Sattes Mill, 1860-1916
In 1860, the John Sattes built a grist mill along the Lower Falls of the Coal River. This mill ground both flour and corn meal until it was damaged by a flood in 1916. The Sattes family was notable for gaining attention at the 1903 World's Fair when they opened a corn cake shop and sold cakes made from their corn meal.
Backstory and Context
In 1860 a grist mill was built by the H. V. Sattes & Co. Located at the Lower Falls of the Coal River, it replaced a smaller mill at the falls. The three-story frame building managed to survive a large flood in 1861 and the Civil War. In the 1861 flood the millstone broke loose with its wooden platform and floated all the way to Portsmouth, Ohio. John Karl Sattes retrieved the stone which was five feet across and fourteen inches thick (Coalsmouth, 78).
The mill harnessed power from the river by using a waterwheel to ground corn and flour. The flour produced by the mill was marketed under the name “Home Sweet Home” and sold for $4.00 a barrel; each barrel contained 146 pounds of flour. Another brand sold was “XXX” which sold at 50 cents for 24 lbs. (Coalsmouth, 78).
The mill was popular with farmers from around the area who brought their products from as far away as Montgomery and Huntington to have their crops ground at the mill. The Sattes family also ran a country store at Lower Falls selling dry goods and groceries (Coalsmouth, 78).
The Sattes family opened a corn cake shop at the World’s Fair of 1903 which proved to be very popular. A large flood in 1916 damaged the mill enough for it to be closed, 1922 it was torn down. Some of the stones can still be seen at Lower Falls (Kanawha County Images, 174).