Milling About at Home: Luke Murphy

Luke Murphy, Education Coordinator, talks about reading up on the World Wars.

“I have always loved to read. For several years now, I have been fascinated by the World Wars. With the exception of a very limited number of countries, the whole world was engulfed in conflict. I am always trying to find lessons from the past and I believe we have a lot to learn from this terrifying period of time. I even have my trust research assistant, Rey, to help me!”

The Pacific War by John Costello has been a great, one stop source of information and sources. Follow the information! I had a lot of preconceived notions about the Wars going into this many years ago and my opinions on things have changed a lot. It is a fascinating journey to spend so much time learning about things that interest you!”

“Hanford Mills Museum was operating throughout the World Wars….almost everyone was impacted by the Wars. It is incredible to see how everything connects!”

Milling about at Home: Shelly Jones

Shelly Jones, a trustee of Hanford Mills Museum, talks about writing, gardening, and inspiration found on long hikes.

“One of the reasons I joined the Hanford Mills Board of Trustees was the museum’s emphasis on sustainability and rural traditions. As someone who grew up on a farm and loves the outdoors, the mill’s missions reflect my own values and the themes found in my writing.”

“While I often write fiction, since the pandemic I’ve found myself writing more poetry. My creative writing often relies on natural imagery (birds, trees, flowers) and incorporates elements from folklore (herbal remedies, superstitions). Despite the quarantine, I’ve still managed to take long hikes (getting lost in the woods is a great way to social distance…) and these are often inspirational for my writing,” she says.

“I bought The Complete Language of Flowers, an encyclopedia of plants that I find very useful both for gardening and writing purposes.”

“Recently my colleagues and I hosted a virtual reading of our work online. It was a bit more challenging to gauge the audience’s reception of our work, but we found more folks could attend virtually than they could if we had held it in person.”

Shelly’s garden

Tell us how you are spending your time “Milling About at Home” by completing this short form.

Milling About at Home: Burr Hubbell (May)

HMM Board president Burr Hubbell does windows…and tells us about a unique find on Hubbell Family Farms.

Prepping a window for painting and glazing

Here at Hanford Mills, Kevin Jensen is working on windows too. He set up a workshop in the Hardware Store. The large window is from the sawdust room in the Mill.



“And speaking of Milling Around,” says Burr, “look what was found while cleaning up a collapsed building, a nearly complete old cider press.”

Burr says the cider press was found by his niece Casey Mudge and her husband. The plan is to restore/rebuild it to working order. All of the equipment was there, apple elevator, grinder, racks, forms, etc. Also found was a very early Kneeland single cylinder vertical gasoline engine, which still runs. Maybe we will see these one day at the Antique Engine Jamboree?

Milling About at Home: Burr Hubbell (March and April)

Burr Hubbell, president of the Board of Trustees of Hanford Mills Museum, shared a few projects with us.

“Back in March, I made an Irish Soda bread, baked in a cast iron frying pan in the oven of the coal-fired Kalamazoo stove.”

Royal Bride Cook Stove

The Royal Bride Cook Stove in the Hanford House can use either coal or wood as fuel.


“In April, the project was building a cold frame to start some early greens.  The cold frame is in front of the “Cornell Approved” Chicken Coop. The chickens really ‘got into it’.  They liked the way it warmed the dirt.”

“Got the sides on, filled it with compost and dirt, planted, and of course we got a little snow.”


After a while it finally warmed up, and by the end of May the cold frames were full of greens.

Milling About at Home

hand tools at Hanford Mills

As we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many of us in the Hanford Mills community find ourselves with extra time. We want to highlight the projects, hobbies, and pursuits people are working on at home.

Read through these short profiles and you may gain a tip or some inspiration. See how people are expressing the spirit of Hanford Mills–ingenuity, dedication, entrepreneurship, rural traditions, sustainability, and creativity–as they “mill about” at home.

Complete this short form to let us know about a project or activity you are working on.

We welcome you to share how you are Milling About at Home. Maybe you are working to help others, we’d love to know about that too. Please complete this form, or email us.

“Milling about at Home” is a new and evolving project, and we welcome your suggestions.