It may be hard to believe, but at one time mills were very important in Belgrade, Maine. There were many different types of mills. There were mills that made apple barrels and other shipping containers and spools. Also, there was grist mills, sawmills and excelsior mills.
Grist mills were mills that ground up wheat, corn and other grains to make flour for bread, cereal and oats.
Apples, corn and potatoes were in high demand and had to be shipped to other countries. The barrels they were shipped in had to be made by the mills. They were packed in wood chips from the excelsior mill.
The spool factory made spools for wool and thread. You will never believe this: the spool factory made more than 1,584,000 spools in a month!
Some mills were water powered. There was a water wheel that connected to the house with a lot of gears. Each gear turned another gear which made the mill operate.