The original grist mill was built in 1816 on Beaver Creek (now known as Laurel Creek) by Abraham Erb, Waterloo’s first settler. The grist mill was an important economical and social centre for the region, it helped encourage settlement that eventually grew into the Waterloo we know today. The original grist mill was demolished in 1927, but a replica was built in 1998 on Silver Lake in Waterloo Park. The replica features a timber frame constructed using local materials including 300 year old hand hewn oak, elm, cherry and pine beams as well as a 12 foot water wheel.
Years ago, the grist mill was used to grind up grains into flour for the farmers. Being a miller was a very prosperous job and before long the miller would be a very rich man. The best locations for grist mills were either beside a fast-flowing, shallow river or on a waterfall because a year-round flowing water supply was important.