The Search for Frederick Douglass’s Birthplace
Markers in the Landcape

Douglass wrote:
“Down in a little valley, not far from grandmammy’s cabin, stood Mr. Lee’s mill, where the people came often in large numbers to get their corn ground.  It was a watermill; and I never shall be able to tell the many things thought and felt, while I sat on the bank and watched that mill, and the turning of that ponderous wheel.  The mill-pond, too, had its charms; and with my pinhook, and thread line, I could get nibbles, if I could catch no fish.”  (My Bondage and My Freedom, ch. 2)
Satterfield Mill in the 1870s on the site of Levi Lee’s Mill,
near old Holme Hill Farm.

Markers in the Landscape

“Just north of Holme Hill farm stood Levi Lee’s mill and mill pond, on a site that had been occupied by water mills for more than a century. The stream below it, trickling down to the Tuckahoe, separated Aaron Anthony’s two farms. … A water mill on this site had existed at least as early as 1704. Levi Lee became its owner in 1822. Later it was known as Satterfield and Moore’s Mill. Remains, probably dating from after Frederick’s time, still are visible west of Md. Route 303 a short distance north of Tappers Corner. (Young Frederick Douglass, p. 36, p. 219 footnone 12)
Concrete mill dam ruins date from after
Frederick Douglass’s generation.