Josip Caklec’s watermill

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mlin8mlin8 2The watermill was built in 1888 and it stopped working in 1953. Stjepan Čaklec was its first owner, and later, his son Josip Čaklec, looked after the watermill and continued performing milling activities. The watermill was built using massive construction materials and only one water wheel was used to power it for the needs of the milling activities. It had its own horse-drawn vehicle that was often operated by a female driver, a woman from the neighbourhood, Rosa Mesec, who transported flour to nearby places (Jurketinec, Greda, Cerje, etc.).
A peculiarity concerning the production process is connected with the existence of a bell near the “Grot” (Eng. a hopper, into which grains were poured). When the “Grot” got empty, the bell gave a signal to pour more wheat into it again. This was a useful innovation, which indicated the ingenuity of the owner.

poplavaIn the past, the Bistrica Stream presented great potential of waterpower and hydro-energy, especially in the periods of great rainfall, during which people's lives and properties were endangered. A true witness of that fact is an article published in the “Hrvatske pravice” (Eng. Croatian Equities) in 1911 when extremely bad weather struck our county. Among other things, it wrote, “… Immensely bad weather, which suddenly occurred that day at 3 p.m., caused a terrible cloudburst. A torrent of water, which rushed down the southern slopes of Ivančica along the Bistrica Stream, swept away everything in its way – woods, vineyards, fields, huts and houses, leaving only the bare karst behind. What makes this terrible disaster even more horrific is the fact that many poor peasants were left even without that one small piece of land they had found in this typically mountain-studded area. The excess water reached even Ivanec, flooding some houses, wrecking drainage pipes (spouts) in the stream, and destroying also Tauszig's large sawmill and two watermills belonging to Pust…”
Local people and watermill industry always fought against natural disasters, which, together with various taxes, caused problems in people's lives and economy. In 1945, “Hrvatsko jedinstvo” (Eng. Croatian Unity) wrote about an event from the chronicles of the town of Varaždin: “… in 1776 millers had to pay new tolls, the so-called “shore census”. For every water wheel they owned, they had to pay 4 forints per year.” These facts lead us to the conclusion that it was very difficult to work as a miller. However, millers and their children always had enough food, which was at that time a huge advantage when compared to other residents.

zvono8 Mlin Josipa Cakleca

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