South Berne Mill

From Berne, NY - a Helderberg Hilltown
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Built on the site of the former Culver Cloth Mill.


  • Elias Zeh, (1839-1907) built the South Berne Grist Mill before 1880.[1]. The Zeh operation had the capacity for grinding 20,000 bushels of grain a year.[2]
  • The grist mill burned, and in the early 1900s Charles Onderdonk (1866-1934) purchased the property and rebuilt the mill.[1][2]

Onderdonk also operated the South Berne Sawmill, a clover mill, and a shingle machine.[2]


The main water supply was from a swampy area a mile above the hamlet of South Berne known as Mud Hollow Pond. A smaller dam at the mill site with a high stone bulkhead (still intact) was the direct power supply to the mill site. As this dam had a gradual sloping bottom it was used by churches for immersion baptism.

There was a small dam below this which powered the Andrew Sweet Mill.[1]

Onderdonk had an earthen dam built across the drainage stream of Mud Hollow Pond, which is now known as Onderdonk Lake.

Onderdonk used a steam Engine when the water supply was low.[2]