Mills in the area of Sintautai in the first half of the 20th century

Eligijus Juvencijus Morkūnas

As the statehood of Lithuania had been restored, the Restoration Commission pursued the growth of industry, therefore it was not so strict about the safety of mills at their designing stage or operation, fire protection or hygiene. By 1925–1926 the business also had not cares about directives issued by a rather weak state administration fighting at several different fronts. Later the administration had been forced to take stricter measures, even to suspend operation of an enterprise until it got patents and performed due procedures. The legalised mill enterprises had to pay the business taxes.

Already from 1916 the mills were used to generate electricity. It should be mentioned that in 1938 there were only two electric-powered mills in the area studied. They were owned by R.Milerienė and I.Skrinupskis. The 4x4-feet millstones were most popular in the area. They used to be moulded by travelling craftsmen or by the millers, or mill owners had to buy the millstones in Kaunas or Koenigsberg.

From the architectural viewpoint, the mills adorn the Suvalkija plains, while this cannot be attributed to the motor mills. The motor mills have no outstanding traits; they are usually two-storey buildings with several small annexes. There are already some mills also with grain elevators in the area. Viewing from outside, this type mills distinguish from other buildings only by roof elevations at the places where sifting machines are located. There are also numerous mills with ertikis–a gap between the roof and the wall–in this area. The motor mills often do not distinguish from other buildings. Sawmills often arranged at the mills are notable for long sheds with stationary sawmills, planers, and circular saws under the roof. However, a map compiled by Americans in 1944 showed 75 mills marked in the area of Sintautai.