From Werner L. Janney and Asa Moore, editors, john Jay Janney"s Virginia: one American farm yard Lad"s Life in the early 19th Century (McLean, Va.: EPM publications Inc., 1978), 72-75.

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Loudoun Mills

What is a mill?A mill is a structure housing a set of machine that procedures raw material into finished products. Waterford"s mills developed flour from grain; building lumber from logs, towel from cotton and wool fibers, and lime for fertilizer and mortar native limestone.

How is a mill powered?Janney"s original log mill in Waterford to be powered directly from the circulation of Catoctin Creek. By the early 19th century, millers to be harnessing waterpower v manmade networks or races. Once Mahlon Janney constructed his rock and hardwood mill at the place of the existing Old Mill, the dammed the Catoctin and diverted water from just behind the dam through a mile-long headrace to straight water end the wheel in the volume and speed compelled to strength the mill. The design and also construction that this race were an engineering feat-beginning with a dam to host a to make reservation of water native Catoctin Creek, a chute to enable the race to happen over an additional stream there is no emptying right into it, several overflow gates to stop flooding during high-water, and finally a sluice gate to control the circulation of the water native the headrace end the millwheel. A manmade tail gyeongju carries water away from the mill. Schooley Mill and the fulling mill were powered by a 2nd race, fed by Ball"s Run.

How walk a gristmill Work?Water running over a water wheel strength machinery that processes grain into a last product. Initially, the wheat or other grain is screened and cleaned to exclude international seed and also other impurities. Next, the grain is weighed. Throughout the milling, or grinding, phase, the wheat is decreased to flour. Initially, Waterford"s Old Mill supplied the movement of grooved burr stones to grind kernels that wheat. This grinding process removes the external husk native the grain climate powders it into flour. In 1885, roller machine was mounted in the Old Mill. The roller procedure uses a progressive reduction technique in i m sorry each action in grind is performed in between steel cylinders, first grooved ones, climate in the last stages, smooth surfaced rollers, working at differential speeds. When the grain is processed into flour, it is bolted, or sieved,·to remove any type of bran particles. The final product is then packaged or bagged and sent come market.

Loudoun Mills

A mill is a building equipped with machinery that processes a life material such together grain, wood, or fiber right into a product such together flour, lumber, or fabric. In the 18th and also 19th centuries, Virginia"s mills were powered by water in creeks or rivers. In a flour mill, water flowing end the mill wheel to be converted by gears right into the strength to turn one of two burr stones. Kernels of wheat were then ground between the 2 stones. The grinding removed bran (the external husk) native the wheat kernel, and then crushed the inside kernel right into flour. Flour mills were an important part that rural communities across the country, including Waterford in the productive Loudoun sink of Virginia.

Among the earliest come to this area to be Amos and also Mary Janney, members that the religious Society of friends (Quakers). In 1733, Janney purchased 400 acres along Catoctin Creek. By the early on 1740s, that had built a mill that logs for grinding flour and also sawing wood. As other Quakers came come the area seeking fertile farmlands, a settlement thrived up around "Janney"s Mill." regional farmers lugged their wheat come the mill for grinding, and also by 1762, Mahlon Janney, Amos"s son, had actually built a larger, two-story mill of lumber on a stone foundation.

Since its negotiation in the mid-1700s, Loudoun County has been acclaimed for its fertile soil. In the 1850s and also 1860s, Virginia was the fourth largest wheat creating state, and Loudoun was one of the state"s top-producing counties. Thirty water-powered mills were processing a half-million bushels that Loudoun wheat by 1850. Aldie Mill emerged together the biggest manufactory the its kind in Loudoun County. When powered by three large water wheels, the mill"s five run that French flint burrstones rotate wheat into superfine flour for commercial export, while connected machinery merged the functions of a saw, plaster, and also country grist mill.

