During TTMAC’s recent Adopt a Stone weekend, we were fortunate to meet numerous members of the Broad Run community as wells as many from farther afield. We were thrilled to talk with everyone and share our plans for the future of the site, but most of all it was a great opportunity for us to hear what the Mill means to our supporters. Almost everyone who attended the event had a story to tell about their connection to the Mill – and the variety of those stories was remarkable. Some had ancestors who traveled to the Mill to grind their corn or to barter for flour. Some remembered visiting the Mill Store to buy candy when they were young. Some gathered in 1998 to watch and weep as the enormous structure was engulfed in flames. One young, newly-married couple shared that they had had their first date at the Mill. We’re working to record as many of these memories as possible. Together they show how the Mill continues to be an important part of the community decades after its operations ceased.
I found my own connection shortly after I took the position of site director. While going through family papers, I stumbled across a receipt written to William Moncure Blackwell from ‘Beverely Mills.’ Apparently, my great grandfather brought wheat from the family farm in southern Fauquier County to the Mill to be turned into bran. Now, a little over 114 years later, I’m helping to preserve the site that was a part of my ancestor’s life. History can be wonderfully cyclical at times!
So what’s your story? Has the Mill been a marker for you on your travels to and from DC? Was it a place to hang out as a teen? Leave a comment and let us know what the Mill means to you!
-Frances Allshouse, Executive Director, Chapman – Beverley Mill Historic Site.