Ken Drenten began writing, research and photography for “Waterwheelin’: A Travelers’ Guide to Ohio Mills,” in 2011, traveling around the state for information and photos.
He self-published the first edition of the book in December 2013. He produced an updated and revised second edition in July 2016. The revised paperback has dozens of photos in full color and information on more than 28 mills.
“Visiting and photographing mills, barns and other historic buildings has long been an interest of mine, and I really began focusing on mills because of my wife Sandy’s interest in waterwheels,” he said. “I wrote this book because it was difficult to find much information about Ohio’s mills all in one place, even from online sources.
“There is so much diversity in how these historic structures have been restored, reused and repurposed,” he added. “The goal of my book is to interest more people in visiting them and continuing their use, and to support the small business owners and organizations who have done so much to keep these mills alive.”
Drenten is a communications consultant at American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio, where he has worked for more than 22 years. Prior to joining AEP, he was an editor and reporter for various newspapers in suburban Columbus and Sandusky, Ohio.
A native of Columbus, Drenten received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from The Ohio State University in 1982. He and his wife, Sandy, reside in Zanesville, Ohio.