The gristmill was an essential part of George Ward’s life in Wardsville. The gristmill ground farmers‟ wheat into finely ground flour. Before the invention of the gristmill, farmers had to grind wheat into flour with a simple mortar and pestle. When the grist mills were first built in the Thames River region, the closest mill was in Delaware. Farmers had to transport their wheat that long distance or grind it themselves.
During the last part of his life, George Ward saw the construction of a gristmill along the north banks of the Thames River in Wardsville. The advancement in technology was strongly welcomed. Settlers were relieved of much labour during the wheat harvest. The gristmill drew settlers and businesses to the village. Many farmers brought their wheat to be ground and bartered the flour for products and tools they needed on the farm. The gristmill was instrumental in the development of Wardsville.
Written by Rosemary Cranney, Becky Clarke and Ken Willis