Folck's Mill (site)
National Pike (US 40), , Cumberland, , Allegany County
The Folck's Mill Site is the location of the Civil War engagement locally known as "The Battle of Folck's Mill." The site is marked by the remains of a large 19th-century grist and saw milling complex on the floodplain of Evitts Creek, just north of Route 40 and I-68 east of Cumberland. The stone foundation of the mill, measuring 30 x 40 feet, is the principal feature of the site. The foundation is built into a partially excavated bank on its east and north sides; the south and west sides are fully exposed above grade and stand one story high. The foundation is constructed of roughly dressed masonry. The west elevation has four openings: a wide entrance in the northernmost bay, a window opening to its right, a former doorway (altered to a window), and another window opening in the southernmost bay. The south wall has a single window opening. Water runs through a stone-lined trough along the interior south wall, and exits through an arched, dressed-stone opening at the southern corner of the west wall. At the east end of the trough, a similar arch appears at the top of the foundation, just above grade. The north wall is the least intact. An undated early-20th century photograph shows the mill as a three-story, gable-roofed brick building resting on a stone foundation. Damage to the brickwork in the southwest corner of the mill has been interpreted as having resulted from artillery fire during the skirmish. A short distance north of the mill is a small square foundation constructed of poured concrete. Its function is unknown, but it appears to postdate the Civil War. Other elements of the mill complex have vanished, including a barn which reportedly caught fire during the battle and burned to the ground.
The Folck's Mill Site is historically significant for its association with the Civil War "Battle of Folck's Mill." On August 1, 1864, Union troops commanded by General Benjamin F. Kelley engaged General John McCausland’s Confederate forces as they advanced along the Baltimore Pike towards Cumberland after having burned the town of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, two days previously. The grist and saw mill complex of John Folck was located at the center of the action. The Confederates took shelter behind the mill buildings as Kelley’s troops fired from the hillside above them; Folck's barn was hit and burned down. The skirmish lasted through the afternoon and into early evening. As Union reinforcements approached, the Confederates retreated into West Virginia. The "Battle of Folck’s Mill," while resulting in relatively few casualties and only limited damage, is credited with turning the Confederates away from Cumberland, and possibly sparing the city from Chambersburg's fate. The stone foundation supported a three-story brick mill building, constructed in the early 19th century by Thomas Beall (of Ninian) and originally known as Pleasant Mill. Jacob Hoblitzell, whose wife Amy Beall Hoblitzell was one of Thomas Beall's heirs, purchased the property from the estate in 1819. After John Hoblitzell’s death in 1830, John Folck, Sr. purchased the mill property. In 1840, John Folck, Jr. purchased the mill from the estate of his father. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Wolfe family purchased the Folck’s Mill property, and operated the business for a short time.