educational Programs

As a living historical site, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill is dedicated to educating visitors of all ages about its significance and the art of grain milling. Educational programs offer a hands-on experience, allowing participants to try their hand at grinding grains or learn about the mill’s machinery and operation. These invaluable programs aim to preserve the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain the mill’s legacy for future generations.

Local Community Involvement

Volunteer Opportunities

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill engages the local community through a wide range of volunteer opportunities. From assisting with guided tours to helping with maintenance and restoration projects, volunteers play a vital role in preserving the mill’s historical significance. Engaging in volunteer work at the mill fosters a sense of pride and connection among community members, as they actively contribute to the preservation of their heritage.

Farmers Market

Building on the mill’s tradition of providing essential services to the community, a vibrant farmers market is held regularly at the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Local farmers and artisans gather to showcase their products and share their passion for sustainable agriculture and craftmanship. Visitors can indulge in a variety of fresh produce, baked goods, and handcrafted items, supporting the local economy while experiencing the mill’s community-centric spirit.

Community Events

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is a hub of community involvement, hosting a diverse range of events that bring residents together. From seasonal celebrations to historical reenactments, these events foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among attendees. The mill’s role as a gathering place reflects its enduring importance as a pillar of the community and highlights its unique ability to bridge the past with the present.

Maintenance and Preservation

Restoration Projects

Continuing its legacy of resilience, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill actively engages in ongoing restoration projects. These endeavors aim to maintain and preserve the mill’s structural integrity, ensuring its longevity for future generations. Through dedicated craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, these restoration projects breathe new life into the mill’s historical features, paying homage to the significance of its past.

Fundraising Efforts

Preserving a historic landmark requires a concerted community effort, and the Cedar Creek Grist Mill depends on fundraising initiatives to support its maintenance and preservation endeavors. Local residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to contribute to these efforts, helping to safeguard this treasured piece of history. Donations not only support the physical restoration of the mill but also contribute to educational programs and community outreach.


Recognizing the importance of collaboration, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill has established partnerships with local organizations, businesses, and educational institutions. Through these alliances, the mill can draw upon a wealth of expertise, resources, and support. These partnerships strengthen the mill’s position as a cultural landmark and ensure that it continues to thrive, serving as a testament to the power of working together to preserve history.


Preserving History for Future Generations

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the past and the unwavering commitment of a community to preserve its history. With each passing year, this cherished landmark continues to inspire and educate visitors of all ages, showcasing the art of grain milling and the beauty of sustainable practices. The mill’s rich history, architectural beauty, and dedication to community involvement ensure that it will remain a beacon of the past for future generations to appreciate and cherish.

Impact on Local Economy

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill serves as more than just a historical attraction; it plays a vital role in supporting the local economy. The mill’s presence draws visitors from near and far, who, in turn, support local businesses and contribute to the region’s growth. Additionally, the mill’s commitment to community involvement strengthens the sense of place and pride within Woodland, fostering an environment that benefits the entire community. The economic impact of the Cedar Creek Grist Mill cannot be overstated, as it continues to be a catalyst for growth and prosperity.

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