In 1828 John McHarrie Jr. and Stephen Baldwin built a three-story gristmill on the Seneca River.
The construction of the mill took thousands of man-hours and two years to complete.
Throughout its history, the mill was known as both "The Farmers Mill" and "The Red Mill". The mill utilized water from the Seneca River to provide power for all the mechanical equipment in the mill.
The river water was channeled through the basement of the structure via a hydraulic raceway and over time, a total of seven water driven turbines and a series of gear drives were installed to convert the waterpower to the energy needed to operate the gristmill equipment. The Baldwin and McHarrie families also began many other businesses in the area and were instrumental in the founding of the community that is now the Village of Baldwinsville.
The timber framed, mill building was the first gristmill to be built in the area and it is the last mill building still in existence to this day. There were many other flourmills, sawmills, and leather mills built along the river throughout the 1800's. Over the years many of these mills were destroyed by fire or the buildings deteriorated because of the lack of maintenance.
The Red Mill property was sold many times throughout the 1800's and each new owner updated the equipment and improved the efficiency of the mill. Throughout the 1900's the mill was owned and operated by the Clark and Mercer families and then purchased by William Colton.
The mill operated as a flour and grain mill up through the year 2002 when Mr. Colton shut down the mill and moved his operation to a new location. The property was purchased in 2002 by a local developer who had plans to convert the building into a restaurant and banquet facility but the project did not go forward and the property was offered for sale in 2005.
At that time Jay Bernhardt and Jake McKenna purchased the property and set out to develop a concept for the property that would preserve the unique character of the building and create an establishment that would compliment the many businesses located in the Village of Baldwinsville. The property sits on a parcel of land in the center of the village that is bounded by the Seneca River on one side and Lock 24 of the New York State Erie Canal on the other side.
After much thought it was decided that the best use for this property would be to convert the building into a 32-room inn and conference center. The new facility was built using the existing footprint of the original structure and all of the original wood columns and beams were refurbished and incorporated into the new design. Every effort has been made to maintain the unique features of the building while providing a very charming, and comfortable destination for our guests.
Honest, Simple Beauty
The Red Mill Inn is pleasantly decorated in a "Mission" style, reflecting the charming simplicity of the Arts & Crafts movement in America in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Arts & Crafts period symbolized hand craftsmanship using rich wood, colored glass, and unique tile.
Each piece of furniture and every interior finish were carefully and meticulously selected for The Red Mill Inn. The overall décor preserves and accentuates the historical nature of the building.