top of page


The large cast iron coffee grinder, or mill, was initially designed as a store floor model in the 1870s, and have two grinding wheels. Models with single wheels were patented a few years earlier. One of the most popular coffee mills for grinding larger amounts of coffee in the general store was the Enterprise Model No. 12-1/2. Manufactured between 1886 and 1898, it stood 42 inches high, had 25-inch diameter wheels and weighed about 140 pounds. Its main components were made of cast iron. Such mills became status symbols for those general store owners who could afford them. Continued...


This coffee grinder came from the Servante's General Store located in Birnie. An excerpt of Servante's history:

"Frederick and Rebecca Servante's oldest son, Arthur Ernest, came from London, England at age 17. He started work as a farm laborer for his friend, Billie Cottam at Oak Leaf in 1906. Later he clerked for Jelk's Brothers and then became a partner in Jelk's and Servante's General Store and Post Office.

In 1912 he married Alice McIntyre, the only daughter of John and Kate. The couple made their home above the store, with a kitchen and sitting room downstairs. Their two sons, Fred and Jim, were both born upstairs. A third son, Arthur, died at birth.

The Jelks brothers left for Edmonton and the business became known as A. E. Servante's General Store. Ernie and Alice worked long hours in those days. They and their clerks wore white jackets and the old feather duster was in constant use."

Enterprise Double Wheel Cast Iron Coffee Mill
Servante's General Store 1910

Above is Servante's Red & White General Store 1910. Next it is pictured with Fred Chamber's Boarding House and Pool Room, and White's Livery Barn and Boarding House.

bottom of page