History and Location of Andrew Mill

Other Names: Blades Mill, Deen’s Mill, Dean’s Mill, Fowling Creek Mill, Dawson and Co. Mill, Harmony Mill, Nagel Mill.

Years: 1782 – 1940

Structure Exists?  No

Location Precision:  100 meters

The following text is extracted from John F. McGrain, The Molinography of Maryland, Expanded, 2007 Edition for Posting Online at the Maryland State Archives.

The first Andrew Mill was built on Fowling Creek by Bromwell Andrew and Thomas Blades in 1782. Thomas Blades sold one half of the tract to Andrew, “. . . mill now about to be built by and between the said Blades and Andrew to stand nine strides from main branch of Fowling Creek, 10 acres, more or less,” (Caroline County deeds, April 9, 1782). After Andrew died, his heirs bought out Blades.

The mill appeared on the Dennis Griffith 1794-1785 map and was valued at $909 in the 1798 tax list. It burned several times in its history and was also known as Fowling Creek Mill. In 1821, Joseph Richardson sold to Elisha Dawson and Isaac Frampton 5 acres of Out Range on Fowling Creek “which now or hereafter may be drowned by raising the water in the pond of the mill commonly called Upper Fowling Creek or Dawson and Company’s Mill.”

Isaac Frampton sold to Atwill Chance his interest in Fowling Creek Mills, beginning “opposite . . . the mill dam built by Elisha Dawson and Company on fowling creek,” 1824 (Caroline County deeds, JR No. O:492). In 1826, Atwil Chance bought Noah Chance’s share (Caroline County deeds, P:168).

In the case of Delihay Sparklin –vs- William Tilghman Chance in 1842, Sparklin was appointed trustee, and sold Chance’s share to James Turner and all interest “with said Fowling Creek Mill or Mills was built by a certain Elisha Dawson and Company” (Caroline County deeds, JR No. V:372).

Hall Bonwell and wife sold the mill to Philip Morgan in 1954 (Caroline County Deeds, FFG No. BB:371) and Morgan sold to John Nichols for $4650 in 1865 (Ibid., JWT 31:154). John Nicholas of K died in 1873 and his son John E. Nichols deeded a share of the mill to his mother, Mary B. Nichols in 1875 (Caroline County deeds, JWT 37:58). The 1875 Isler map showed the grist and saw mill of J. Nicholas on the east bank of Fowling Creek.

In the case of Nichols –vs- Nichols, Charles E. Todd testified that the mill was worth $4000. The trustees advertised the mill in the Denton Journal, December 15, 1877, with 30 acres and a dwelling, a 16-foot head, and all “in good order . . . good custom work.” At the auction, they withdrew the mill and made a private sale to Samuel L. Webster for $2200 (Chancery Records, Liber 9:43, 49).

The 1880 census of manufactures listed S. S. Webster with $500 capital investment in a sawmill on Fowling Creek with 1 employee, 1 each circular and Muley saw. A 10-foot fall drove a 28-inch Rich wheel at 130 rpm to develop 8 hp. Annual output was 30,000 ft ($582) cut during a 4-month season.

The gristmill represented $8000 capital investment and had 2 employees, 2 run of stones, 30 bu/diem maximum capacity. The same water fall drove a 14 hp overshot wheel 5 ft broad at 11 rpm to grind 667 bbl, 113 tons meal, 16 tons feed, and 10.5 tons hominy ($6881).

The American Miller, 14 (March 1886): 147, reported, “The floodgates of Wm. M. Dean’s mill-dam at Fowling Creek, Caroline County, Md., were washed out during the recent flood, carrying away a considerable portion of the dam.”

The mill was later operated by William H. Deen and C. C. Deen; the dam was washed out in 1919 and 500 bu corn, 50 bu meal, and 1000 of wheat were ruined. A 1938 photo in the Denton library showed a white clapboard mill equipped with a wide steel water wheel.

Nagel Mill, successor to Andrew Mill, rebuilt after 1946.

The Baltimore Sun, June 12, 1946, reported, “Thousands of Bushels of Grain Burn with Mill,” and stated, “Preston, Md., June 11. (AP)—Thousands of bushels of grain were destroyed today when the Fowling Creek grist mill at Harmony, 5 miles from here, was burned. Brook Nagel, owner of the mill, placed the loss at $100,000; including the grain and the seed mill itself. He had been operating it as a grist mill and seed-mixing plant. Firemen from Preston, Federalsburg, and Easton fought the blaze for two hours and saved nearby buildings which were threatened.”

In the 1970s, there was a large commercial mill downstream of the original mill, operated by C. Brooks Nagel, who had rebuilt after the fire. The plant was supplying Agway Feeds on Nagel Road west of Harmony. The storage space could hold 250,000 bushels. The 75-acre pond was shown in Caroline County deeds. Liber 151:748. See also, HCLN (History of Caroline County), pp. 16, 20, 348. Location of the Nagel Mall was 18-H-3 in the ADC Street Atlas; the 1794 Andrew Mill was at 18-J-1.

Andrew Mill in the Historic Landscape

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