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The Land That Time Forgot... The Grist Mill

 
 

 

Grist Mill History

Pennsylvania, Pa. working farm, farm for sale, Lancaster County, historic, mill, amish, Lime Valley, farm land, lime valley mill, 17584, property, farm property, real estate, land, properties, grow biofuels, biofuel, sustainable energy, farmland, prime, property, poultry house, corn crib, silo, grain storage, greenhouse, summerhouse, crops, sunflowers, livestock, sheep, hogs, poultry, milling, fruit trees, berry bushes, soybeans, oats, wheat, hog pen, herbsIt is believed that the first mill was built at this site before 1734 by Emanuel Hare.  Records show a road request which refers to Emanuel Hare’s Mill on the Pequea.

According to tax records, George Withers owned the mill in 1793.  He granted the mill in 1793 to Michael Withers who we believe was his son.

In 1815 Michael Withers mill house was listed as a stone three story 57x43 feet structure.  Sometime after 1824, Withers sold the mill to Adam Herr who owned the property until 1843.  At that time the mill was sold at a sheriff’s sale.

The sheriff offered a 3 story mill 45x60 feet for sale and it was purchased by George Lefever.  According to the date stone, the current stone mill was built in 1846 by George and Suzanna Lefever.

In 1864 the mill was owned by Jacob Zercher, the nearby covered bridge is sometimes called Zercher’s Mill Bridge.Pennsylvania, Pa. working farm, farm for sale, Lancaster County, historic, mill, amish, Lime Valley, farm land, lime valley mill, 17584, property, farm property, real estate, land, properties, grow biofuels, biofuel, sustainable energy, farmland, prime, property, poultry house, corn crib, silo, grain storage, greenhouse, summerhouse, crops, sunflowers, livestock, sheep, hogs, poultry, milling, fruit trees, berry bushes, soybeans, oats, wheat, hog pen, herbs

In 1875 the mill was owned by J. Harnish and in 1889 by Harvey Haverstick. Mr. Haverstick owned the mill in 1889 to 1899 and then ownership changed to his wife.  We believe Harvey died in a milling accident.  The Haverstick family owned the mill property into 1905.

During the Haverstick ownership, the old stone mill house was torn down and a new brick house was built.  All the trim in the house is walnut taken from trees on the property.  All the lumber was sawed at the sawmill on the mill property.  The date stone on the house is 1889.

Once again the mill with three houses, barn and 22 acres was sold at sheriff’s sale.  Harold Hunsecker paid $12,005 for the property. 

The mill was powered by an undershot wheel that ran French burl stones that ground the wheat to flour.  Harold decided to up date the equipment.  In 1905, Mr. Hunsecker installed a Leffel Turbine and four 9x18 Robinson Roll Stands along with a sifter and purifier.

In 1915, Harold added the present poured cement silos.  All the work was done by hand with about 100 men and boys.  The boys were paid 12¢ an hour and the men received 15¢ an hour.  The silos can store 40,000 bushels of wheat.

Pennsylvania, Pa. working farm, farm for sale, Lancaster County, historic, mill, amish, Lime Valley, farm land, lime valley mill, 17584, property, farm property, real estate, land, properties, grow biofuels, biofuel, sustainable energy, farmland, prime, property, poultry house, corn crib, silo, grain storage, greenhouse, summerhouse, crops, sunflowers, livestock, sheep, hogs, poultry, milling, fruit trees, berry bushes, soybeans, oats, wheat, hog pen, herbsWith the updated equipment and additional wheat storage, the mill was able to produce 75 barrels of flour per day.  Much of that was shipped to Philadelphia and New York.  It was transported by wagon to the freight station at West Willow and then by train.  The flour was also sold locally to Martin’s and Sturgis Pretzel Companies.  Flour, bran and middlings were sold to farmers and community members for daily use.

This mill was the center of the community at Lime Valley.  On the property was a sawmill and cider mill.  The post office was located in the mill office.  Nearby there was a quarry, buggy, wheelwright and blacksmith shops.

The Hunsecker’s had one child, Anna.  Harold died in 1936.  He willed the property in a trust to Anna who had married L. W. Lippold.  The trust was controlled by a local bank.

Mr. Lippold was an electrical contractor and knew very little about the milling operation.  Due to that fact, the mill was not making money and the bank demanded the mill be sold.

In 1941 the mill was purchased by Lloyd Sheaffer and operated by his son, Reid.

In 1963 the Sheaffer’s sold only the mill and 6+ acres for $17,000 to Lancaster Milling Co.  They continued manufacturing flour until 1972.  During this time the flour was bagged under the name “Daisy Flour.”

Agnes, the flood of 1972 hit the mill hard.  Lancaster Milling discontinued it’s production at the mill but used the silos for storage of wheat.  In 1981 Lancaster Milling Co. sold the mill at public auction.  Roy and Helen Wagner purchased the property of 6.249 acres for $27,200.Pennsylvania, Pa. working farm, farm for sale, Lancaster County, historic, mill, amish, Lime Valley, farm land, lime valley mill, 17584, property, farm property, real estate, land, properties, grow biofuels, biofuel, sustainable energy, farmland, prime, property, poultry house, corn crib, silo, grain storage, greenhouse, summerhouse, crops, sunflowers, livestock, sheep, hogs, poultry, milling, fruit trees, berry bushes, soybeans, oats, wheat, hog pen, herbs

The Wagner’s converted the mill to a hydroelectric plant and started generating in 1986.  At that time the small turbine could generate 10kwh at 60¢ an hour making $14.00 a day.  The large turbine could generate 18kwh at $1.08 an hour making a total of $25.92 per day.

As time pasted the dam started sinking and the mill race filled with silt.  There was not enough water in the race to run the large turbine and the small turbine could not run all day.  It was not a profitable venture.

In 1996 Betty Sheaffer, Reid’s widow placed the brick mill house with 15+ acres up for sale.  During the same time Helen Wagner considered selling the mill.

The current owners, John and Karen Hofmeister, purchased both properties in 1996 with the intent to restore the historic old stone mill.

Lime Valley Mill Farm’s 118 acres is perfect to grow biofuels to develop sustainable sources of alternative energy. There are barns, big sheds and the mill itself to process biomass from corn, alfalfa, grasses, soybeans and more. Biofuels are usually produced from living plants, fungus and algae. Biofuels contain 80% renewable materials. Since the living, organic, produces are originally derived from the photosynthesis process, biofuels are often referred to as sourced from solar energy.

 

 
 
   
   

Lime Valley Mill Inc  
914 Lime Valley Road
Willow Street, Lancaster Pennsylvania 17584

  Historic Lancaster County Pennsylvania Working Farm Property For Sale Lime Valley Mill •  Real Estate in Pa.17584
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