Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
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Springfield Mills

Springfield Mills at Morris Arboretum



Springfield Mills is open for demonstrations during Mill Demonstration Days and at other times by scheduling a group tour.

2020 Mill Days at Bloomfield Farm Schedule
Sunday, May 17, 11:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday, June 21, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Sunday, September 20, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Sunday, October 18, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Sunday, October 20 with Bloomfield Farm Day | 12:00pm - 4:00pm.

Included with garden admission. Mill only admission $5 for ages 3 & up.

The grist mill is located directly across from the Arboretum’s main entrance on Northwestern Avenue. It offers visitors an interactive experience of a working 19th century mill. Visit the historic creek-side flour mill to watch one-ton millstones grind corn and wheat kernels and see 160 year old machinery transport and sift the grind to produce meal and flour. The flour is used to bake muffins on site. Kids and adults will also enjoy grinding their own flour on the pedal powered mill.

Calling all artists and crafters!

Members of Morris Arboretum are invited to display and sell their wares at the annual Insider Art Show & Sale held in conjunction with Bloomfield Farm Day. Please fill out this registration form and email it to mconners@upenn.edu or call 215-247-5777 x 109 if you have questions!

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Springfield Mills Tours

In addition to mill demonstration days, group tours can be arranged. Current tours include History of Bloomfield Farm and the Historic 1761 Grist Mill (60 minutes). Please fill out our Group Tour Request Form and a member of our staff will contact you to arrange a date.


Springfield Mills History

Springfield Mills and the Miller’s Cottage date back to 1761 and are the oldest architectural features at the Morris Arboretum. Springfield Mills contains the most complete inventory of original flour mill works and related machinery of any mill in the area. The mill, with its Oliver Evans mill works, provides a unique view of 19th and early 20th century agriculture and milling in the Wissahickon Valley. Volunteers and staff are actively engaged in restoring the mill with the goal of renewing its water-powered operation. Springfield Mills is a contributing structure in the Morris Arboretum’s National Register of Historic Places listing.

The connections between food consumption, food production and land use is hard to imagine in a society where supermarkets with have become our main link to food. The role of mills in communities is largely forgotten or taken for granted. Springfield Mills creates a visual narrative of the social, economic and technological role mills play in food production and how important land conservation and plant diversity are to assuring we have food on the table.

Farmers came from many miles to have their grain ground into flour.The Flourtown Village was the great wheat market of the eastern counties of the state around and north of Philadelphia.

The mill used water power for an array of functions including sawing timber, grinding flour and animal feed, generating electricity, running agricultural machines and pumping water to irrigate the fields.


1761
1854
1890s
1907
1914
1932
1970s
2008
2011
2015


Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill Grist Mill

A Working Piece of History

Watch a typical mill demonstration in this 2 minute video.

Growing, Grinding, Baking & Eating Corn at Morris Arboretum

Read more »


Volunteer at the Mill

The Run-of-the-Mill volunteers are restoring Springfield Mills to water-powered operation. The mill stones and water-powered machinery are over a century old. Volunteers work on the mill on the second Saturday of every month and operate the mill during public events at Bloomfield. Activities include carpentry, masonry, equipment restoration and general clean up. Research, documentation and education volunteers are welcome.

Contact: Bob Gutowski - gutowski@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.132


Mills of the Wissahickon Valley

The historic Wissahickon Valley was home to over sixty mills from colonial times to WWII. Springfield Mills is one of four remaining Mills of the Wissahickon you can tour or visit. Explore all the mills of the Wissahickon.

Links to other local mills


Questers Support Restoration of Springfield Mills

On May 5th, 2014 the Questers Fairwold Chapter with Pennsylvania State and International Questers presented a $7,000 grant to the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania for continued restoration of Springfield Mills. The Fairwold Questers have supported restoration of the Morris Arboretum’s grist mill since 2008. Previous grants restored the mill windows and the turbine pit bridge. Both were critical elements in re-opening the mill for tours. Most recently the historic, two-ton mill stones grinding surfaces were refinished by an expert millwright and are grinding corn meal after 60 years of inactivity. This new grant will help restore the wooden “blow-out” wall facing the Wissahickon Creek. The grant was presented by Vickie Sierchio, Fairwold Quester President.
Questers is an international organization with 101 chapters in PA and chapters in 41 states and Ontario.  Questers supports conservation and restoration of historical sites and objects. For information, go to www.PAQuesters.com and www.questers1944.org.

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Group Tour Request Form

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Alerts & Updates


COVID-19 Response

In response to the unprecedented public health crisis related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Morris Arboretum will close to the public as of March 14, 2020 until the University of Pennsylvania feels that is it safe to re-open. Learn more about the Univerisity's response on the University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu. Please know that this decision was made after careful deliberation and that our priority is to do all we can to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Information pertaining to public health is rapidly evolving and, as such, it is not yet known when we will reopen. We will be vigilant in our efforts to keep our website up-to-date and we will communicate directly to members and class registrants via email with the latest details.

The following information is provided in anticipation of some of the questions you may have relative to the following categories:

Individuals who have registered for a class
It is our intention to provide a refund to individuals who have registered for a class that occurs during this temporary closure. We are working as quickly as possible to process your refunds in the manner in which you paid. If you have questions, please contact education@morrisarboretum.org.

Annual Membership
We appreciate your patience at this time. We know that early spring is the most natural time to come out to the Arboretum for a walk in the gardens to enjoy the fresh air, but maintaining public health must be our priority. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens just as soon as we are reassured that it is safe for all of our visitors to return. We will keep you updated on any developments, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about your membership, please contact members@morrisarboretum.org.

Planned Events
Any individuals that have planned events will receive outreach directly from a staff member to discuss your options.

We will continue to update the community as soon as information is available and is consistent with the evolution of this dynamic situation. Questions may be directed to info@morrisarboretum.org.

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times and we thank you for your support. Please stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, and our website.

Resources
Center for Disease Control (CDC): cdc.gov/coronavirus
University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu

Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

×

Alerts & Updates


COVID-19 Response

In response to the unprecedented public health crisis related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Morris Arboretum will close to the public as of March 14, 2020 until the University of Pennsylvania feels that is it safe to re-open. Learn more about the Univerisity's response on the University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu. Please know that this decision was made after careful deliberation and that our priority is to do all we can to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Information pertaining to public health is rapidly evolving and, as such, it is not yet known when we will reopen. We will be vigilant in our efforts to keep our website up-to-date and we will communicate directly to members and class registrants via email with the latest details.

The following information is provided in anticipation of some of the questions you may have relative to the following categories:

Individuals who have registered for a class
It is our intention to provide a refund to individuals who have registered for a class that occurs during this temporary closure. We are working as quickly as possible to process your refunds in the manner in which you paid. If you have questions, please contact education@morrisarboretum.org.

Annual Membership
We appreciate your patience at this time. We know that early spring is the most natural time to come out to the Arboretum for a walk in the gardens to enjoy the fresh air, but maintaining public health must be our priority. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens just as soon as we are reassured that it is safe for all of our visitors to return. We will keep you updated on any developments, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about your membership, please contact members@morrisarboretum.org.

Planned Events
Any individuals that have planned events will receive outreach directly from a staff member to discuss your options.

We will continue to update the community as soon as information is available and is consistent with the evolution of this dynamic situation. Questions may be directed to info@morrisarboretum.org.

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times and we thank you for your support. Please stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, and our website.

Resources
Center for Disease Control (CDC): cdc.gov/coronavirus
University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu

Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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