In the 1700s, oxen took the flour to sector in Alexandria. By 1826, the Chesapeake and also Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to be in operation through adjacent Point of Rocks, Maryland. Waterford flour can be hauled over there by oxen, climate barged come Georgetown or take away by railcar to Baltimore. After ~ the polite War finished in 1865, and also Loudoun"s damaged Washington and also Old dominion railroad can be repaired and also extended west past Leesburg, it was even easier for Waterford area farmer to get their flour come market.

The Waterford Mill

More top top Waterford mills


In the center of the 19th century wheat remained necessary to the neighborhood economy. Janney"s secod mill had actually been rebuilt and enlarged ~ above the same structure around 1818. The brand-new three-and-a-half story brick mill double the previous capacity, mirroring the fertility and also high wheat yield of the bordering farmland.

Quaker historian Asa Moore Janney provided that Yardley Taylor"s 1853 map of Loudoun County showed 77 mills of assorted kinds in the county, of i m sorry 30 to be wheat mills. Through the 1850s, Waterford"s mill was developing flour because that a more comprehensive market than just the village because the surrounding Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and also Baltimore and Ohio Railroad greatly improved the town"s links to far-off markets. Mill entries indigenous 1849 display barrels of flour gift hauled to allude of Rocks, Maryland, where they were invited either onto Chesapeake and Ohio Canal barges or Baltimore and Ohio rail freight cars. In the Waterford area alone, by 1860, an estimated 80 farmers were producing an ext than 40,000 bushels of wheat, or around 500 bushels every farmer, boost over the previous decade.

The civil War brought devastation come Waterford. Grain and crops were taken or ruined by troops on both political parties of the conflict. Lapsed Quaker Sam means had come close his mill after ~ Confederate pressures seized his horses, wagons, and also grain in 1862. The retaliated by developing the live independence Loudoun Rangers, the only army unit arranged in Virginia come fight because that the Union. That did no spare Waterford from damages by Union troops. Later on in the war, throughout General Sheridan"s "Burning Raid" the 1864, Union soldiers melted area barns to deny food because that the Confederates and their horses.

Relieved of his command in 1864 for refusing to obey orders, means lived near allude of Rocks, Maryland until the battle was over. Method never recovered financially indigenous his vault losses. He marketed the mill in 1868, relocated to Washington, did not prosper, and was buried in an there was no sign grave. Ago in Waterford, however, others to be looking front to far better times. Quakers from Waterford and adjacent Lincoln founded the Catoctin Farmer"s society in 1868; members developed subcommittees to discover ways to increase markets for local farmers. Once the Washington and also Old dominion Railroad was expanded west native the nearby county chair of Leesburg, previous Waterford in 1870, the opened accessibility to brand-new markets.

Old Waterford Mill

Apparently the new mill owner, Charles Paxson, and also his miller, J. F. Dodd, services from enhanced transportation connections. In 1885, castle enlarged the brick mill significantly and also installed the recent "roller mill" technology. The burr stones which used to grind the wheat kernels were changed with porcelain rollers the successively crushed or rolling the wheat finer and also finer, removed grit and also producing a fine, white flour. The support industries for agriculture—harness makers, wagon builders, and also blacksmiths—remained functioning in the town until the early 1900s.

Although Waterford serial had much better access to markets, the village never went back to its pre-war level of production success since Waterford"s villagers and area farmers to be able to income cheaper machine-made goods—shoes, furniture, clothing, and also farm equipment—from large manufacturing centers. They no longer supported neighborhood chairmakers, cobblers, and also weavers, so this crafts started to disappear. Together the artist left, demand for brand-new construction dwindled.

At the moment of the good Depression in the 1930s, the Waterford mill stopped grinding. In spite of ongoing high production of wheat in Loudoun County, neighborhood mills could no longer compete with substantial mills located outside the area. The mill"s machinery was offered as scrap iron because that the war effort during the early component of people War II.

Compiled native Joseph C. G. Kennedy, farming of the United states in 1860, Compiled indigenous the original Returns of the Eighth Census (Washington, D.C.: government Printing Office, 1864); U.S. Office of the Census, Loudoun County, Virginia, Statistics the Agriculture, 1850-1870 (Microfilm version T1132, role 7); Sheri Spellman and also Bronwen C. Souders, Walk through Us (Waterford Foundation, 1992); Bronwen C. Souders and also Kathleen Hughes, Waterford"s farming History: 1733-1993 (Waterford Foundation: Special education and learning Exhibit, 1993); and also Thomas Phillips and also Nathan Walker, Waterford Mill Ledger (Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia).

