West Earl Grist Mill

Aka Groffdale Mill

In 1696, the Swiss refugee, Hans Graaf, emigrated to Pennsylvania and settled near Philadelphia. On day, as he was tracking down some of his horses that had strayed, he came across a spring in the area of the country now known as Groffdale. He was so impressed with the location that he petitioned the proprietors for a tract of land along the stream that emanated from that spring. He was granted 1,150 acres of land from William Penn in 1717. Over time, he added more tracts so that the final tract of land along the stream included 1,500 acres. The stream was named “Groff’s Run”. In 1729, the area was organized into a township. The township was called “Earl Township”. The English word “Earl” has the same meaning as the German word “Groff”.

In 1745, Hans and Susanna Graaf subdivided a portion of the property for their oldest son, Peter. Peter built a mill on Groff’s run in 1758. In 1770, the owner was Adrian Groff and two years later it was owned by Magdalin Groff. Abraham Groff built the current structure in 1801. In 1811 it was owned by Abraham Groff’s estate. In 1899 it was owned by George Martin. In 1925, it was owned by Martin Weaver. It is currently part of MM Weaver Farm Equipment Company.

The mill is located at 169 North Groffdale Road, Leola, PA.

Structure2.5 Story Stone
Water SourceGroff’s Run
TownshipWest Earl
Headrace1000 feet
Tailrace50 feet
PowerOvershot Wheel
Capacity8 bbl / day