early success of Waterloo and Cedar Falls was due largely
to their being good locations for dams and mills. The milling
industry was active in both communities up until the 1920s.
part of every flourmill. These were sets of upper and lower
circular stones that did the actual grinding. Wheat, corn,
oats and other grains were fed into the stones through a
hole in the upper stone. The grain was ground by the rotation
of the two stones against each other, with the flour emerging
from between the edges of the stones.
The two millstones
were originally part of the Miles Stafford Mill, built in
1857, on the site of the present Homeland Bank in Waterloo.
When the mill was torn down in 1924, Henry Grout obtained
the stones for his collection of historical items. The stones
were placed on the walk near the river all next to the YMCA
building. In 1981, through the efforts of the Cedar Valley
Historical Society, they were moved to their permanent location
in the park.
Note that both
millstones are upper millstones, since they both have holes
in their centers.