Written sources testify to the wide spread of mills in Russia. In the 19th century, there were mills of various forms of ownership: common (belonging to the community), state-owned (state), and monastery. Water mills have been documented since the 13th century, but researchers suggest their earlier existence. Since about the 17th century, windmills have started to spread (most commonly owned by large proprietors: monasteries, landowners, the treasury). Their grinding is faster and finer, less waste, there is no forced break in the period of freezing (especially during long winters in the North). Therefore, in the 17th–19th centuries, windmills gradually displace water mills. Along with this, water mills continued to exist, they could be built by a strong householder or by several peasants as all together.
In most areas of the Russian North windmills prevailed. The territory of Kenozero is unique in that - there were more than 50 water mills in the 19th century.
Mills were usually built by the whole village. The place for construction was carefully chosen taking into account many factors: remoteness fr om the village, convenient access roads. But the main factor, of course, was the ability to use the power of water: a big difference in water levels in lakes or rapid flow of rivers and springs. The construction of the dam began in the winter. An ice hole was cut out in a preselected place, boulders were brought to it on a sledge and dumped until a dam was formed. The dam was made of logs and stones. In the dam there was a shutter that could be lifted through the gate and would pass water to the mill. Water from the dam was fed through wooden channels to the wheels to the lower compartment of the mill. The mill housed two horizontal wooden shafts. One shaft was for a millstone, the other - for a mortar with pestles. On the second story on the florr the lower millstone called mertvyak was installed as well as vershnik, which was driven by a metal shaft. The hole in the lower millstone, through which the metal shaft passed to the upper millstone, was called a kurzhevina. Akurushka, usually made from aspen, was installed above the upper millstone, it was a small funnel with a neck directed into the hole in the center of the upper millstone. Kurushka was suspended from the frame whwre abasket was placed. On the upper surface of the millstone (so called vershnik) next to kurushkathere was a begunok (slider in Russian) - a wooden stick. When the upper millstone was spinning, begunok would hit kurushka and the grain flowed evenly onto the millstones.
In Kenozero the mills were made of two-parts. It was called dve-raboty ("double work") - one is grinding, another one is crushing. Grains with husks were poured into mortars.If barley was brought already peeled from the husks, it didn't need preparation in mortars, but it was sent to bemilled. Finished flour was checked in a following way:wether flour sticks to the fingers or not.
Each mill had its own miller. Who constantly monitored the water level in the dam. During the flood or at a time when the mill was not operating, water was diverted from the mill with the second channel. During the operation of the mill, especially in autumn and winter, the miller lived at the mill in the hut for several months. At this time, the mill worked almost day and night. Sometimes a queue of traders gathered - up to ten or more people a day. Settlements with the miller for grinding were traditionally made with grain: they paid a share (granets). The miller had a wooden scoop. The miller would take as many scoops of flour as number of bags of flour that was milled. In addition, they paid the miller with food, they fed him and treated him. “…So, if I went to the mill, I’ll bring thesuschik, I’ll bring tea and fish soup, and some flour, of course…” recalls Yuri Vasilyevich Makarov from Orlovo village.
The technique of blacksmithing is known since ancient times. By the beginning of the 16th century, blacksmithing was widespread throughout the Ancient Rus. In the North of Russia, a large metal-working area was the Karelia Pomorye, Zaonezhye, and Olonets lands, which included Kenozero.
There were more than 30 village blacksmith shops at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries on the territory of Kenozero. The development of blacksmithing was determined by the peasants' needs for metal products. In Kenozero smithies produced a wide variety of items needed on the farm. Blacksmiths forged agricultural tools: scythes, sickles, axes, pitchforks, shovels, openers; fishing tools: traps, harpoons, hooks, ice picks; household items: fire rakes, grips for cauldrons, baking trays, samovar pipes, torch holders for holding burning pitchy wood, door handles, locks, window grilles, brackets for barns, houses, chapels and temples.
According to the memoirs of old-timers, more than 30 blacksmiths still worked in Kenozero in the first half of the 20th century. Ivan Andreevitch Gusev and Ivan Sofonovich Gusev from Chyolma were considered the most skilled blacksmiths. Chyolma is a group of villages located on a hilly area near the strait connecting lake Svinoe and lakeDolgoe. The village of Protasova Gora, wh ere only the Gusevs lived in four houses, was called Gusev by the name of famous blacksmiths. To carry out important blacksmithing work the Gusev masters were invited to blacksmith shops of neighboring villages: Nemyata, Zakharovo, Vershinino. It is known that Gusev Ivan Sofonovich owned the craft of making botal (special bells for pets). Each blacksmith had and carefully kept his secrets. Usually they were transmitted in the family from father to son.
The development of economic relations, trade between Kenozero and settlements of adjacent territories was facilitated by an extensive road system that passed through Kenozero. The main means of transportation in the 18th - first half of the 20th century was horse-drawn transport. The activities of the blacksmith were often associated with the road: it was necessary to correct the wheels, repair wagons and carts, forge horses. This determined the construction of blacksmith shops in villages located near the Pudozh route.
In the second half of the 20th century, in connection with the development of industrial production, the need for village blacksmiths gradually disappears, and blacksmithing loses its former significance.