Berne Grist Mill

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
site of Weidman's first grist mill
1975 map by Robert Lambert, from Our Heritage

The Berne Grist Mill was the successor to Weidman's grist mill built by Jacob Weidman after 1750.

  • 1832- Weidman's mill had burned shortly prior to 1832, the year in which it was rebuilt by Malachi Whipple. Whipple also built, along with Ball and Dwight, a a carding and fulling mill adjacent to the Weidman property in the 1830's. The use of these lands and their water power source was more or less esablished by the pond above the bridge. [1]
  • 1886 Francis Becker (1823-1897)[2]
  • 1888 Francis Becker ([3]
  • 1905 Melvin William Becker (1857-1938), son of Francis Becker, was a miller in Berne. [4]. He built the William Becker House about 1896.
  • 1920 - Frank Hart & Son was founded in 1920 when Frank Hart (1871-1948) and his son Milton, Sr. (1893-1954) purchased the water-powered mill in Berne. They were principally engaged in the milling of buckwheat flour (for pancakes) and grinding feed. That same yar they affiliated with a new cooperative called GLF (Grange League Federation) - handling their feed, fertilizer and later farm supplies. The operation remained virtually unchanged until World War II, when the flour milling ceased. After being discharged from the Army, Milton, Jr., (1926- ) joined his father and grandfather. At that time the business was expanded with a larger office, showroom and loading dock. Also installed were feed mixing machinery and gas pumps. In the '60s GLF merged with other cooperatives and became known as Agway, and the Harts became Agway representatives. Later in the '60s, to make room for their expanding line of farm supplies and hardware, the outdated machinery was removed. Much of the machinery was donated to the Rensselaerville mill restoration project, where today it powers a grist mill. Milton, Jr. and his wife Ruthe continued to operate the mill for many years after the death of his father, Milton, Sr.


  1. Our Heritage article by Robert Lambert
  2. History of the Berne-Beaverdam Reformed Church
  3. Landmarks of Albany County
  4. 1905 federal census