Land Records

Lancaster Roller Mill

Submitted by Dan Tapscott

LANCASTER ROLLER MILL FROM A BROADSHEET BOOKLET MAY 9, 1999

RESEARCHED BY MRS MYRNA ACORS AND HER SON KENDALL ACORS,CURRENT OWNER

There has been a mill on this site since 1666. The land patent was granted to John Robinson in 1657 and sold to Edward King in 1659 who sod it to John Carter in 1670. John Carter willed it to his son Robert Carter who referred to it as his Great Mill. Robert Carter willed it to his son John and he to his son Charles. In the Order Book of 1783 Charles petitioned the court to rebuild the Mill. He did rebuild and willed it to Miss Rebecca P F Carter. At her death is was sold out of the Carter family. There were many owners and changes in the years to follow. In July 1998, after 19 years of negotiating Kendall Acors purchased Lancaster Roller Mill from the Kemper Family.

The main structure is approximately 30 x 40 feet with a Swedish gambrel roof allowing three and one half stories over a full basement. Having a brick foundation with a dirt floor , the basement houses the Kingshaft which turns runs the whole operation.

Corn was ground on the old Monolithic French Grindstrone beleived to be the stone brought over for the first mill and moved from site to site. After being ground the corn was then packed in barrells and bags.

Wheat passed through the three double rollers for size reduction. The sifting was accomplished in a six section Flour Bolter and Centrifuge. Included in the sifting process is a middling purifier.

Record Books from 1916 show individual and merchant accounts. Checks and sales that had been strewn throughout the building have been saved and a tax bill bearing a three cent stamp indicates the land and capital merchants tax for that year.

Lancaster Roller Mill came from corn grist on a buhrstone to flour milling on steel roller mills. Low water in the pond in the 1960's caused an electric motor to be brought in to run the hammermill. In the current deed it is stipulated that water from the pond can only be used for the mill while it flows over the spillway.

People from miles around came to the Great Mill to have grain gfround, to purchase feed and medicine for their stock, to buy chickens and eggs, and to trade products, as well as gossip!

Custom milling for individuals continued for 150 years. The toll box and scoop are still in the corner. One truck carried products to Richmond and on the returntrip brought merchandise to be sold in the mill. Echelman furnished bagged feed which was sold from a 20 x 65 foot , one story building. Feed was picked up there and deliv- to the farms. Everyone wanted the flowered feed bags for sheets, pillow cases and dish towels. Some bags were drawn and hemstiched for dresses. Many more were made into aprons and profusely decorated to sell at church bazaars. Used until the late 1960's the equipment is in good condition. The Hammermill was used until 1972 when the whole operation closed.

The last of 15 mills listed on the 1850 Lancaster County Tax rolls, this sturdy mill has withstood fire , flood, and adversity. When the miller served his country during the First World War his daughter ran the operation. During the great Depresssion the mill was sold at Auction. The dam washed out in an August storm. Vandals set fire to the abandoned mill, broke out the windows and stole every removable item.

Now under restoration by Kendall Acors, the metal roof has been repaired and painted. Electricity has been installed througout the buildings. Sills replaced in the one story section and rafters have been sistered. the basement has been dug out. Storm windows temporarily replace broken windows being repaired. Endless cleaning and clearing are still in progress, and there is still much to do.

Papers that had been strewn throughout the ground floor need to be sorted and weatherboards need to be replaced. The mullions that can be saved from the original windows will be combined to preserve as many as possible. Sills need to be replaced and the Kingshaft is cracked and the flume has to be replaced. Please join the preservation of this wonderful Lancaster County Historic Landmark

THE OLD MILL FOUNDATION

c/o KENDALL ACORS

PO BOX 461

LANCASTER , VA. 22503 804-435-6694

OWNERS LISTED FOR MILL: 1. JOHN ROBINSON 2. EDWARD KING 3. THOMAS HAYNES(HAINES) 4. JOHN CARTER 5. ROBERT CARTER 6. JOHN CARTER 7. CHARLES CARTER 8. DR CHARLES CARTER 9. MISS REBECCA P F CARTER 10. JAMES LAMPKIN AND WILLIAM HENDERSON 11.HENRY TAPSCOTT 12. THOMAS McCLANAHAN AND LEWIS HARVEY 13 JOHN CURRELL JR, THOMAS SPRIGGS AND THOMAS SMITHER 14. LUCIUS L WILLIAMS 15. GEORGE KAMPS AND JIM CARTER 16. EDWARD KEMPER 17. EDWARD KEMPER JR, EDWARD KEMPER III AND KIM KEMPER 18. KENDALL ACORS

MY NOTES(By Dan Tapscott) : I REMEMBER GOING TO THE MILL AS A KID AND GETTING CHICKEN FEED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER. MYRNA IS RIGHT ABOUT A GOSSIP PLACE BECAUSE IT SEEMED LIKE SHE TALKED TO THE OLD FELLOW THERE FOREVER. MY BROTHER AND MYSELF RAN AROUND GETTING DIRTY AND COVERED IN TICKS.

SINCE THE MUSICFEST IN 1999 KENDALL HAS GOTTON THE MILL RUNNING AND PRODUCED SOME MILLED SAMPLES, ALSO THE GROUNDS ARE NOW VERY NICE AND HOSTED A PICNIC FOR THE THOMAS CARTER FAMILY REUNION THIS PAST WEEKEND 21 JULY 2001


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