The Saint Vincent Archabbey Gristmill, built by Benedictine monks, has been in continuous use since 1854. It has endured flooding, mine subsidence, and the changing economic landscape to serve as a symbol of Western Pennsylvania’s agricultural heritage, and of the vision of Saint Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer.
Boniface Wimmer envisioned the monastic foundation as a self-sufficient community. The monks worked the soil to provide all kinds of grains, fruits and vegetables for themselves and the students.
Father Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., tells the gristmill’s story from the beginning through the restoration and renovation of the mill. The story of the controversial Saint Vincent Brewery is also included, as is the tale of Saint Vincent Bread, and some of the longstanding recipes for the bread. In addition to black and white photos throughout the book, there is a 16-page section full of color photos of the gristmill.