Since ancient times, people used mills to process grain, and a mill was often the first structure planned and built in a new community. At the close of the American Revolution, it was believed that every village and town in the United States had access to a water-powered mill.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of mills once dotted the hills and glades of what is now West Virginia. Though the vast majority are gone, towns all over the Mountain State bear the names of the mills that put them on the map.
History buffs, nature photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts, you are invited to come along on an adventure: hit the Country Roads in search of fifty-three historic water mills built between 1735 and 1976.
Together, these structures tell the story of West Virginia’s agricultural and industrial past. A few are still in operation. Some are in ruins. Many are preserved in their original state, and still others have taken on roles as private residences, shops, and museums.
Whether operational or abandoned to decay, the historic mills of West Virginia stand in testament to the ingenuity and independent spirit of those entrepreneurs who were millers, but also bankers, economists, and mechanical engineers.
This book features over one hundred illustrations, regional and county maps with the mill locations marked, and QR codes that give instant access to driving directions.