The mill is first mentioned in the Loka region
in a document around 1160. Mills are also entered in the land registry of the
Freising nobility in 1291. They used to be situated along the Selška Sora river
and were the property of a landlord who leased them out under certain
Soon, ordinary people also began to set up
mills of their own. These were either trade or domestic and farm mills. Trade
mills were set up along bigger waterways, having from two to eight pairs of
stones and stamps, and they performed the milling for the inhabitants of
surrounding villages. Farm and domestic mills had one or two pairs of stones,
seldom also stamps, and were generally used for the owners’ domestic use.
Sometimes two or more neighbours shared a mill. Most farm mills in the Loka
region could be found in Davča and Sorica.
The number of mills in the Loka region varied
through the centuries. Sources for 1630 list 173 mills, out of which only 23
worked non-stop. At the end of the 19th century (1880) 88 of these
stilled milled (200 millstones and 210 stamps). According to information from
Majda Žontar, the force of water drove as many as 158 mills in the Loka region
at the beginning of the 20th century, from which 73 were trade mills
and 85 farm and domestic mills. After the Second World War, we can count only
42. The only ones left to remind us of the rich milling tradition today, are
the rundown mill construction along the streams and the “Fortuna mill” in
Hotavlje in the valley of Poljanska dolina.
The miller’s trade has always been an important
economic sector in the Loka region, whereas the mill constructions made a
unique mark to the cultural paysage. Due to the industrial decline of the
miller’s trade and hence the mills, the Loka museum workers decided in the
1970s to present this activity in the castle garden.