You can almost hear the wheel slowly cranking, as it lifts water to power the millstones inside. Mill workers hustle about, stacking burlap bags filled with milled seed and shooing away stray cats that have made the stone building their new home.
Stone mills. Why do they fill us with such feelings of nostalgia? One can’t help but stand in awe when within earshot of a working grist mill. Better yet? When you pass a grand stone mill that has been preserved and/or adapted by some patient soul.
If you think the notion of living in an old stone mill sounds simply dreamy, then you’ll love this round-up of mill properties-turned-homes currently on the market. And if you have a few extra minutes, cruise through Jim Miller’s site, Millphotos.com, to see images of mills (stone and timber-framed), broken down by state.
The Edisonville Mill, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
Since 1768, a mill of some sort has stood on the site that now houses the Edisonville Mill/Herr Mill, built around 1822. The building, fed by the Pequea Creek, has served as a flour, corn meal, grist and saw mill, a distillery, a museum and apartments throughout its history. Now vacant and boasting 30-inch-thick walls, 9-foot ceilings, keystone lintels and more, the building seeks a caring soul to call it home.
The Stein Mill, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
With the oldest portion built in 1816, this stone miller’s farmhouse has been lovingly maintained. It sits on 33 acres that is shared by a nearly four-story circa-1857 sandstone mill, which was built by Adam Stein. Fed by Mill Creek, it operated as a merchant mill until 1899, and most recently housed an antiques gallery. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Hulshizer Mill, Stewartsville, New Jersey
Situated along the Pohatcong Creek, this fieldstone and red sandstone mill was constructed sometime around 1750 and, during the time of the Revolultionary War, provided much-needed provisions to the Continental Army encamped nearby. The mill was converted to a private residence in the early 1900s and, when owned by actor Harry Bannister in the 1930s/1940s, was the site of many posh parties and star-studded events.
Beekman Brothers Mill, Saint Johnsville, New York
Hurry! Auction bids for this amazing Mohawk Valley property are being accepted through March 31, 2016. Situated near falls created by a gorge along Timmerman Creek, this native limestone mill was built circa 1830 and remained in operation through the 1930s. The mill, long abandoned, was purchased by Judith and Ron Hezel in 1988 and converted to a private residence. The property, which includes a barn, a three-stall garage, and a guest house, plus some of the antique milling equipment, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Steeped in legend and lore, the mill is said to have served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.