Smoky Valley Roller Mill is a finalist for the 8 wonders of Kansas History
because it is the oldest operational roller (flour) mill in the Midwest and the
only one with all of its original equipment in place.
Research has not uncovered another restored mill like it
anywhere in the central United States. It is the oldest roller mill still
standing in Kansas and the only one with all of its original equipment still in place.
It has been not only preserved, but
fully restored to operating condition and is capable of producing flour at any
This mill represents the transition to modern milling
(the change from grinding with stones to grinding with corrugated chilled iron
rolls) in Kansas and the United States. This transition took place very quickly
in our state. The mills in Kansas played a large role in securing Kansas's place
as a leading producer of flour as well as wheat.Millers in central Kansas were among the
earliest to endorse hard winter wheat flour. This mill reflects the craftsmanship and
technologies of the late 19th century that continued into the 20th century.
The steps for producing flour have not
changed. Today's mills simply use an
updated version of the machines in the Smoky Valley Roller Mill. At the time this mill was built, almost 500
mills were in operation across the state. Now there are about a dozen.
Few historic mills have survived. The Smoky Valley Roller Mill is a rare
The mill is open daily except major holidays. Guided
tours are given on request and an audio-tape guide and video are available. The
mill operates (without grain) once a year during the museum's Millfest event,
the first weekend in May. During that weekend alone, about one thousand people
tour the mill to learn how wheat was, and is, made into flour. Professional millers and trained volunteers
donate their time to supervise operations and guide tours.
mill has a strong impact on tourism in this area. Between 10 and 15,000 visitors each year visit
the site to see the historic mill and learn more about the agricultural heritage
of the state and region. A large part of
our Kansas heritage revolves around farmers working to produce quality wheat and
millers working to produce quality flour. The Smoky Valley Roller Mill
illustrates a very important part of that story.
OPEN:Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5
p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays. Admission
fee is adults $2; children 6-12 $1.
2010 MILLFEST: Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.;
Sunday 12-5 p.m. See the 1898 flour mill in operation (must be at least 13
years old to be in the mill when it is operating. Viewing areas are provided for