Living Off The Grid – Watermill


Living Off the Grid in Big Springs Idaho

By Winnie

Last weekend I went up to Wyoming and Idaho in hopes to catch some spectacular fall scenery in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. But because of the recent government shutdown, all access to the parks were closed. As disappointed that we were, there was a sliver lining around all the road barricades – we had to go elsewhere for our nature fix. One day we drove to Island Park, Idaho and we went to Big Springs. Picture this: crystal clear waters teeming with trout (some almost 36″ long!), a cabin nestled in the woods, a water mill making splashing melodically all surrounded by acres and acres of pine forest. Can you imagine how beautiful and picturesque it was? Better yet why don't you have a look yourself?Living off the GridWhat a place to live to get away from it all! The man that built the cabin was a 4'11” German immigrant by the name of Johnny Sacks. He built it in 1929 and he built the house, the furniture and the water mill completely by himself. He never got married because if he did, “She would want to cover my hard wood floors with rugs and hide my picture windows with drapes.” One of the things that impressed me most about the homestead was this charming watermill.

Off the Grid

With the creation of this watermill, Johnny was able to have running water and supply his cabin with electricity. He built a cistern up hill and filled it up with water. When the water ran downhill, it operated the mill and supplied him with running water and powered his generator so he could enjoy modern conveniences. What a way to live right?

Living Off the Grid

Here's the link if you want to read more about Big Springs here:

Wondering how to make a homestead Cistern?
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