The legend of our good old Steam Mill
IF THE WALLS COULD TALK…
The early heyday – the case of Dr Gézáné Szász with the mill
Once upon a time there lived a rich woman in Veresegyház, Dr Gézáné Szász, who had acquired a large estate through her husband and did not look kindly on the long queues of hours in the water powered mills to mill her grain. So, in 1922, in a fit of rage, she had the most modern steam mill of the time built, which she named after herself, so everyone called it Anna’s Mill. It was powered by Mechwart chimneys, steam-driven and included a 27-metre-high chimney.
The first transformation – Uncle Feri, The Last Miller
After the WWII, the mill’s heir repaired the damage and began operating an oil rig in the building, so once again, the Mill saw many more beautiful years. Uncle Feri (Uncle Frank) was the last miller. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but his stories have remained. Toni visited him a few years ago and during one of their conversations Uncle Feri told Toni that one of his most interesting experiences happened after the invasion of Russian troops in 1945 when Uncle Feri was forced to grind grain under the watchful eyes of two automatic twin machine guns. This practice continued until the early 1950s. After, as a result of a political complaint, both the owner and the miller were imprisoned, and although they were acquitted, the fate of the building was sealed.
The Decline – a fence from the chimney, machine guns, tanks and assorted scrap metal
As agriculture started a quiet decline, the Anna mill was nationalized and left to perish. The boiler house and the now obsolete equipment were torn down for scrap, and the country of “iron and metal” was enriched with the remains. It is not actually known what happened to all the machines, but what is known is that the Russians took everything that was made of metal. The chimney was also demolished and used to create a perimeter fence – a 3-meter-diameter well for the old steam engine can still be found in the back garden. From this time on, the building stood empty, the local MGTSZ (agriculture collective) used it to store grain. Nine full railroad grain hoppers were moved around the three floors of the mill using a series of electric winches- that’s a shocking amount of grain! Just try to imagine that as you sit here! The Mill was later taken over by the Vörösmarty Cooperative in Fót, at which time the roof was repaired in order to preserve the building. Unfortunately, no other repairs were made at that time. Over the years, the building became more and more dilapidated and at one point, it was even a busy produce store, but this is where the story ends. An article in a 1992 edition of a local Newspaper ran with the headline: „How can we save a decaying industrial monument?”.
The revival … now as a restaurant
The original function of the main driveway in front of the building: the fence is made of straw, wheat grows in the garden and fresh bread is baked in the kitchen in the former boiler house of the mill. What is it, if not the Golden Age?
After the change of regime, the building stood alone until a private individual bought it and dreamed up a restaurant and tastefully converted it into functional spaces. That’s when Tóni found and fell in love with the building. He imagined great potential in it and rented the Mill in 2011. He designed the interior with two young interior designers, with the aim of creating an atmosphere that reflected the company’s mission: to preserve traditions and values, while blending contemporary elements with a modern, clean feel. For 9 years now, our restaurant, Katlan Toni, has been housed in this wonderful building full of memories and values. We love it. Every year more and more people get to know and love it and join our mission. We believe that by renewing again and again we can truly preserve our values.
Thank you for joining us for meal after meal on this journey and we wish you as much pleasure in your time here as we enjoy living our daily lives in this building.
Source article „Anna is not eternal” in the Gödöllői Hírlap (14 July 1992).
We are waiting for you! ❤️.