Banished Ventures

Let’s Build the Rittenhouse Mill – Updated

May 3, 2020

Background Story

Rittenhouse MillIn year 1678, a young German guy named Wilhelm Rettlinghausen the papermaker moved to the Netherlands, to marry a girl from Amsterdam and to become an even better papermaker. Ten years later they entered a ship sailing to that promising new world beyond the sea. He claimed some land in Pennsylvania at the Monoshone Creek and did what an ambicious papermaker is his fate – he built a paper making mill. The first one in New England. The wooden construction did not last long and was washed away by the wild creek. But a second mill was built right away, bigger and stronger with its first floor of stone to withstand every flood.

1890 the paper mill was pictured before taken down. It shows the mill already out of service and without the big wheel that must have been at the waterside.

Paper MakingWe would consider paper to be made of wood but at this time it was produced in a laborious process from linen rags. Paper from Rittenhouse mill was the only produced in New England for decades. It was used for letters, newspapers and bibles in Philadelphia and New York.

About 300 years later, another German guy is going to build again the first paper mill of New England. Even also inspired by one from the Netherlands. Thanks to Artfactial for the idea and a lot of research. :)

Some Concept

Rittenhouse MillMaking a water mill for Banished is not that simple since it has to be placed at a stream and to look nice in all possible positions. So the first step is to make a concept on game tiles where to decide about size, placing, walkways etc.. The second Rittenhouse mill is a rather big construction which can be tricky. I want to rebuild this mill as true to the original as possible but it has to be adapted to the game. Another issue is missing image material. We could not find more than this picture from 1890 and photos of the location today. The latter at least helped to reconstruct the water side.

And so it can basically work, with a weir that directs the stream into a channel to drive the mill. If you look at the first picture closely, it can be seen at the right edge of the wall where the axis probably went into the building. The main entrance for workers will be at the backside together with a small extension that can be seen in first picture as well. In front I want to include this simple wooden bridge. It will make the model even more like the original Rittenhouse mill.

Model Concept

Pictures are from Please visit their site if you are interested in more info about this historical location and the old way of paper making.

Next step will be drawing the model in SketchUp with all details and to prepare it for Banished.

Model Making

May 9, 2020

The Rittenhouse mill is now finished in SketchUp with a bit more detail than expected. I decided to draw the second floor completely because it seems a special feature of this mill. While in first floor the raw material was processed and paper sheets prepared, the upper floor was workplace for pressing and drying them. I asume this open wooden construction to be designed for these production steps with constant air draft. The last picture shows weir and water wheel as it could have been at the original mill.


Second Floor


To be continued …



Ohwow…love the detailing!:O
What a wonderful thing this will be once in-game.<3

The movable mill miniature on the Rittenhouse site is brilliant.:O
Showcases the work decision from lower and upper floors nicely.


Love the design.
Once paper is an actual recourse, it could potentially be used for so many interesting things.:)
Bibles for churches, school books, news papers for taverns/inns, any kind of administrative notice like needing land deeds for buildings or .
Realistically these would need a form of printing technology/production too, but like flour, it would be a valuable product that people use for many different ends.


Will you introduce paper in Banished? Do you also have ideas about its purpose? (except maybe making the bibles you need to build a chapel). A bit off-topic; I noticed that you don´t need a bible for the Russian chapel, is it on purpose, and what´s the reason? As far as I remember you need a bible also for the normal “vanilla” chapel, that´s also no pagan building.

    Tom Sawyer Tom Sawyer

    It will be of course a new mill, not replacing the other, and introducing paper made from linen or flax. It would be for now a profitable trade good. If further developing the chain it would probably lead to a printer profession as you both write. I don’t know if to include this mill into the North at some point or to have it just as add-on for CC and others. Basically it would match the idea of the North 8 “Town Charter” update if I will make this. The construction is interchangeable and was built this way also in Europa, I’m sure.


    Yes, the construction materials might vary from place to place, but the design will be mostly the same around this time.:)
    It is up to you how to implement it of course, I would personally like to see it as a stand-alone, if for no other reason than to be able to be able to add it to my running game.

    As I said earlier: I think having it be a tertiary product, being based of textile, will add justification for it being a valuable trade good. Though the lack of textile rags made people experiment a lot with substitute fibers (most of which were very inferior): asbestos, leather, corn husks, basswood bark, potato vines, beach grass and seaweed. With the most successful substitute being lime and aspen chips or straw with an alkali solution.
    By the end of the 18th century bleaching techniques to make dirty or inferior rags more suitable to white(ish) paper were being applied.
    Different resources for different qualities/price of paper could be fun but maybe more hassle than you want to put into this.


I like the look, will this be replacing the current water wheel, or will this be a more advanced version?

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