The story of the Mill Iron
I’ve been nostalgic most of my life; looking back to my childhood, hanging onto items because they remind me of a time gone by. I’ve always loved treasures from the past that relate to me personally: an old worn out shoe one of my uncles wore as a kid, the plastic tablecloth my grandmother always used at holiday dinners passed down to my mother who used it at holiday dinners, passed down to me or the glass candy mold car I found in an old garage on one of the homesteads my father purchased.
So to start a new business under the name “The Mill Iron Coffee House” seemed very apropos. I grew up in the small southeastern Montana community of Mill Iron. The Mill Iron I knew as a kid boasted one church, a one-room schoolhouse, and a post office/general store/bar. I attended all eight years of grade school in that one room schoolhouse that at the time seemed rather roomy.
Mill Iron gained its name from the Mill Iron Ranch four miles down the road. The Mill Iron Ranch was part of the Continental Cattle Company, which owned 35,000 to 40,000 cattle in the late 1880’s. My mother moved to Montana as a child and grew up across Box Elder Creek from what was left of the Mill Iron Ranch buildings, forty-five years after its hay day of prominence in the cattle industry.