The Isaac Ludwig Mill at Providence Metropark in Grand Rapids, OH, has been active since the 1860s. This is a historical look at what Christmas would have looked like in around 1880.


Christmas at the Mill
© 2015 by Russ Franzen

A light snow had fallen in Providence. The canal was covered with ice.
But Isaac Ludwig's Mill was still open And the Christmas Eve weather was nice.
There were stacks of cut wood in the workshop For the furniture Isaac would make
And the millers were tying up bags of flour That would become Christmas puddings and cakes.

Chorus: The bell at St. Patrick’s was ringing
It sounded over river and canal
It rang out the arrival of Christmas Day
At the Isaac Ludwig’s Mill.

Isaac finished the gifts for his grandchildren, The hand made wooden toys and boats
While at home, his wife made the young girls dolls And beautiful new winter coats.
The smell of gingerbread filled the air, A tin star sat atop the little spruce tree.
As she waited for the family to gather At their home on Christmas Day.

A worker took some of the flour And delivered it to the village’s poor.
While another oiled the equipment and swept the flour dust from the floor.
Then Isaac poured his workers a cup of cider, A toast to Christmas Day
Then they put out the lights and locked the front door As the sun set across the Maumee.