Mills in Alto Aragón

Labuerda

Labuerda is situated on the road from L'Ainsa towards Bielsa and the French border. The mill is in a bend of this road just to the north of Labuerda. The locals know this spot as the curva del molino. The aceitero is built in the riverbed next to the harinero.
Both mills receive water from the Río Cinca.

Pictures: X.1995, XI.2002, XII.2009, VIII.2011

(1) Molino in 1995
(2) Molino in 2002
(3) canal at the back of the mill

At the time of our first visit in 1995 the space was empty and there was nothing much that reminded of past activities. I didn't take any pictures inside and trying to correct that I went back several times. It was not before August 2011 that I found the door open again.
At the back of the building we found broad canals with locks (3). Everything was — and still was when we visited the last time — very well maintained also because the canal feeds the irrigation system for the vegetable gardens of the village.

(4)
(5) drain; outlet of the cárcavo

(6)
In former times () keeping the system in good working order was a never ending story. There were always problems with fluctuations in the river flow. Each time the start of the canal needed adjustment — lower in order to keep the water coming, or higher to avoid choking the system.
The president of the mill board decided who had to go and when. It was exceedingly hard work during winter: there was no other way than to step into the cold water down to the waist. A wood fire at the bank provided little solace.

The mill was inaugurated the 20th of April 1908 (). A year earlier (March 16th, 1907) four locals founded the Sociedad Molino Harinero de Labuerda who's purpose was to build a construction which should house a grain mill and a generator for electricity. They succeeded and at that glorious day in 1908 the construction stood ready and was furnished with a turbine, two generators, accompanying controls and a couple of milling stones. The generators produced continuous current (DC). (See also the mill of Nocito where light arrived in March 1926, also thanks to a local initiative.)

(7-8) some old stones found a second life next to the aceitero

Mariano Coronas Cabrero —1991— El más viejo del lugar.
Revista El Gurrión - Labuerda: 43-44, pp 13-16

Interview about life and work at the start of the 20th century. The interviewee was born in 1903.

Joaquín Pardina Bielsa —2003— El Molino de Labuerda cumplirá pronto el siglo de existencia.
Revista El Gurrión - Labuerda: 93, pp 18-20

Most interesting article describing how electricity came to Labuerda in 1908.


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