Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village

Preservers of the Historic Ma & Pa Railroad

Ma & Pa Railroad Walking Tour - Roller Mills

Roller Mills

A series of flour mills have operated on this site since at least 1759. It is not clear whether any part of the original mill remains in the current structure, however, the fieldstone foundation with wooden beam lintels is consistent with 18th century practice. The mill was rebuilt in 1847 by James Maffett shortly after he purchased Muddy Creek Forks.

In 1888 the property and mill were bought by A. M. Grove. In about 1890 he rebuilt the mill, adding a third story to provide space to install the equipment for a fully automated roller process flour mill. He also installed two water turbines to power the mill. With these improvements it became a large scale commercial mill, producing fine quality white flour, which was packed in 98-pound cloth bags and shipped in full boxcar loads. Later 49-pound paper bags such as the one shown here were used. The mill was also known for its buckwheat flour, which was ground on the burr stones, packed in sturdy paper bags, and shipped to Baltimore in the baggage car of the passenger trains.

Feed BagsFeed Bags

In the early years of this century the mill was powered by a water turbine and had 4 sets of rollers as well as 2 four foot mill stones. Regular flour was ground on the rollers, bagged in hundred pound cloth sacks, and shipped out in full boxcar loads. The mill was particularly known, however, for its buckwheat flour. This was ground on a stone burr, packaged in flour bags of tough paper, and shipped to Baltimore in the baggage car on the passenger trains.

In 1930 the turbine was replaced by a wide, low overshot wheel built by the Fitz Waterwheel Company of Hanover. This wheel, which was entirely contained under the building, provided all of the power for the mill and grain elevator and remained in use until the end of milling in 1951. For 40 years the miller for A. M. Grove and his heirs was Frank Wolf. When Muddy Creek Forks was sold to James Keiser in 1947, the rollers were scrapped and only a single stone was used in the last few years of the mill's operation.

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