History of the Old Mill

The Old Mill was once the Sunshine Four Mill and the second largest producer of buck wheat flour in the country.  The west side of the Old Mill was originally built in 1869 in downtown Plainwell on the south side of Bridge Street, purportedly to house a roller rink.  The East side of the building (the elevator) was built on site in about 1870-73 by an original owner who has not been identified. In 1891, John F. Eesley (then the operator of the nearby D. B. Merrill flour mill) partnered with three other local entrepreneurs to establish the Sunshine Flour Mill at the Bridge Street site.  In 1903, Eesley moved the mill building from its original site to the current site, joining it to the elevator which was already at this location. He renovated both buildings to create a single structure.
At its height, the Sunshine Flour Mill produced 600 barrels of buckwheat flour per day, making it the second largest producer of buckwheat flour in the nation.  Eesley operated the mill at this site until his death in 1929.  Shortly after, the mill was taken over by the Plainwell Elevator Company.  The Plainwell Elevator Company operated the building as a feed mill until the 1990s.  The building was renovated in 2006 and Old Mill now houses a brewery, restaurant and catering company.