Weaver Mill

Weaver’s Mill is a two and a half story stone and frame mill located in East Earl township. The water source for the mill was the Cedar Run. The mill is near to where the Cedar Run joins the Conestoga River. The mill appears as an unassuming structure on a typical Lancaster County farm. But the building played an important part of American history just prior, during, and after the American Civil War.

A Welshman named Thomas Edwards moved into the upper Conestoga Valley in 1719 along with a small band of wealthy English-Welsh settlers. Edwards purchased a patent for 1,300 acres of land in the area that would later become Earl Township. Edwards had a keen eye for waterpower and picked out several sites that would be good places to build a mill, but he never developed any of the sites. In 1813, Mathias Shirk purchased the rights to build a dam at one of those sites near where the Cedar Run joins the Conestoga River. Shirk built the mill to be used as a woolen mill. Unfortunately, the mill was destroyed by fire after only about a year of service. Shirk rebuilt the mill and it was sold to a Swiss-German named Christian Weaver sometime before 1824. Christian Weaver also owned the Conestoga Roller Mill (as it was later called) about a half mile down the Conestoga from Cedar Run.

Built1813
Structure2.5 Story Stone
Water SourceCedar Run
TownshipEast Earl
TypeGrist

About ten years later, Gideon Weaver, a member of the Weaverland Mennonite Church, converted the mill into a wheelwright shop. Weaver manufactured Conestoga Wagons in that shop for a period of fifty-eight years. Weaver’s wagons were noted for their durability and were allegedly some of the last Conestoga Wagons to be built. According to his obituary, he built “scores of Conestoga Wagons” in his shop. Gideon Weaver died in January of 1892 at the age of 77 (born 1815).

Later, the wagon wheel shop was converted back to a grist mill by Gideon’s sons, Aaron and Christian Weaver. The Weaver’s operated the mill for about thirty years. In 1917, ownership was transferred to Frank M. Horst. Today, the mill is in good condition and is used for storage.

This mill is located on Turkey Farm Road, East Earl, PA.