Smoketown Mill

Aka Gibbon’s Mill/ Nolt’s Mill

The mill was built in 1770 by James and Deborah Gibbons in the village of Bird-in-Hand along the old road to Philadelphia. Ownership passed to their daughter, Rachel, and her husband, William Daniel, in 1810. Daniel added the 3rd story, and then sold the mill to Henry Espenshade in 1829. In 1847 Henry Espenshade offered the mill for sale and he was followed as owner by Eby and M. P. Cooper before Amos Bushong purchased the mill in 1862. Amos Bushong owned the mill until 1899 when it was transferred to Isaac Bushong.

The Smoketown mill has a very long, 1,300-foot headrace than begins at a six-foot dam on the Mill Creek. The headrace parallels the mill creek until it reaches the mill. The mill used an overshot wheel that was later replaced by two turbines. Capacity was listed at an amazing 100 bushels per day. Water returned to the Mill Stream by way of a 300-foot tailrace.

It was owned by Edwin Spence in the early twentieth century. It was sold again to Clarence O. Nolt in 1949. Clarence’s son, James Nolt became the owner in 1982 and operated the mill until 2004. John Stevens purchased the mill in 2013 and opened it as an art gallery and antique shop. The website is

The mill is located at 2549 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand, PA.

Structure3.5 Story Stone
Water SourceMill Creek
TownshipEast Lampeter
Headrace1300 feet
Tailrace300 feet
Dam Height6 feet
PowerOvershot wheel
and 2 turbines
Capacity100 bbls / day