We would like to thank Joe & Karen O’Neal, HFHA members and owners of the mill, for hosting our Fall Trip to the Macon Mill.
Henry Ford built this mill in 1944 based on plans for mills of the l840s. The mill’s heavy timber frame was actually taken from a mill of that period and reconstructed on this site. This was Henry Ford’s last project of this type – his farewell, so to speak, to developing picturesque country mill settings. The nearby town of Macon was adopted by Henry and Clara during their later years. The village homes reflect the influence of the Fords on small- town life. Henry and Clara purchased the Pennington homestead in Macon and made it their summer home. It is less than a mile from the mill.
The mill was primarily used for the Dynamic Kernels project. The name, ”Dynamic Kernels”, refers to an idea conceived by Perry Hayden, a Tecumseh miller. Hayden was interested in implementing a wheat tithing project. He asked participants to plant one cubic inch of wheat in a plot 4′ by 8′. Each subsequent year the harvest of these grains would be replanted except for one-tenth which would be sold and the income given to charity. Every year the enlarging wheat harvest would require ever larger acreage resulting in larger contributions to charity. Hayden asked Henry Ford to join him in this tithing experiment. Ford built the mill to celebrate the Fifth Harvest of the “Dynamic Kernels Project”.