Bale Grist Mill
State Historic Park
Narrated by Roger Ruge
Welcome to Bail Grist Mill State Historic Park.
The park is located 3 miles north of St. Helena on Highway 29 in Californias, Napa Valley.
The California State Parks have preserved these buildings as part of our pioneer heritage.
Walk along the wheel-chair accessible path across the Mill Creek which provided power to operate the mill.
Constructed in the middle of the 19th Century, the mill served local farmers milling their grains into flour and meal, which supported the burgeoning gold rush population.
Inside the grainery, visitors will find a chronological display of the mills early history.
Bale Grist Mill was founded by Dr. Edward Turner Bale.
Dr. Bale came from England to California during the 1830s.
During this time, California was under Mexican rule.
Dr. Bale was named surgeon in chief of the Mexican army by the Commandant of its northern frontier, General Mariano Vallejo.
In 1839, he married Vallejos niece, Maria Soberanes, and in 1841 was granted a large rancho in the upper Napa Valley.
Dr. Bale traded parcels of his land for the building of this mill.
On weekends, parks staff conduct guided tours including history and mill operations.
Featuring a 36-1/2 foot high wooden waterwheel, a 19th century mechanical wonder.
In 1988, California State Parks reconstructed the mill.
Once again the giant wheel provides the power for mill operations.
Wooden tooth gears and metal gears work together to turn the 2,000 pound French Quartzite millstones, which have been in the mill since 1847.
The miller uses them today in the same manner as the millers of 150 years ago.
After the tour, park volunteers bag the freshly milled organic grains for sale to the public.
Also, recipe books are available for making cornbreads, muffins and other tasty treats.
California State Parks invites you to make the old Bale Mill one of your unforgettable stops in the Napa Valley.