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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
Lewis Mill Complex
Inventory No.: F-2-1
Date Listed: 5/6/1982
Location: 3205 Poffenberger Road , Jefferson, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: early 19th century to 1920s
Description: The Lewis Mill Complex consists of seven standing structures, a house foundation, and the remains of an earlier millrace. The complex centers on an early-19th century three-story brick gable-roofed mill structure which was rehabilitated in 1979-1980 for use as a pottery shop. The mill is a tall structure built into a bank, making it 3 1/2 stories on the west gable end, towards the creek, and 2 1/2 on the east. The first story is of random-coursed fieldstone and is fully exposed on the west facade. On the east, about a third of that story is above ground. The second and third stories are of common bond brick, which extends about a foot above the eaves line into the gable. The gable ends under the roof are of frame. The front gable is four bays wide on the stone first floor, with a door in the north bay and 6/6 sash windows in the other bays. The second and third floors are three bays wide, with splayed jack arches over each opening. The central bay of the third floor holds a doorway, now filled with plate glass. The attic gable holds a similar glass-filled doorway flanked by pairs of small 6/6 sash windows in the frame portion. Originally, there was only one 6/6 sash window on either side of this door. The north and south elevations each contain three rather wide bays. On the south, there is a window in each bay of the third floor and a window in each end bay on the second floor. The brickwork in the center of this wall was rebuilt at an early time. The wall is now completely covered with plate glass above a concrete foundation. The north wall holds 6/6 sash windows in either end bay of the stone first floor level, a central door and two windows on the second floor level, and three windows on the third floor. The second and third floor windows of both north and south facades are surmounted by splayed jack arches. The east gable end is also three bays wide, with a central door in the fourth floor level with pairs of windows (originally one window to each side) flanking it, three windows on the third, and a window in the center bay and a door in the north bay of the second. This facade also has splayed jack arches in the brick sections. The brick wall on this site is built to the sill of the fourth level openings in the center and almost to the head of these windows on each side. Another small opening appears in the extreme south bay of the second floor. The roof is covered with standing-seam metal, which replaces corrugated metal shingles. The roof framing system is unusual: principal rafters with collar beams support the roof. These rafters are connected by individual purlins staggered so each principal rafter has two purlins mortised and tenoned and pegged into it, one above the other. These purlins support the secondary rafters. All the structural members of this system are hand hewn. Some of the mill equipment still remains intact. Also in the complex are a c. 1825 stuccoed log house which, although extensively renovated on the interior, still retains original decorative detailing and configuration; a c. 1825 log springhouse with a random-coursed stone foundation; a c. 1890 frame wagon shed and corn crib structure; a c. 1880 frame barn; c. 1920 cattle shelter, and a one-story frame garage erected about 1930. Significance: Lewis Mill is particularly significant to Frederick County as an early-19th century mill complex which contributed greatly to the agricultural and commercial growth and development of the Jefferson area of the county serving the immigrant German farmers of Middletown Valley from as early as 1810 to the 1920s. Lewis Mill is a distinctive remaining example of the over 400 mills which once existed in Frederick County because it is constructed of brick rather than the predominant stone construction and displays a particularly unusual roof framing system with collar beams supporting the roof. Milling equipment, outbuildings, and an earthen raceway enhance the integrity of setting and association of the mill complex.
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