Chelmis olive mill in Pitrofos - Historical facts

Cyclades Olive Museum - Andros: The building.Cyclades Olive Museum - Andros: The building. The oil mill in Pitrofos, also known as the Pitrofos "vida", is part of a two floors building and occupies a big part of the ground floor ("katogi"), while the home of the owner ("vidatoras" or "liotriviaris") is at the upper floor. It is a fine example of a small pre-industrial, animal powered, olive oil producing unit. Many home units like this one were scattered in Andros highlands. There were still operational during the 60's and, with their family business character, served the small local market. This specific oil mill presents something uncommon; it has many rooms, in contrast to most oil mills in Andros, where the whole procedure was confined in only one small room. The building dates back much earlier than 1823. Various preserved elements, such as three mill stones, two stone milling-plates, and other structural details, prove that it was operational during 18th century. Moreover, in 1857 it was re-sold, together with the upper floor home, as a complete oil mill. With a well looked after facade and inner stonework, it presents interesting architectural elements, such as arches, domes, etc, common in rural Andros and generally characterizing the architectural functionality in Cycladic islands.

 

You can see some views of the building in detail and with an interesting way at link:      photosynth.net/view.aspx

The first owner gave it as dowry, for his daughter Diamanto, to her husband Stamatis Mileos. The building is known as "despotiko", since the Bishop ("Despotis") of  Varna (now city of Bulgaria)  Filotheos Karkakes originating from Andros lived in 1823, the last years of his life. In 1955 Diamanto, widow of Stamatis Mileos, sold it to sailor Miltiadis Goneos, who operated it till his death in January 1963. His widow, Elisavet Goneos, continued for four more years the operation of the oil mill, till 1967, when it finally stopped. Since then it was used as a storehouse by her relatives. In 1997 the whole building (house and old oil mill) was bought by its present owner, Civil Engineer Dimitris Chelmis, originating from Pitrofos. It was restored and tranformed into Cyclades Olive Museum in order to offer to every visitor, regardless of age, the option to come close to the underling culture of the valuable olive oil product and to get acquainted with the old traditional techniques of its production as well. The visitor can take a close look at a typical preindustrial example of a well preserved small olive oil production unit and get to know better the operation of a traditional family business industry. A video with an animal powered olive oil production that took place inside the museum in the year 2000 is also available to the visitors!