4 Things You Need to Know About Nantucket’s Old Mill

If you’re coming to the island to explore its rich history, Nantucket’s Old Mill is one stop you won’t want to miss. Built over 250 years ago, the mill boasts culture, stories, and insight to life during a simpler time on Nantucket. Whether you take a self-guided tour or see it in action, you will love this little escape from Downtown Nantucket! Learn everything you need to know about visiting the Old Mill today!

Discover even more of Nantucket’s most historic areas when you access our exclusive Vacation Guide. It offers hand-picked recommendations on where to eat and what to do and see during your next getaway to the Grey Lady!

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Know Before You Go: 4 Facts About Nantucket’s Old Mill

Discover Nantucket’s Old Mill during your next visit to the Grey Lady. Trade the downtown streets for fields of wildflowers and learn about the island’s harvesting history.

  • The Nantucket Mill was built in 1746.

Nantucket’s Old Mill was constructed by Nathan Wilbur, a native carpenter and sea captain. Wilbur spent some time in Holland and learned how to build a grist mill properly. He quickly brought the plans back to the island to begin harvesting corn. The mill’s design features dove-tail lumber for its octagonal framework. It was constructed using wooden pegs in the replacement of metal nails. 

  • The Old Mill is the oldest functioning mill in the nation.

You won’t find anything quite like Nantucket’s Old Mill anywhere else in the country. The mill was designed to mimic Holland’s picturesque mills, and it was built to last. Visit during the summer months and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the mill in action. Grist mills work by loading the mill’s hopper with fresh grain and grinding it into thick cornmeal or maize. 

  • It is the only surviving smock mill on Nantucket.

The majority of smock mills exist across the pond in Europe. However, there were initially four smock mills on the island of Nantucket. Throughout time and weathering, the Old Mill is the only remaining smock mill on the island and one of only a handful of smock mills in the country. 

  • You can tour the Old Mill during the summer months.

Schedule your tour of Nantucket’s Old Mill between the months of May through September. The tour takes about 20-minutes and provides a detailed history of the mill and its workings.   

Come Back to Our Quaint Anchor Inn

Wanderer - Full View of RoomOnce you’ve finished your historic tour of Nantucket and the Old Mill, come back to the cobblestone-side Anchor Inn. Book your stay in the Wanderer Room and enjoy a plush queen-size bed, a flat-screen TV, a complimentary continental breakfast, 100% cotton linens, and Malin + Goetz bath products. 

The Nantucket Whaling Museum is another historical stop that should adorn your touring checklist. The Whaling Museum features a makeshift Hadwen and Barney Oil and Candle Factory, a collection of high art, scrimshaw artifacts, and even a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton. Discover it all during your next visit to Nantucket!