Souther Tide Mill – Quincy, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

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Souther Tide Mill

This mill played a key role in the region’s development and it is just one of ten along the east coast of the United States. 


The Souther Tide Mill is a historic tidal mill located in Quincy, Massachusetts. It embodies industrial activities from the 1800s. It was built in 1806 to grind corn and wheat into flour using the power of the tides.

It all started in 1802 when Ebenezer Thayer bought 39 acres of land in Quincy. He utilized the land to build a dam and a mill. A few years later, Thayer sold the construction to David Stetson who kept it for just one year and eventually sold it to John Souther, a shipbuilder. John made improvements to the property by developing a shipyard and building a wharf, a grist mill, two tide mills, and a sawmill.

Unfortunately, the original grist mill that was used to grind grain and corn burned in 1854, but it was replaced and rebuilt from the remains. In 1873, the property was sold one more time to Wilber Lakin who transformed it into a lumberyard until 1893.

The Souther Tide Mill is actually one of two surviving tidal mills on the property and one of 10 along the east coast. It played a key role in the history of New England as it helped with the birth of Quincy’s maritime and granite industries. The granite produced was used in the construction of notable landmarks such as the Boston Custom House and Kings Chapel among others.

The Souther Tide Mill operated until the 1920s, but it was subsequently restored to be open to the public as a museum. It now offers a unique experience to visitors who can come and learn about the history of the mill and experience a unique glimpse of the past by watching a live reenactment of how the water wheel worked. Its location on the banks of the Neponset River offers a beautiful spot with great views of the water and the landscape. Today, visitors can take a promenade along the river.

The mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it is a great attraction for visitors while reminding them of the importance of tidal power in the history of New England.

Know Before You Go

It's a museum. Visitors can enjoy a quick hike around in the area. There is a small parking place; however, it is just next to a CVS with plenty of parking too. 

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