Early 19th-Century Wheat Farming near Waterford

John Jay Janney, a far-off cousin that Waterford founder Amos Janney, was born in 1812 close to the Quaker negotiation of Goose Creek, about 10 miles southern of Waterford. Ninety-five years later, in Ohio in 1907, Janney penned his memories of his childhood. In enhancement to writing about all facets the life in Loudoun county in the 1820s, the outlined the farmer"s duties about his plants for whole year. The portions worrying wheat are excerpted here and describe farming activities comparable to those about Waterford.

After harvesting was over , we plowed for following year"s wheat crop, and also when the floor was all set for sowing we hauled all the manure native the barn yard and the hog pen, usually a good supply and scattered it end the poorest component of the field.... We had not however heard that "wheat drills" however sowed our serial "broadcast." We would certainly take a bag and also tie the string to one corner so we can hang it around the neck...and carry...about a bushel that wheat in it. Us would record up handfuls and also sow them transfer having an initial marked out the ar into "lands" that a ideal width. A little practice enabled one to sow very evenly. We then dragged a hefty harrow end it.

Now a guy will execute the same job-related in a better manner sitting in a satisfied seat driving 2 horses.... After ~ mowing the wheat...was bound right into sheaves and put in shocks the a dozen sheaves each. The youngsters were virtually all, boys and also girls, kept home from institution to carry sheaves because that shocking.....All the mechanics in the ar worked in the harvest fields. The ascendancy was, to salary them earnings per job what wheat marketed for per bushel. If wheat to be worth a dollar every bushel, they got a dollar a day....

During the winter we "trod" the end the wheat....we had actually a "treading floo" in the barn about 40 feet square. Countless farmers" barns were not huge enough because that that, and also they had what is called a "threshing floor" in the Bible: a level piece of ground, fifty or sixty or an ext feet in diameter, make smooth and packed hard.... We stacked our wheat as near the barn as we could, in the "stack yard," and also when us commenced treading the out, we would certainly take the sheaves into the barn, take turn off or loosed the bands, and lay a ring of sheaves four feet or four sheaves broad all roughly the floor. Us laid the first one flat on the floor, the following one with the heads upon the butts of the first and so on all about the floor. We thus had a ring the sheaves around four feet wide, with the top of the wheat just showing, and a vacant space in the middle of the floor, of about twenty feet in diameter.

We climate put four horses, two abreast, walking around on the wheat, versus the means the wheat pointed. After ~ the horses had walked around sufficiently, 2 of united state would each take a pitchfork, one on each side that the wheat, and also turn it over. This we would certainly repeat till the grain was all out of the straw, which was then raked off and stored together feed for the cows and steers throughout the winter.... Treading the end wheat constantly made me feel together if I had a cold, headache, back-ache and also slight fever, the an outcome of the dust; and my grandmother used to speak it constantly made me "take a poor cold."

When the wheat was every "trod," or as soon as the floor ended up being full, we cleaned it. We ran it through the wheat fan twice; the first time with the rough circuit riddle acquisition out the chaff only; the 2nd time through the good riddle taking out the "white caps" leaving just the clean wheat. The "white cap" to be a serial of wheat v the chaff still rapid on it. We then take it it come the mill, wherein it was passed to our credit, to be drawn out for usage or for market. We cleaned our wheat for this reason well the it was never "docked" as that of part farmers was, the is, a number of pounds or bushels deduced, sufficient to make up for the refuse issue the wheat contained....

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Farmers seldom if ever before sold your wheat. They delivered it in ~ the mill and also got credit transaction for it at the price of sixty pounds to the bushel and also when they wanted flour, they obtained for every sixty pounds of wheat, forty pounds of flour and about fifteen pounds the bran.