Modern Times

gristmillmodernMonks continue to grind grain at Saint Vincent Gristmill, as they have since 1854. In 2001, a General Store and Museum opened. The Museum features a viewing area where visitors can witness the monks operating the grindstones to make flour, as well as various exhibits involving the mill and some of the early agricultural history of Saint Vincent.

The General Store feature Gristmill products, including flour and bran, as well as specialty gourmet items, including Saint Vincent bread mix, pancake mix, coffees, and many other items. Also available is a 100-page history book on the Gristmill and Brewery by Omer U. Kline, O.S.B., published in 2000. The book includes a 16-page color section inside with photos of the historic milling equipment, and a fold-out color schematic illustration showing how the mill works.

The Gristmill also plays host to an Environmental Education Center, tied into the Monastery Run wetlands project and aimed at hosting local, regional and national audiences, including elementary, secondary and college students, civic organizations, and private groups.

The ground floor also houses the Bearcat B.E.S.T. program (Building Excellence Through Skills Training). The Bearcat B.E.S.T. program was born of the need, expressed by parents of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for transition programming that would focus on the needs of young adults who, while they may not have the aptitude for post-secondary education, could achieve, with appropriate transition programming, a greater level of independence than a sheltered workshop would provide them. The goals of the program are to develop the students’ capabilities in each of the four pillar areas: academics, vocational training, activities of daily living and social skills.