Aka Abbeville Mill
In 1717, one year before the death of William Penn and two years before the Hans Herr house was built, Hans Bruppacker (Brubaker) and his wife Anna owned a 150-acre farm west of Lancaster City. This farm was part of a 1000-acre land grant from William Penn to Hans Brubaker and Christian Hershey. On his farm, Brubaker built a log grist and sawmill along the Little Conestoga Creek. Twelve years later, in 1729, the Brubakers sold the property to Christian Stoneman for 160 British pounds.
In 1748, the proprietors requested that Stoneman build a bridge at his mill. Then, in 1755, it appears that Christian had passed away because his three daughters sold the property (or perhaps released it) to John Stoner (or Stonen). It is not clear if this was a new family or if John Stoner was their brother. Ownership passed to John Stoner, Jr in 1760. After a fire destroyed the mill in 1767, Johannes (John) and Barbara Steiner (Stoner) rebuilt the mill out of stone. The Steiners also built the Abbeville mansion near to the mill.
|Structure||2.5 Story Stone|
|Water Source||Little Conestoga|
|Dam Height||4 feet|
|Capacity||10 bbl / day|
Sometime after 1826, the mill became the property of J. S. Graybill. In 1857 the mill was operated by Jacob. S. Kauffman. On October 28, 1861, Jacob Kauffman listed a tract of land that included the mill, and a tavern called the “Jefferson Hotel” for public sale in the Lancaster Examiner. The sale bill claimed the mill was recently rebuilt and the machinery was new.
In 1875 the mill was operated by Samuel Binkley, and in 1899, Aaron Summy opened the West End Park on the property. Mr. Summy planted many Silver Maple trees on the property earning it the name “Maple Grove”. Water for the mill came from a four-foot dam on the Little Conestoga Creek and was channeled to the mill through a 100-foot headrace. The mill was powered by three turbines and could process 10 barrels of flour per day. The water returned to the creek in a twenty-five-foot tailrace.
In 1912, Ralph Coho converted the Maple Grove Park into an amusement park including a roller rink, a large swimming pool and even a roller coaster. The mill was used at various times as a dance hall and a bath house. Maple Grove park was a popular entertainment spot as trolleys carried people to and from the city. The amusement park was sold in the 1950s. The mill, pool and surrounding land were sold to Christ and Elaine Hampilos in 1978. They in turn sold the property to Lanecor Associates in 1987 who closed the pool and built the Stone Mill Plaza Shopping Center.
The county gained possession of the property in 1993 as a settlement for unpaid real estate taxes. Then, in 2001, Ecklin Development Corporation bought the mill from the county for $1.00. Ecklin planned to renovate the mill for offices and retail shops but in 2005, on Thanksgiving morning, the mill caught fire and was gutted. Restoration work began in 2008 and continued sporadically over the next several years. Today, the restored mill stands vacant, waiting for its next adventure.
This mill is located at 1501 Lincoln Highway West, Lancaster, PA.