Once an important part of life, riverside mills have largely fallen into disrepair, but one mill in Luling continues to show visitors was life was like more than 100 years ago.
“The Zedler Mill was originally built back in 1874 as a grist mill, saw mill and cotton gin,” Randy Engelke, Luling Parks Director, said.
In those days, the Zedler Mill was just one of several mills along the San Marcos River. The river's flows provided an economic engine to the community.
"It was a place where people brought their crops, their grain to make feed or their grain to turn into corn meal, their cotton to get ginned and then sold to the market," Engelke said.
Before Luling experienced its oil boom, the mill was key to life in the agricultural community. Today, it's the only mill left standing along the river.
After a massive restoration effort, the mill serves a museum and riverside park.
"We can't gin cotton anymore but we are restoring it to the point that you can understand what happened here," Engelke said.
Zedler Mill is part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife paddling trail, meaning visitors can pick up a canoe and spend a couple of hours paddling the San Marcos River.
"It's a six mile trip back to this point. We provide paddles and canoes, the shuttle and the whole nine yards," Engelke said.
The Zedler Mill Museum and Park are opened seven days a week and features a self-guided cell phone tour for visitors.