Old mill foundation

Hand-tinted Postal Card from early 1900s

Hand-tinted Postal Card from early 1900s

1906

1906 with windmill hugging the shore at center right

A windmill along the beach appears in old photographs of the town and beyond. In later photos it is missing.
The mill’s foundation is still visible today beneath the waves in front of the “Σουελ” cafe and “Ambeliki” taverna.
Leaving aside for a moment the wisdom of erecting a building exposed to the northern wind and waves at the sea edge, the long standing and impressive mill disappeared sometime in the late first half of the 20th century. The coast has eroded to leave the foundation about 20 meters from the current shoreline and now the sea barely covers the remains.

The bulwark foundation just beneath the waves

The bulwark foundation just beneath the waves

What changed the coastal morphology enough to swamp the mill? As a photo of the paralia (below) from 1906 shows, the sandy shoreline extended along the harbor to about the building which now houses the police office. Gradually over the years the new construction which filled in the beach and extended the solid paralia shoreline into the harbor, and the lengthened big jetty and the creation of a newer jetty (now gone) where the Flying Cat/Dolphins land, may have shifted currents enough to erode the landscape around and behind the mill. By the time a “formal” road from the little bridge at the mouth of the stream out towards the “Asklepion” was built the mill was probably gone and the coastline assumed its present profile.

Photo published in 1906

Photo published in 1906

In his book “Skopelos Folk Culture”, Adamantios Sampson lists names of various areas around the island. In the section “Livadi – Miloi – Prasia” he has “Τ’ Μουστάκα ο μύλος”. Might this have been the mill of Moustaka? Just asking…

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3 thoughts on “Old mill foundation

  1. Hi Tom
    I always thought that the house that Ingrid Pitgin lived in for some time had originally been the windmill, or maybe it just referenced the Windmill in shape?
    Best wishes

    Sian

  2. I asked around and the submerged mill was indeed “T’ Moustaka o Milos”, a sort of “subdivision” of the Ambeliki/Spitalia area.The Moustaka family is still around and I’ll see what I can find out.

    There is a white spot in the 1906 photo in the area that Sian (Hi!) mentions. It is just to the left of the current “SkopelosVillage” complex but whether that is Ingrid’s it is hard to tell. I recall that part of the house you mentioned has a circular aspect.

    Mills were naturally very important to the island. Some included a threshing floor (aloni) as part of the mill complex. Handy and convenient be processed all in one day at the same place. Arrive with grass- leave with flour.

  3. Check out the hats especially on the man second from left. With his bastouni over his shoulders, he also strikes a dynamic contrapposto for the photographer.

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