The Trailblazer Tour and Bens Mill

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This Veterans Day I would like to take a moment to recognize the men and women who have fought for our country. Had it not been for you, we may not have the freedom that we so enjoy. When Demea and I hit the road on our Harley Davidson, we often meet brave veterans. Their stories, like the one about Bens Mill should never be forgotten.

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On the morning of September 9, we got up about 5:30, and although we really didn’t want to go to the Granite State dealership breakfast, we are glad that we did, as everyone was really nice. The local HOG chapter put on a free breakfast, restoring our faith in humanity, especially after what we had experienced at the hotel the day before. As we pulled up there was a big group cooking eggs and sausage patties on a huge Kenmore Grill. English muffins were added to make a great tasting breakfast sandwich along with orange juice and coffee.

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Demea saw Lisa’s jacket for sale at the Granite State dealership and she told her that she was going to copy her. What she really loves about this jacket, is that it is waterproof and has a nice liner. Demea is not a fan of her rain gear, mostly because the collar either strangles her or, if she leaves the collar unsnapped, smacks her constantly. This was her justification for buying a new one. If you follow our blog, you will remember that I knew we would somehow be going home with that jacket.

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After the breakfast, Demea and I headed up to Barnet VT to visit Bens Mill. A place that people all over the world should know about.

Ben’s Mill was built in the 1800s as a water powered wool dying mill before becoming something else and then transforming into what it is today, a woodworking/blacksmith shop. I remember seeing a film about Bens Mill when I was living in Tucson AZ. I also read about it in a Scott Landis book. The book was called the woodworking shop. I had always been curious about Bens Mill, but didn’t know if it was still there. My wife is a great researcher and found it on the web.

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A guy by the name of Hiram Allen and his wife Lois had bought Bens Mill have been working on it and trying to save it. Unfortunately, the Allen’s do not get much publicity on the internet. Demea had actually suggested that the two of them sell the DVD on Amazon as it may help them keep up the restoration process. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave. It made me cry because I couldn’t stay and work to help save it. Had it not been for the rest of the road trip I think I would have stayed for a few weeks.

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The thing that makes Bens Mill so great is that it just uses water to do the work. You use Bens Mill and just let it go on downstream so someone else can use it or just enjoy watching it go by. It makes me so sad that places like Bens Mill are forgotten, especially among the kids today. I certainly hope that the rest of Bens Mill will be restored.

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When Hiram Allen and his wife bought Bens Mill with the help of a nonprofit, they were able to restore most of it. The dam still needs to be restored though and they are still waiting on approval.

I was sad that we had to leave and wanted to take a video with me, but they weren’t selling them and the only thing I could find was a VHS on Amazon.

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Both Demea and I think that somebody should make another show or documentary about the history of Bens Mill and the story after the restorations. It seems like more and more of our heritage and history is being lost to time and decay. How many kids today don’t know what a water mill is? It is such a pure form of energy.