Remembering the Old Mill
Did you know that there used to be a chaff mill in Ridgehaven? On page 3 of the edition dated 24 February 1966, The North East Leader reported on the possible demolition of the Old Mill building on the North East Road. The building had served as a chaff mill and a hay store.
The Old Mill was originally built and run by the Lokan family. The Lokan family had several sons. William H. Lokan set himself up on the section of land designated number 1578, in the vicinity of the North East Road, Ridgehaven. The North East Road has been widened considerably since the time of this article, so the Mill was set a little way back from the road’s current location. The chaff mill was built by 1875, on the Lokan property which extended back into the area where Old Mill and Douglas streets are located. All of William Lokan’s sons worked in the chaff mill, as it was a family business.
From as early as 1912 the Lokan brothers also went into the freight business. This proved to be a highly successful business venture “Indeed, the six Lokan brothers by 1921 had established the largest cartage business in the district.” (page 272, Auhl, Ian, From Settlement to City, 1993). Ian Auhl describes how using teams of horses and carts, the Lokans were employed to carry wine to Port Adelaide, pipe clay to Bowden, almonds to the city and hay to the chaff mill on the North East Road.
Unfortunately for heritage lovers, the Old Mill was demolished in the late 1960s when the North East Road was widened. One can only imagine how we could use the building, if it was still in existence. A cafe or restaurant, art gallery or stylish retail outlet perhaps?