Yountsville Inn and Mill Rennovation Progress

Yountsville Inn and Mill Rennovation Progress
Journal Review 8/12/2009
by Andy Barrand

Alan and Barbara White have owned the historic Yountsville Inn and Mill for less than a month, and they can’t wait to share the property with the rest of Montgomery County.

The Whites came to Montgomery County a little over a year ago after seeing the property on a television show listing places around the state for sale.

To get away from urban sprawl, they were looking to sell their 1860s farm house in Carmel and move to the country.

“I had to fight back the tears upon our first visit to the property a little over a year ago,” said Barbara. “It is such a beautiful piece of property. It was perfect.”

Since that visit, the Whites have been brainstorming to come up with various uses for the property.

First, though, they had to get everything in shape. They wanted to have the brick work redone on the outside of the mill, which was built in 1864 by Dan and Alan Yount. The large 50-by-75 foot building is the only surviving structure from the mill.

The mill was powered by a turbine and the water for it was fed by a seven-foot dam built in Sugar Creek. The mill produced uniforms for the Union Army during the Civil War and later made uniforms during the Spanish American War. As many as 300 people were employed to process the wool and sew the cloths.

Dan Yount died Sept. 30, 1890 and the mills were reorganized as Younts Woolen
Company. The company was not successful and closed its doors in 1905. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 4, 1989.

The Whites have received all the old leather bond journals from the mill and a quilt that was made from the wool at the factory. Over the years different owners have kept the mill structure in relatively good condition, but it has been closed off to the public except for a few selected events.

A previous owner held an art show in the mill once a year, one of the things that the Whites are looking to continue. A previous owner had also transformed the historic inn into a bed and breakfast.

“One thing that is amazing about the inside of this mill is that no one has done anything to the historical integrity of it,” said Alan. “You can look at the walls and still find measurements and the names of people who worked here in the 1800s.”
Etched into the staircase which leads up to the second floor of the mill is the name Andrew Yount dated May 29, 1865, a year after the building was constructed.

The Whites hope to host wedding receptions, company gatherings, art shows and a variety of other activities in the building. To help with access to the property, they are also looking to purchase 12 acres that are adjacent to the property to build a driveway down to the mill. Currently the only access to the building is down a couple of stone and
dirt driving paths not suitable for vehicles.

The Whites are no strangers to Crawfordsville. Alan is a 1960 graduate of Wabash. The couple was married in Crawfordsville and lived here during Alan’s senior year at Wabash.

Alan is a trained pianist and enjoys giving lessons. Barbara is an artist by trade who enjoys painting, making jewelry and art glass beads.

“The adventure of buying this place is all about the art,” said Barbara. “I can see many possibilities for artists around here.

“We have always loved Crawfordsville.”

Owners of the Herb Barn in Carmel, the Whites are looking to add more wild flower gardens and herb gardens around the property.

“The first thing I noticed when I came out here to sit for the first time was the birds,” she said. “It was amazing. Living in Carmel, there was a constant stream of traffic in front of our house from 7 a.m. on every day.”

The Whites are looking for anyone who knows more about the history of the mill or who has any artifacts from the mill or inn. The shaft and gears for the old turbine still sit along the banks of Sugar Creek.

“Owning something like this you want to find out as much as you can about the history,” said Alan. “If we can get some historical pieces and information on the mill, it would be a good educational experience for school groups and other groups.

“This is a place to be shared and enjoyed.”