Abbott’s Mill, Delaware

Mills were once ubiquitous features of the American countryside. Mills were constructed anywhere possible to grind corn and wheat crops before they were taken to market. Abbott’s Mill, located in rural Delaware southwest of Milford, was in use from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. The mill is a two-and-a-half-story frame structure. Although the superstructure of the mill has been rebuilt, it retains its original foundations. The original mill, a saw mill, was built on the site in 1795. Beginning in 1808, the mill was transformed into a gristmill, and it operated that way until 1960. A water wheel originally powered the mill, but it was replaced in the late 1800s with a water turbine. The turbine engine was int turn replaced with a diesel engine in the twentieth century. The mill is owned by the state of Delaware, and is currently leased by the state to the Delaware Nature Society, which has built a Nature Center behind the mill buildings. Nature trails run through the undeveloped land to the rear of the property. Workshops, exhibits, walking trails, courses, and other programs are run daily at the Nature Center. Abbott’s Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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