Sunday, June 5, 2016
A Trip to Chapman Mill and a Surprise
On this day certain circumstances limited our range of sight-seeing to the general area of our home. Because of that we were able to pack in 4 different venues in one day, after church. Our first historical journey of the day took us to some ruins that I had often noticed flash by from the highway. Intrigued, I determined to discover the history of the ruins. One day I finally stumbled upon the information. (This is the view of the highway from the ruins.)
The historic structure is known as Chapman Mill...
Built in 1742 between the Shenandoah Valley and Alexandria, Virginia, it played a strategic role in the local economy.
Corn and wheat arrived at the mill by wagon to be ground into cornmeal and flour.
Then it was hauled to Alexandria so that it could be shipped to Europe and South America (according to their website). This is quite interesting since during this time most items were shipped only to England due to being one of the British colonies and thereby due to the economic policy of mercantilism.
The mill was built in Prince William County, which was split into two counties in 1759. Today the boundary line between Prince William County and Fauquier County runs through the property.
In 1852 the Manassas Gap Railroad was built behind the mill...which provided a surprise for us that day but more on that in a bit.
In 1858 it had expanded to 7 stories high, which was considered an architectural marvel.
After the First Battle of Manassas, in 1861, Confederates burned down the mill so that it would be of no use to the Union troops.
Much more Civil War activity occurred at the mill, which can be read about at their website.
The mill was rebuilt and revived after the Civil War. It saw much development and success, until FDA regulations shut it down permanently in 1946.
Unfortunately, in 1998, arson burned down the mill.
While we were there, there was a photo shoot of lots of dancers for their senior picture.
There were also lots of railroad buffs with huge cameras waiting for the arrival of a special train!
This surprise will be in the next post!