Although this mill was located in
Edina, it ran on the water from the Minnehaha Creek that
came from St. Louis Park.
Waterville Mill, located beside the dam where Browndale
Avenue crosses Minnehaha Creek at 50th Street, was built in
1857 by William Marriott. The year before, George Drew had
given Richard Strout and Co. "all the water in Little Falls
Creek... necessary to raise water at mill to obtain 14 feet
head with additional right and privileges of raising water 3
feet higher from October 15 to April 15 annually, all of
which said water is to be applied to milling purposes in
connection with mill and dam to be built by (Strout and Co.)
within one year on land formerly owned by William Hoit"
[preempted by Isaac Draper and sold a few months later to
Strout and Co.] Legend has it that Strout bought the mill
from William Marriott for a cow.
In 1859, Strout sold the mill and 160 acres to
Grimes and William Rheen, who built a new dam. Rheen soon
departed back to Pennsylvania and Grimes ran both the mill
and the farm. The mill (also known as the Red Mill) was used
by local farmers and Indians to mill their wheat, rye,
barley, and corn, for their own use and for sale to Fort
Snelling. The mill was known for producing feed, flour, and
grain and was the only mill in the state to produce oatmeal
and pearl barley. During the war, Jonathan Grimes would
deliver flour to Fort Snelling. His horses knew the way home
and he could sleep in the wagon bed. The farmland became the
present-day Morningside neighborhood of Edina.
In 1866, Grimes sold the mill to James Baird.
In 1867, the mill was bought by Daniel H. Buckwalter and
became known as the Buckwalter Mill.
In 1869, Andrew Craik came to Minneapolis and bought the
Buckwalter Mill, which he named the Edina Mills after an
1856 poem by Robert Burns called "Address to Edinburgh."
Craik was born in Edinborough, Scotland, in 1817 and he died
in 1892. He was educated in Canada and operated his father's
gristmill at age 16. He served in the Canadian Army until
1841, and went into the flour mill business in LaCrosse,
Wisconsin in 1861. He had four daughters, Agnes, Lillie,
Mamie, and Florence.
In 1875 Craik sold the mill to George Millam, who had
operated the mill for 20 years and was known as the “Edina
Miller.” [1869-1918] In 1889 Millam sold the mill to Henry
F. Brown uncle of Earle Brown, Sheriff of Hennepin County.
Over the years the need for milling decreased, as did the
water level of the creek. A note in the 1894 Mail newspaper
described the water in Minnehaha Creek as "so high that the
falls here quite rival that of the Minnehaha." A dam was
built in 1895 at Gray’s Bay at the source of the Creek,
lowering the water level and dooming all of the creek's
mills. The mill ground feed for cattle for awhile, but it
was eventually abandoned in 1918 and was demolished in 1932.
There is an excellent presentation of the mill at the site
itself, and more information at the
This is not to be confused with the Cascades, which is also
in Edina, along the creek on the west side of Highway 100.
This was merely a fake waterfall created as a real estate
gimmick to sell property along the creek in the late 1920’s.
In the 1980’s, neighbors made an attempt to save the ruins
when the City of Edina proposed demolition. Cascade Lane is
in the area of the place, but it isn’t really accessible due
to the configuration of the highway.