The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills

2017 Annual Conference


Lower Susquehanna Valley, PA

TUESDAY October 10:
Evening: Registration open for early arrivals at the Wyndham Garden.

WEDNESDAY October 11:
All Day: Millers Training at Bowmansville Mill.
All Day: Visit historic sites in York County or nearby Gettysburg Battlefield and Pennsylvania Dutch Country on your own. (List will be provided)
Evening: SPOOM Board meeting at the Wyndham Garden.

THURSDAY October 12: Lancaster County Mills tour
Buses leave from the Wyndham Garden

Aberdeen Mill was originally built in 1774 as a 3 story mill. A fire around 1900 damaged the mill and the rebuild did not include the 3rd story. The mill operated until 2002. Some machinery remains in the mill. You can get more details at their website www.aberdeenmills.com.

Mascot Roller Mill was erected in the mid-1730s, probably by Jacob Bear. Daniel Groff owned the property from 1820 to 1860 and raised the mill to its present height. In 1865 William Ressler purchased the mill, beginning three generations of Ressler family ownership.

Adjacent to the Mascot Roller Mills, and overlooking Mill Creek, stands the 1855 miller’s house. Once home to three generations of Ressler’s, each carefully preserved room of the Ressler Family Home offers an enchanting glimpse of family life in the early 1900s and is fully furnished with period antiques and décor. Imagine yourself preparing an evening meal on the kitchen’s coal-fired stove or spending an afternoon visiting with neighbors in the parlor as you experience this journey back to a simpler time.

The mill is a fully operational mill run by water power from a nearby millpond. It is run by turbines and uses roller mill equipment. The mill is now owned and operated by the Ressler Mill Foundation. For more information see their website at www.resslermill.com.

Bowmansville Mill is a fully functioning water-powered mill with a water-powered sawmill. This mill displays both stones and roller mill equipment which will be in operation. Their website has more information at ww.bowmansvillemill.com.

Landis Valley Museum (Lunch)
Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the history and material culture of the Pennsylvania German rural community from 1740 to 1940 and enhances understanding of their successful practices, interactions with others, and the impact on the state and nation for citizens of and visitors to the Commonwealth. See their website at: www.landisvalleymuseum.org.

FRIDAY October 13: York County Mills (Lunch at sites)
Buses leave from the Wyndham Garden

Wallace-Cross Mill is a rare example of a small, rural water- powered grain mill with an overshot water wheel. The mill, tucked away in its unspoiled little valley has changed little since its construction in 1826. The mill continued to provide service by grinding grain for the local community until closing in 1979. The restoration focus is the 1950 era, and has an operating water wheel which powers one set of stones and associated equipment. This museum includes three floors of interpretive displays and historic artifacts. Tour guides will be available to explain the mill history, operate the water-powered equipment, and answer questions.
More information can found at www.yorkcountypa.gov/parks-recreation/the-parks/wallace-cross-mill-historic-site.

Muddy Creek Forks Roller Mills occupies a mill site that has been active since the 1750s. The current mill, built in 1847 and enlarged for roller mill equipment in 1890, is preserved as part of the Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village.
Muddy Creek Forks was a merchant mill grinding flour for sale under its own Harvest Queen brand name. A hundred years ago it had a dedicated railroad siding and shipped white flour to commercial bakeries by the boxcar load and stone ground buckwheat flour to general stores by express on passenger trains of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad.

Equipment used to grind, sift, and bag buckwheat flour is intact in the mill. The adjacent grain elevator is also largely intact. A stand of roller mills dating to the 1890’s, a sieve bolter, middlings purifier, bran duster, and flour dresser are on display. Docents will give tours of the mill and grain elevator and explore the relationship between these buildings and the railroad.

We will also tour the 1899 A. M. Grove Store and take a trip through the scenic Muddy Creek Valley on a motor car train.
For more information visit the website of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society at www.MaAndPaRailroad.com.

New Park Wind Engine features two very rare open-geared Aermotor power mills. Both of these wind engines differ from the more common water pumping windmills in that they transmit power to equipment with a rotary power shaft instead of up and down eccentric motion. The 12 ft. diameter windmill producing 2 horsepower is an example typical of power mills used on more prosperous farms at the turn of the 20th century. This windmill would be used on farms to grind feed, cut fire wood, shell corn and other light chores.

A larger 16 ft Aermotor enclosed by an octagonal, 3 story mill building is an extremely rare model built in1888. These large wind engines were built for milling and farm work requiring more power. This wind engine is rated at 5 horse power in a 15 mph wind. The building housing the milling equipment and surrounding the mill tower was inspired by an octagon water pumping windmill in Fairfield Ct called the “Bronson” windmill. The inside workings driven by the windmill are comprised of antique milling and grain handling equipment with belt driven ceiling fans built by Woolen Mill Fan Company. While these mills are not part of local history they are built on historic premises. More information at: www.newparkwindengine.com.

Eden Mill has the distinction of having the intact dam and 3 generations of milling equipment still in place. The original mill on this location was built in the early1800’s to harness the power provided by Deer Creek. In 1917 a corporation known as The Fawn Grove Light and Power Company bought the mill and converted it into a power plant. The power plant continued to provide electricity to the Fawn Grove and New Park area until 1927. The generators used to provide this electricity still remain in the mill. After the power plant was no longer in use the mill was returned to its original purpose of grinding food products and animal feed.
Additional information can be found at www.edenmillmuseum.org.

Evening: Banquet at the Wyndham Garden

SATURDAY October 14:
Morning: Seminars and Mid-morning Break at the Wyndham Garden

Additional charges apply to activities below to be held at the York County Agricultural & Industrial Museum:
Lunch (@ Agricultural & Industrial Museum)
SPOOM Mid-Atlantic Chapter Meeting
Afternoon: Tour of Agricultural & Industrial Museum

Agricultural & Industrial Museum
Celebrating the agriculture and industry of York County, this museum displays a full size operating gristmill, exhibits on enormous turbines produced by S. Morgan Smith for major hydroelectric dams, a York City trolley, early automobiles manufactured in York, a 72 ton ammonia compressor, and much more. More information can be found at their website: www.yorkhistorycenter.org/york-pa-museums.

SPOOM 2017 Hotel Information
Wyndham Garden York
2000 Loucks Road
York, PA 17408
Phone: 717- 846-9500
Website: www.wgyorkpa.com
Room rate $109 (breakfast included). Mention SPOOM when registering.
Reservations need to be made by 9/10/2017 to receive the above rate. After that date by calling direct you can get the rate if rooms are available.
Block of 10 rooms for 10/10/2017
Block of 55 rooms for 10/11-13/2017