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Lots of Water Over This Dam
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Lots of Water Over This Dam

Wildcat Den State Park is located about 10 miles northeast of Muscatine. The park offers great hiking trails, but we went there to get a look at the Pine Creek Grist Mill.

This mill was built clear back in 1848 and it still works! In fact, it’s the oldest working mill on its original site between the Mississippi River and the Rockies.

We’d have been happy to sit along the banks of Pine Creek and listen to the birds of Wildcat Den and water flowing over the millpond dam. Such a peaceful place.

But as luck would have it, the mill was open and staff was there to demonstrate how it works.

As we walked through the three-story mill, we were amazed at the engineering—there was a long, steel line-shaft with wooden pulleys and huge belts powering grindstones as well as elevators and bolters to convert wheat and corn into flour and meal.

As those belts, pulleys and shaft rumbled to life, we watched corn being milled just like it was a century and a half ago.

Back in Muscatine, we made a quick stop at Weed Park. Don’t let the name fool you—the Weed family donated the land to the city many years ago. There’s nary a weed to be seen in this 72-acre gem, which includes a rose garden and overlooks for viewing the Mississippi.

The park used to be home to a small zoo. The animals are long gone, but not forgotten. Metal sculptures of zoo animals are scattered about, adding to the fun of the park.

This content previously appeared in the popular “Road Trip” series in Our Iowa Magazine. Learn more about the publication at

More about mill, Park, State, Wildcat, Trip, Road, County, Iowa, Our

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Another terrific post! Thanks for contributing to the Travel Iowa blog!
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