Mill Highlight – Mount Hope

In approximately 1780, Jacob Graybill built a one and a half story log mill on a tributary of the Chiques Creek now called Shearer’s Creek, on the upper reaches of the Chiques watershed. Peter Grubb, Jr., son of the Peter Grubb who built the Cornwall furnace, bought two hundred plus acres including the grist mill from Graybill in 1784. Grubb built the Mount Hope Iron Furnace on the property. In 1786, Henry Bates Grubb inherited the furnace and considerable land from his father.

Henry built a new stone mill in 1804. After Henry’s death, the property transferred to his sons, Edward Burd and Clement Brooke Grubb. Younger brother Alfred Bates Grubb purchased 50% of the estate from his brother Clement in 1845. But when he died in 1885, his estate sold it back to Clement.

Michael Becker became the general manager of the Mount Hope mill after Alfred Grubb’s death. The mill at Mount Hope at its zenith produce twelve barrels of flour per day. A 400-foot headrace brought water from a six-foot-high dam to a single overshot wheel that powered the mill. Water returned to the creek via a 200-foot tailrace.

Mr. Becker was still the manager when the mill was destroyed by fire in 1904. After the fire, the mill was reworked into a barn. That building still stands today on private property. The stone portion of the barn is presumably the remnants of the mill. The Mount Hope Estate is famous for hosting the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire that runs from August to October each year.

More information on this mill may be found on my website at

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