Quern

The quern is a grain grinder which would have been found in a household rather than used for commercial use. The first use of the circular quern was observed in the middle of the Iron Age in Britain. It is believed that the Romans introduced the circular quern to Great Britain. It is possible that the quern was brought over from Scotland to Nova Scotia. The working of the quern was usually done by the women of the house and was performed during the evening hours. The efficiency of the quern was not that great which meant that larger families had to use the quern regularly. The Scots used their quern to avoid extreme charges of a landlord's local mill. These hand mills were a great way for self-reliance, but were forbidden. If a quern was found it would be disposed of immediately, possibly dropped into the sea. Along with this the owner of the quern would be fined. Up to late 1876 thousands of querns were still in use in the Highlands of Scotland. The quern held both utilitarian and symbolic importance to the Scots.

This quern in particular was according to family tradition always stored in a shed on a property located in William's Point, Antigonish Co. The house was built in about 1825. The land that it was located on was owned by the MacDonalds for many generations. The quern was used as a show and tell piece by the Grant children on numerous occasions .

Quern