Mission San José title image

The Water Wheel

Photo by Pat Tyler

Ranger Bob Explained the Mill Operation

The horizontal, circular grindstone is directly connected to and turned by the waterwheel directly below this stone. The first in Texas, original mill was built on this site in 1794. It was build as part of an effort to add wheat to the traditional Indian diet based on maize. The mill also produced flour for surrounding settlements, and therefore helped to establish Mission San José as an important part of the growing San Antonio community.

The structure on the site now was built in the 1930s.

Photo by Pat Tyler

The water from the acequia flowed through a wooden chute and turned the horizontal wheel of the mill in the lower vault. A driveshaft turned the grindstone in the room above.

Photo by Gertrude Meyer

The Acequia

Photo by Gertrude Meyer

The Waterwheel Vault

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