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Historic Poplar Grove gets new mill wheel

Poplar Grove Tide Mill, a historic building located on the East River in Mathews, has a new mill wheel. The original one was destroyed during Hurricane Isabel in 2003, and local carpenter Wesley Sanger has built a new one to replace it.

Bernadine Teague, owner of Poplar Grove, said that Sanger sailed the wheel from his sawmill at Potato Neck on Winter Harbor, around New Point, and up the East River to Poplar Grove last Wednesday. A second boat accompanied him in case a mishap occurred. By Friday afternoon, the large structure had been installed.

Teague said she would love to have the wheel turn to keep it from rotting in the water, and that Sanger is working on an idea for making that happen, possibly using electricity. She said that two people can turn it together, but that she’s not physically capable of turning it herself.

The mill once provided cornmeal for area residents who would go there and pay to have their corn ground, said Teague. According to an article on the webs...

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