Denlinger’s Mill

Aka Stehman’s Mill

IThe earliest mention of a mill at this location is in 1792 but it is not clear who was the owner at that time. In 1818 John & Benjamin Mellinger owned the mill, and from 1820 to 1821 it was owned by Christian & Benjamin Mellinger. Ownership must have been transferred to a John Mellinger, because in 1845, the mill was offered at public auction by John and Benjamin Mellinger, Jr. who were the administrators of John Mellinger, deceased. The sale bill listed the mill as a stone mill, three stories high, measuring 42×56 feet with four run of stones two of which are French Burrs. The mill had two overshot wheels, fourteen feet in diameter. One of the overshot wheels was later replaced by a pair of turbines.

Builtc1818
Structure3 Story Stone
Water SourceW. Branch of Little
Conestoga
TownshipManor
TypeGrist
Headrace1500 feet
Tailrace500 feet
Power2 Overshot
Capacity24 bbl / day

In 1858 D. Linton offered the mill for sale. It was C. B. & H. C. Herr’s mill in 1864, H. H. Steman’s in 1875. A covered bridge crossing the Little Conestoga was rebuilt in 1873. The mill burned down in 1895. The mill remained in that state for a few years and was then called the “Stehman burnt mill”. Then, in January of 1899, Mrs. H. H. Stehman sold the property to John, William, and Henry Denlinger, the sons of John Denlinger. The Denlinger brothers rebuilt the mill out of stone. They first opened it as a cider mill and in the fall of 1899, they produced 50,000 gallons of cider. The Denlinger Brothers sold the mill to George Lamparter in February of 1912. The mill was commonly known as “Denlinger’s Mill” into the mid-twentieth century.

The covered bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1942 and replaced by a steel bridge. In 1969 the mill was a secondhand shop, and it was converted to a home in the 1980s.

In 2001, a team of researchers from Franklin and Marshall College, led by Dr. Robert Walter and Dr. Dorothy Merrits, began a study to determine why so much erosion was occurring in Lancaster County streams. They discovered that the sediment load in the county’s waterways was not entirely due to farmland runoff. Most of the streams had been impounded to some degree during the 17th and 18th centuries to provide waterpower for mills. Many feet of sediment had been collected in the ponds behind the mill dams. The legacy sediment stack formed by the old mill pond at Denlinger’s mill was found to be about fifteen feet thick.

This mill is located at 401 Stehman Church Road, Millersville.

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