The History of Dorwin's Mill


Dorwin Mill is located about five miles east of Durand on Dorwin's Mill road which runs between highways ten and eighty five. It was built in 1859 by Vivus W. Dorwin and was used to grind flour for the area pioneers..

Vivus W. Dorwin came to Pepin by ox cart seven years (in 1852) before building the mill, he ran the mill from when he built it until his son William Dorwin took over. William ran the mill until his death in 1920. After his death the mill was closed until 1925 when Marcellus Dorwin reopened it for a year then sold it to Warren Walker who operated it for two more years. Dorwin Mill was shut down for good around 1928. Pictured at the bottom are their wives.

The mill was run by water from Bear Creek. A dam was built to raise a head of water but also created problems. In the spring or during any period of high water the valley was flooded.

To solve the problem a tunnel was hewn through a thirty foot sheer limestone wall to allow the water to escape. Bear Creek still runs through the tunnel today. The mill itself was still standing until a big storm hit in the spring of 1996. Most of the historic building was destroyed in the big storm.


Information for this page was taken from the book Just People of the Friendly Valley by Louise Miller and the Pictorial Atlas of Pepin County Wisconsin, compiled by Title Atlas Company.

This page was made by Steve Nelson



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