After lunch, we went to Parker Mill Park. Lena has found information in their local newspaper about the tour which was supposedly starting at 1 PM, so she planned our day accordingly. When we arrived, there was no information about any tours neither in the parking lot nor by the visitors center which was closed. We saw the sign pointing to the mill and headed in that direction.
We entered the mill (although there was no sign on the door), and there was nobody around. We observed lots of tools and mechanisms, all labeled and being in perfect order.
An old gentleman entered from the back room and greeted us. We were not sure and asked whether he worked here. He said that he is a volunteer, and we asked is there a tour. He replied that he with his “buddy” is here, telling the people who come and want to know about the place, how it worked. I said: well, we are the people who have come and are interested to know.
It turned out to be fantastic. This mill was build in 1873 on the place of the older one, which was operating since 1824. It was bought by an immigrant from England William Parker in 1863 and was operating till 1960! And now guess what? This gentleman was William Parker’s great-great-grandson!!! How cool is that?! He and another gentleman started the grider and explained to us all the steps of the process.
It was mind-blowing when he took down one of the portraits and holding it in his hands said: that’s my grandfather, George Parker. And we could see a clear resemblance of his grandfather’s features on his face.
A minute later, an old lady entered, accompanied by a professional photographer, how started to take pictures of two of them together. You might have already guessed that this lady was also George Parker’s granddaughter. They told us that it was the first day both of them came out to volunteer for the Park! She was going to sit in the worker’s log cabin, which was moved from its original site on the other side of the road closer to the mill.
We went to the upper floor of the mill to finish our tour.
Then we went to see the worker’s log cabin. It was tiny; for some reason I forgot to take a picture of outside, but you can see the inside of it.
Imagine the whole worker’s family living here, with as many children as they would have!
We’ve also explored the creek and a water pump.
And then we went for yet another nature walk. We saw a lot of bikers on the way, and Lena promised me to have bikes for both or us next time.
We also learned more about the place and about the water conservation efforts.
And if you think it was the end of Day Two – it was not! Lena has also found out that there will be a tour in the Museum of Archeology. First, we thought we won’t have enough time, but when we headed back to the Ann Arbor Downtown (because I decided I need more gifts from the Country of Apples and Cherries), we saw that we can still make it, and we did!
I liked a museum a lot, a small but very good representation of different ancient cultures. I had mixed feelings about the tour itself, but possibly we were just tired by then:)
We finished the day buying more cherry coffee for me to take home, Michigan ginger crisp apples and terrific apple pie with just the right amount of cinnamon 🙂 (we both agree that there should be a LOT!)