fonds SASS - Jon Sass Collection

New sweeps, Union Mill, Cranbrook New steel midling fitted by Chris Bremer, Union Mill, Cranbrook New sweeps, Union Mill, Cranbrook Union Mill, Cranbrook Cap and fanstage, Union Mill, Cranbrook UK windmill slides "Lincolnshire Mills and Millers in Wartime" Cottingham's Mill, Middle Rasen Hill's Watermill, Market Rasen Westgate Mill, Louth Baines Flour Mill, Louth Old Mill, Louth Hubbard's Mill, Louth River Head Roller Mills, Louth Ketsby Mill, Ketsby Ketsby Mill, Ketsby River Head Roller Mills, Louth Hatcliffe Mill, Hatcliffe Slides of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire mills Slides of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Bedfordshire millls
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Reference code



Jon Sass Collection


  • [20th century]-2019 (predominantly 1970-1989) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.272 cubic metres (45 boxes, 16 digital files, 1 digital file)

Name of creator

(1942 - present)

Biographical history

"Interested in wind and watermills from an early age Jon was further stimulated into a serious study after attending a lecture by Rex Wailes. Following a motor vehicle apprenticeship in Coventry he was joint instigator in saving Wrawby Post Mill from demolition in 1960. He served as Honourary Secretary and later Chairman of the Wrawby Windmill Society. He was technical advisor to the Lincoln Civic Trust in their sponsored restoration of Ellis's Mill Lincoln. He was then offered the opportunity to turn a hobby into a career through Rex Wailes connections and took the position of miller/millwright at Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, Virginia, USA to commission and operate the post mill built to commemorate the earliest known windmill site in British North America.

Since returning to England he has served on the Committee of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Mills Section, Lincolnshire Mills Group and Industrial Archaeology Group.

Jon lives in Lincolnshire Wolds and is married with two sons and a daughter." - from "Windmills of Lincolnshire" (2012) by Jon Sass.


Archival history

The main body of the Jon Sass Collection was compiled by Jon Sass in his capacity as a miller and millwright, and his overall interest in mills, particularly in America. The North American mill material was collected during the period of his residence in the United States. The sub-collection that belonged to Edward Travis was given to Jon Sass by the creator. The sub-collections of mill business records pertaining to Hibaldstow Mill, Lincolnshire and Tickencote Mill, Rutland, were given to Jon Sass by the daughter of Alfred Reeson (Hibaldstow), and a friend who purchased the Tickencote records from an auction.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to the Mills Archive by Jon Sass, Lincolnshire, physically in October 2009, October 2014, and via email in April 2020.

Scope and content

Records dating from the 20th century, predominantly the late 20th century (1960-1999), relating to windmills, watermills, and tide mills, millwrighting, and milling industries across the United States of America (predominantly Virginia, also Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, New York, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont), Canada (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta) and the Caribbean (Antigua, Barbados, Martinque) as well as some material on UK mills (Lincolnshire, Kent, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Suffolk, Cambridheshire, Essex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Sussex, and Surrey). The North American files contain largely published material in original or photocopied form, as well as ephemera from various mills, correspondence, and research notes. Files of particular interest include SASS-03-04 on Flowerdew Hundred Plantation, SASS-03-14 containing drawings of Hershey’s cocoa melangeurs, SASS-03-20 relating to Paul Flory’s millstone collection, and SASS-03-25 containing research used in writing “The Versatile Millstone etc”.

Photographs, negatives, 35mm slides and postcards of mills in North America and the Caribbean (predominantly the late 20th century (1960-1999)) with particular interest in SASS-04-81 containing photographs and slides of Paul Flory’s millstone collection. Additionally 35mm slides of mills in the UK covering the 1960s and 1970s.

Other records include plans of windmill, watermill and tide mills in Long Island, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Business records in the form of daybooks and ledgers pertaining to Reeson's Combined Mill, Hibaldstow (1902-1971) and Tickencote Watermill (1879-1956). The Hibaldstow Mill records relate to the tenure of the Reeson family owning the mill, whilst the Tickencote Mill records are less intact. Both sets provide valuable historical information into the business dealings and working period of the mills.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Published and printed material from the 2015 accession including books, leaflets, pamphlets were removed from the collection and retained in the Mills Archive Library as per the Cataloguing Procedure version 6. A list of items removed is available in the 2014-2016 Accessions Folder.


Accruals are possible in the future.

System of arrangement

The collection was given to the Mills Archive in several large boxes in 2009 and 2014. The material was later removed from the original containers (c. 2015) and placed in archival boxes in the order in which they were extracted. Thus the order in which the material has been catalogued is in the same order in which it arrived at the Archive at each stage.
The business records of Hibaldstow and Tickencote Mills have been organised by type and chronological order by the archive assistant to best reflect their provenance. There was no structure when donated to the archive.

Conditions governing access

This collection may be consulted free of charge at the Mills Archive; please email to arrange an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright was given to the Mills Archive in 2009 by Jon Sass and 2015 by Edward Travis. Material for which copyright is not owned by the Mills Archive can only be reproduced for private use and study only upon signing a copyright form.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

The collection finding aid is available online. Digital contents lists have been created for the boxes of slides, identifying the subject matter of each slide and its location within its box. These PDF lists have been uploaded as a digital item to each series level entry.

Generated finding aid

Existence and location of originals

Not applicable.

Existence and location of copies

Not applicable.

Related units of description

Further papers and drawings relating to Flowerdew Hundred Post Mill (OGDE-USM-73-04; OGDE-USD-12) and Robertson's Windmill, Colonial Williamsburg (OGDE-USM-99-00) are available in the Derek Ogden Collection.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Not applicable.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows guidelines provided by UWA Department of Information Studies based on ISAD(G) 2nd edition, 2000.

Name of creator(s) follows guidelines based on National Council of Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

The collection has been catalogued following the guidelines set out in the Mills Archive’s "Archive Cataloguing Manual", version 9, 2020.

The collection has been appraised and catalogued following the guidelines set out in the Mills Archive's "Collections Development Policy", version 4, 2020.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

Catalogued by Guy Boocock, March 2022.
Sass, J, "Windmills of Lincolnshire" (Stenlake Publishing Ltd., 2012)
Sass, J, "The Versatile Millstone Workhouse of Many Industries" (The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills, USA, 1984)

Accession area

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