A Historical View of the San Antonio Missions
Mission San José had a unique feature that none of the others enjoyed; it had a mill to grind wheat, as well as the major mission crop of corn. Later on, a young priest named Father Pedrajo constructed a mill with a horizontal mill wheel that was very advanced for its time in 1790. This mill was restored to its original appearance in the 1930's. The indigenous residents worked on the farm outside the west gate, growing abundant crops of corn, beans, potatoes, sugar cane, melons, vegetables, fruits and cotton.

About this Image:
1) A boy points to the water wheel in the lower room of Mission San José's grist mill, while his mother looks on. Water flowing through the wooden pipe above the wheel caused the wheel to turn the vertical shaft, which turned the mill stone in the room above. Photo taken by F.J. Schmidt.

2) In the grist mill's ground–level room, grain fed into the cone–shaped hopper drops down into a hole in the center of the top mill stone. The grain gets ground between two stones and pours out the spout into the bucket waiting below. Photo taken by F.J. Schmidt.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
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