History and Location of Brown Mill

Other Names: John W. Brown’s Flour Mill, John W. Brown’s Flour Mill, J. W. Brown Mill

Years: `1860 – 1890

Structure Exists?  No

Historic Site 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 1860 census of manufactures listed J. W. Brown with $3000 capital investment in a gristmill with 1 employee and water-powered output of 6000 bu corn and 3000 bu wheat ($9370). The Brown sawmill had 2 employees and output of $1000. 

The 1866 Assessment Record of Election District 4, listed John W. Brown with 20 acres and a grist, saw, & factory mills and a dwelling house worth $9000; he also had 65 acres of Griffith’s Purchase and a sawmill near Federalsburg worth $1300 (HR # 12,078, MSA). 

The 1867 Hawes Business Directory, p. 517, listed John W. Brown’s flour and saw mill and turning factory at Federalsburg. Bradstreet’s Directory in 1867 listed J. W. Brown as a miller at Federalsburg, giving him a credit rating of BB, quite good. Isler’s 1875 map showed J. W. Brown with one grist and two saw mills on Northwest Fork on opposite banks just north of Federalsburg. 

The 1880 census of manufactures showed $500 capital investment in the mill with 1 engine, 2 circular saws and 1 Muley saws. An 8-foot fall on Nanticoke drove a 3-foot Hotchkiss wheel at 200 rpm to develop 10 hp to cut 200,000 ft ($3390); 80% of the logging was done by Brown. The gristmill represented $6000 capital investment and had 3 employees, 1 run of stones, 100 bu/diem maximum capacity. The same fall of water drove three 4-foot turbines at 100 rpm to develop 100 rpm. Annual output was 1560 bbl flour, 252 tons meal, and 63.5 tons feed ($17,000). One-eighth of the business was custom. 

The American Miller, 18 (February 1, 1890): 126, reported, “J. W. Brown will erect a 25-barrel roller mill at Federalsburg, Md.” 

The American Miller, 18 (August 1, 1890): 560, reported, “Brown & Davis, Federalsburg, Md., are erecting a building for a 30 to 40 barrel mill, and has contracted with Aug. Wolf & Co., Chambersburg, Pa., for a full line of Wolf’s improved flour mill machinery. The equipment will be very complete. A 36-inch high Wolf improved turbine wheel will furnish the power.” 

(HCLN is History of Caroline County, Maryland, Caroline County Schools, J. W. Stowell Printing Co., Federalsburg, 1920.)

Brown Mill in the Historic Landscape

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Other Historic Grist Mill and Sawmill Sites Caroline County

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