When we think about the Mill, most of us think about its history. But there is so much more to the site. In 1979, Jim Pickens, a landscape architect, offered the following information about the mill site’s topography, geology, hydrology and other aspects of the site.
The topography in the areas surrounding the mill is varied….It is located approximately 400 feet above mean sea level and shares a stream valley with Broad Run. The slopes surrounding the mill are gentle and range from three to five percent slope. To the north of the mill the slopes increase fro fifteen to twenty-five percent.
Rock formations found in this area are typical of those found in most of this part of Piedmont Virginia. They consist of Weverton, a fine grained white, to light gray fine grained, to massive thin-bedded Quartzite. Virginia Bluestone is found mixed with the quartzite. All strata of rock in this area tend to tilt slightly toward the east. Bed rock ranges from 2 to 7 feet below ground surface, and outcrops can be found in many places.
Drainage patterns in the general area of the mill are of the Course-Grained type. The main or first order stream is Broad Run. This stream has a shallow but wide channel. Broad Run is fed by many second order streams, which are developed from springs and groundwater runoff from the nearby Bull Run Mountains. Flooding occurs many times during the year, but water quickly recedes within hours. Drought or low-water periods may occur during extremely dry periods in summer and fall.
Found on the site are many kinds of soils. The parent material of this soil developed during the Cambrian Era. Most of the soil around the mill is alluvial and was deposited by Broad Run during periods of high water. This particular type of deposited soil is known as Congaree Fine Sandy Loam. Other soils which comprise the soil horizon are: Wehaoekee Loam, Meadowville Silt Loam and Manor Very Flaggy Silt Loam. Congaree Fine Sandy Loam and Wehaokee Silt Loam are found primarily near the stream. Meadowville Silt Loam and Manor Flaggy Silt Loam are found on steeper slopes.
Hardwoods are the primary vegetation type found on the mill site. Hickory, walnut, locust and sycamore are found on the site, but some of these trees were planted and did not originate on the site.
Now a lawn area surrounds the mill building with honeysuckle, briars and other woody vegetation. There is little if any evergreen vegetation surrounding the mill site.
The location of the Beverly Mill is logical for many reasons. The success of a mill of this type depends on several main elements: a site that is accessible to a water source for power, a source of material for building and a transportation route to carry goods to and from the mill. The Beverly Mill site supplies all of these needs.
HISTORIC LANDSCAPE FEATURES
Other vegetation found on and around the miller’s house on the property are daylilies probably once cultivated but have since gone wild. Purple and white Vinca Minor, a low-growing shrub also known as periwinkle. This plant persists for decades around old home-sites and in gardens and cemeteries. It is hence given the nick-name—“Graveyard Grass.”