Tide Mill Institute

Slade’s Spice Mill 770 Revere Beach Parkway, Revere, MA


About 1721- 1734 – The mill was built as a tidal-powered grist mill.

1735-1816 – Various owners.

1816 – After a major fire, the mill was bought by the Town.

1827 – Henry Slade acquired a share of the mill and began to grindsnuff as well as corn.

1837 – Slade’s sons, David and Levi, joined the business and started to grind spices.

1932 ca. – The mill was converted to electricity.

1972 – On National Register of Historic Places.

The following is from : “Tide-Mills in New England.” By Alfred Elden. In Old-Time New England, XXV, no. 4, April 1935.

In any award of priority medals to tide-mills Massachusetts looms large. On the creek between Chelsea and Revere, adjoining the Revere Beach Parkway, stands the Slade Spice Mill after a genesis that turns back the pages of time to the year 1721. Except for brief interruptions due to fire, this tide-mill has been in continuous operation for almost 200 years. By an ancient provision in the original charger, it must at all times hold itself ready to grind corn for any citizen of Chelsea, provided the corn is Chelsea raised! It is to be feared, however, that if the plant depended for its business upon the present-day crop of Chelsea its time-honored career would abruptly terminated! Serenely it rests even as of yore on the edge of the marshes in the shadow of old Power Horn Hill, steeped in the glamorous romance of pioneer days. Despite the fact that more than half the mill now has modern electrical equipment, the tide-driven machinery is steadfastly retained and operated daily. An old stone dam spans the tidewater creek and creates an ideal mill-pond for water storage. Great gates in the sluice-way are hinged with dowels of stout wood. On the flow the pressure of the insweeping tide opens these gates. At the ebb they close and the reservoir of imprisoned water holds them shut. From this head of eight to ten feet is obtained the tidal urge that turns the wheels.